As I write this message, Tulane University is busy preparing for the arrival of the Class of 2019, but here at the A. B. Freeman School of Business, the academic year is already well underway. In July we welcomed more than 250 students to campus for our Master of Finance, Master of Management and Master of Management in Energy programs. This month, we’ll welcome an additional 2,300 students for the Bachelor of Science in Management, Master of Accounting, and Master of Business Administration programs. These numbers are truly astonishing. To put it into context, almost one in three Tulane undergraduate students is choosing to enroll in the Freeman School. While this most extraordinary demand is gratifying evidence that we’re delivering a timely, relevant and valuable service, it also presents us with some significant operational and logistical challenges.
For the last year, the A. B. Freeman School of Business has been investigating various options to address this tidal wave of demand for our services. While this effort is still very much a work in progress, we hope to soon be able to share details of a major expansion and renovation of Goldring/Woldenberg Hall. This project will provide us with much-needed classroom space, but it also will enable us to expand areas of strategic importance and create new types of spaces that reflect the changing nature of management education in the 21st century. Please keep an eye out for our official announcement regarding this exciting project in the coming months.
The last six months has been a very exciting time here at the Freeman School. In April, we received one of the largest single gifts in school history. Albert Lepage (MBA ’71), the former chairman of Lepage Bakeries, donated $12.5 million to the Freeman School to establish the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a new center of excellence devoted to entrepreneurial teaching, research and community outreach. You can learn more about Albert and his remarkable gift in this issue’s cover story. In July, we officially launched two new programs: the Master of Management, a one-year program targeting students with undergraduate degrees other than business, and the accelerated MD/MBA, a four-year joint-degree offering that enables medical students to earn an MBA concurrently with their medical degrees.
We also added nine new tenure-track professors to the Freeman School faculty in July. Since we began our faculty enhancement initiative in 2011, we’ve added 18 new tenure-system professors, a large number for any school but an even more impressive number for a school of our size. We’re already starting to see the results of this effort in terms of programmatic innovation and increased research output, and I expect that we’ll continue to see results for many years to come.
I spent much of this summer meeting with alumni in various cities, and I also traveled overseas to meet with senior administrators at our partner institutions. Based on these interactions, I can confidently say that the Freeman School is performing at an exceptional level. In closing, I’d like to thank each of you for helping to highlight and promote the Freeman School locally, nationally and internationally. It’s only through your support that we’re able to continue our efforts to build a world-class center for business education.