FULLABALOO: Tulane must honor racist donors

Tulane aims to “recognize and celebrate past and present supporters, and… demonstrate the impact of every gift,” according to Tulane’s webpage honoring donors. While that may be nice in theory, in practice it is far from true. If that were the case, Tulane would name more buildings after the Confederate and segregationist donors who made the university’s success possible.

Sure, we have F. Edward Hebert Hall, celebrating the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives from Louisiana. Hebert was an avid segregationist and a great donor to his alma mater, where he even served as the first Sports Editor of the Tulane Hullabaloo! Go Hull! It’s great to know that his donations were celebrated with a building in his name, where Tulane can safely house its very own Confederate museum.

Thankfully, Tulane also named our own school after Paul Tulane, a northerner who, in a historic act of kindness, swooped down to help out the New Orleans community by turning its public university into a private one. Another Northerner, philanthropist Frederick Tilton, kindly endowed the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. This memorialization commends the man who moved to the South because of his support for the Confederacy, but is it enough?

Most of the Tulane Board in the early years were Confederates and segregationists. Where are the celebrations of their contributions? Why can’t we sit in William Preston Johnston Hall and chat about how cool it was that its namesake, our former president who worked directly with Confederate President Jefferson Davis?!

At a university that refused to desegregate until 1963, we are erasing much of our history by not celebrating our donors. As New Orleans’ Confederate monuments are set to come down, we must wonder about our own Confederate past. It’s time for Tulane to ask itself a serious question: are we doing enough to celebrate the racists that founded and funded this university? Why is this the 10th article The Hullabaloo has written about Confederate Monuments in the past two years? Haven’t old white men suffered enough already?

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