New hospitality programs encourage Tulane alumni to give back to NOLA


Gwen Snyder | Views Layout Editor

Tulane’s new hospitality and entrepreneurship program teams up with the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute. This new program will encourage graduate students to contribute to New Orleans’ economy.

Pratiksha Parulekar, Associate Views Editor

Hospitality is one of the biggest industries in the city of New Orleans, and it is constantly growing due to the ever-booming  influx of tourists. With this in mind, Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business recently announced plans to offer hospitality and entrepreneurship programs. The new hospitality program will provide further incentive for Tulane graduates to stay in New Orleans and contribute to its economy.

Once upon a time, Tulane was the largest employer in the city, and Tulane’s reputation in the local community was not something of which to be proud. “Privileged school for privileged kids who didn’t have a clue what the real world was about. Trust fund babies,” New Orleans local Anthony Lee once said of the school.

Tulane students would come to New Orleans for four years, be the “#4 happiest college students in the country” and go on to bigger and better opportunities and cities, leaving New Orleans in their wakes, just as they had found it.

After Hurricane Katrina, however, the relationship between the local community and the university took a turn for the better. The number of Tulane alumni staying in New Orleans after graduation surprisingly skyrocketed after the devastating hurricane. It appeared that students realized it was time to use their privilege, educational and otherwise, to start rebuilding and growing with the city.

The Tulane School of Architecture, in particular, reinvented its image. Students and graduates helped develop more than 80 projects that were aimed at improving locals’ lives in the span of 10 years.

The new hospitality programs are poised to be factors that further increase the number of alumni that stay in New Orleans. The tourism and hospitality industry continues to be the backbone of the city and will likely provide ample opportunities for graduates.

It may also be another major step in bridging the wide disconnect between Tulane students and the local community.

While many students at this school will be fortunate enough to have a wider employment market at their disposal, it is crucial that they remember to work with the original businesses and not replace them. The Tulane bubble and New Orleans are two very happy places to be in, and it is incumbent upon the future graduates to ensure that the bubble does not eclipse the original charm and economy of New Orleans.

This is an opinion article and does not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo. Pratiksha is a junior at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]

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