Freeman community comes together for Wave '19

November 05, 2019

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Several hundred Freeman School alumni, parents and friends returned to campus in November for a weekend of food, fun, friendship and football. The occasion was Wave ’19, Tulane’s annual celebration that combines homecoming, class reunions and family weekend.

In addition to a busy schedule of university-wide activities, the Freeman School hosted a full slate of events specifically for business alumni, including tours of the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex, faculty lectures, a reunion celebration and tailgating on the Berger Family Lawn before the Tulane-Tulsa football game.

Kicking off the festivities on Nov. 1 was Dean Ira Solomon’s annual “State of the School” address. Before a packed audience of alumni and parents in the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex, Solomon highlighted themes that have become familiar over the last several years: growth and excellence.

“As of yesterday, we have 2,281 students earning the Bachelor of Science in Management degree,” Solomon said. “That is a number that has never been that high before in the history of this university. It represents that we have been, over the last eight years, the fastest growing business school in the United States.”

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Solomon attributed the explosive growth in part to Tulane’s adoption in the wake of Hurricane Katrina of a one-portal admission process, which enables undergraduate students to move seamlessly among schools and majors.

“We are the only major university with a business school that allows that degree of flexibility,” Solomon said. “In Freeman, we have large freshman numbers of students, but we grow. Students tend to gravitate toward the business school.”

While the enrollment numbers are impressive, Solomon said the students’ quality is even more remarkable.

“These young men and women are great on all the usual metrics, but they are great in unusual ways as well,” he said. “They are well rounded. We want people who excel academically, but we’re also interested in people who strive to make a positive impact on their context. They can define their context however they want, but we want them to be engaged with their context.”

Solomon ended the talk by taking questions from alumni and parents in the audience, addressing topics including internship opportunities for students, work experience requirements for MBA programs, the school’s approach to teaching ethics, and placement statistics.

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Following Dean Solomon’s talk, the school hosted “Back to the Classroom” lectures featuring two of Freeman’s most popular professors. Jasmijn Bol, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Professor of Accounting and an expert in managerial accounting, discussed how to get employees to work harder and smarter, and Peter Ricchiuti, the William B. Burkenroad Jr. Professor of Practice in Equity Research and founder of Burkenroad Reports, shared both the bullish and bearish takes on the massive increases in share repurchase programs at public companies. He also discussed the current economy and the Burkenroad Reports programs, all with a healthy dose of his trademark humor.

That evening, Freeman hosted a joint class reunion and Aldrich Society celebration in the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex’s Marshall Family Commons. More than 150 guests, including both alumni celebrating milestone graduation anniversaries and members of the Aldrich Society, returned to see old friends and reconnect with faculty members including Russ Robins, Harish Sujan and Eric Smith. The celebration also featured the presentation of this year’s reunion class gift to Dean Solomon. This year’s reunion classes — comprising master’s program graduates from ’69, ’74, ’79, ’84, ’89, ’94, ’99, ’04, ’09 and ’14 — raised $1,274,061 for the Freeman School, an all-time high for reunion classes.

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The next afternoon, Freeman closed out this year’s festivities by hosting a tailgating tent on the Berger Family Lawn prior to the Tulane-Tulsa homecoming game. Hundreds of alumni, parents and current students stopped by to visit with friends and catch up with faculty and staff members.

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To see more photos from this year's homecoming and reunion events, visit the Freeman School's Flickr page.