Mike Fitts will become the 15th president of Tulane University in New Orleans on Wednesday in a festivity-filled inauguration that will feature a second-line style jazz procession as a nod to the roots of the city.
“President Fitts asked us to frame the event and activities as a celebration of where Tulane is right now in its own development as a university,” J. Davidson “Dusty” Porter, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said.
The Original Liberty Jazz Band, led by Michael White, will play the president’s entrance music at the inauguration ceremony.
More than 200 guests will be included in the procession into McAlister Auditorium, including leaders from universities, colleges, communities and city governments around the country.
Following Fitts' inauguration, the band will then lead everyone to the Lavin-Bernick Center Quad for an outdoor celebration. There also will be giveaways such as pins and handkerchiefs.
“It should be a really colorful event,” Porter, who is co-chair of the inauguration committee, said. “There are elements that are part of what happens at a presidential inauguration, but what will happen is also reflective of this particular president and this institution.”
Doors open at 1 p.m. with the ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. The entire campus community is invited to attend.