Tulane Home Tulane Shield logo linking to site home page

President's Letter

Tulane President Michael Fitts

Dear Tulane Community,

At Tulane, the opportunities to learn transcend the classroom, connecting our academic community with the city of New Orleans, our nation and conversations internationally. The Newcomb-Tulane College Reading Project, the common intellectual experience for the entering first-year class, engages students and faculty from different backgrounds and academic interests through the reading and discussion of a selected book. I am pleased to announce The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom as the 2020 Newcomb-Tulane College Reading Project book.

The Yellow House recounts the history of Sarah M. Broom’s family over a hundred years. A New York Times book review states, The Yellow House “is an instantly essential text, examining the past, present and possible future of the city of New Orleans, and of America writ large”. This memoir also reminds us of what makes Tulane University a truly special institution: the great city of New Orleans. Extending past our Uptown campus and the French Quarter, The Yellow House details themes of triumph, struggle and resilience in New Orleans East, an ever-evolving and often-forgotten section of our great city.

The incoming class of 2024 will discuss the book with a faculty member and their new classmates during a session in New Student Orientation. They will have opportunities to continue engaging with the themes of the book through the Kylene and Bradley Beers Keynote Lecture and other programming throughout the semester, both on campus and in the greater New Orleans community. The book will be available for purchase in the Tulane bookstore during admitted student events in the spring and throughout the summer. For new students, this will be their first book purchased for their academic career in Newcomb-Tulane College.The discussion of acommon book is an opportunity for us to welcome our newest scholars to Tulane University. It is my hope that engagement with The Yellow House continues long after the discussion groups, through conversations from classrooms to residence halls, and the moments in between that make Tulane such a vibrant intellectual community.


Michael A. Fitts
President, Tulane University