Coming all the way from New Jersey to attend Tulane, Dana Gervis was determined to make the most out of her time at the University, claiming that “the unusualness of the town is why I wanted to be here [at Tulane]…I felt like it would offer something that you could not get anywhere else.” She decided to join a sorority and being a member of Sigma Delta Tau was the key to Dana’s happiness as a Tulane student.
She thoroughly enjoyed the process of rushing and getting into the sorority and knows that the organization highly enhanced her college experience. She was not involved in any other clubs or organizations on campus because being in a sorority and being a little sister in a fraternity was the best thing she was involved in.
Going to Tulane in the early 1980’s allowed Dana to experience historical events in a unique way. The students on campus were not aware of major news because the only way they would hear about news in the 1980’s was through the newspaper on Sunday that they seldom read. But through studying for finals in her sorority house where the Television played, Dana watched the news and saw historical event such as the shooting of John Lennon. As the rest of Dana’s classmates celebrated Mardi Gras her freshman year she was lucky enough to get to see the miracle on ice as it happened on Television during the 1980 Olympics. She spent that first Mardi Gras sitting in the hospital bed with a torn ACL and watched history being made by the win of the US Hockey team.
Since Dana’s time at Tulane the school has transformed into a university that values higher learning and nurtures its students to become successful graduates and citizens of the world. She said that Tulane is now, “a more reputable university, where children will go if they are looking for a better school that is not Ivy League.” Dana has visited for both Jazz Fest and Voodoo Fest within the last year and is amazed at the effort Tulane puts in to make sure that these types of events are highly accessible to students in the safest way possible.
Dana’s sorority, Sigma Delta Tau (photo provided by: the Tulane University Archives from the Jambalaya Yearbook, 1983).
The most unique experience that Tulane offered, according to Dana, is the tradition of Friday’s on the Quad. The whole school comes together once classes have ended each week and hangs out with food, music, friends, and back in the 1980’s, beer. She recalls that each week she looked forward to the time when her and her classmates would gather beneath the sun and eat crawfish, drink, and listen to music. She “made [her] daughter come here because hanging out on the Quad is not an experience you get at any other school.”
Dana got to relive her college experience everyday through her daughter who also attended Tulane. As Dana says, “…there was no choice where my daughter was going to school she was coming here, I don’t care where you got in. She thanks me for the experiences she is having everyday [at Tulane].”
The moment Dana Gervis begins to speak about her experience and general feelings about Tulane one cannot help but instantly appreciate all the institution has to offer. Dana earned an accounting degree from the A.B. Freeman School of Business in 1983 and while this degree required the majority of her free time to be spent in the library she found the time to explore and thrive in New Orleans and the Tulane communities.
[Editor’s Note: This article was captured as part of the class “Media Histories” taught by Vicki Mayer in collaboration with the Office of Alumni Affairs at Tulane University. It was originally published on October 24, 2014.]