Jered Bocage likes to joke that he is cursed: all of the schools he attended at Tulane no longer exist. He earned a B.A. in French from Tulane College in 2000 followed by an M.A. in civic and cultural management from the Graduate School in 2002. Both schools were closed as a result of the Renewal Plan following Hurricane Katrina. Even though those schools are gone, Jered still feels a strong connection to the university and his time as a student here.
Originally from New Orleans, he decided to attend Tulane long before he even applied to colleges. He first matriculated in fall, 1996, but spent his first week at Tulane in North Carolina participating with the inaugural class of what would become the NOLA Experience. He quickly became involved on campus, serving as the treasurer for Model U.N. and an apprentice with the Associated Student Body (ASB) Executive Cabinet. By his sophomore year, he was appointed the VP for Academic Affairs on ASB.
During the 1998-1999 year, the graduate students succeeded in splitting ASB into two separate houses of government. Up to that point, student government at Tulane had been unicameral; the new system created GAPSA for graduate students and USG for undergraduates. A task force formed to work on the foundation for this new student government; Jered was the secretary for the task force and was the person who actually, physically wrote the new ASB constitution. That constitution is still used by ASB today and provides the foundation for all student government at Tulane.
Jered was elected president of the student body for his senior year. Among his more memorable responsibilities during his term, Jered was part of the inaugural celebrations for President Cowen, welcoming him on behalf of all students and presenting him with a baseball signed by Yogi Berra. Outside of ASB, he has fond memories of nights spent on campus. At the time, the U.C. wasn’t open 24-hours, so the staff would lock students in the building at midnight.
He lived in the Leadership Village in Willow and also remembers nights that he and his friends would stay up late until they heard the ROTC students on the quad because “you know when you hear the ROTC students, it’s time to go to sleep.”
His favorite Tulane tradition is the alma mater. He only heard it during athletic events, commencement and Green Envy concerts, but wishes it were played more. “The text of the alma mater is beautiful,” Jered says, “and I wish more people knew the words.”
The biggest changes he’s seen on campus since his time as an undergraduate are all of the new and renovated buildings. His freshman year, Willow was a parking lot, and in addition to that, Mayer, Wall, Weatherhead, and Greenbaum dorms were built. Additionally, Isreal, Flower Hall, the Hertz Center and Yulman were built. However, some of the most impactful physical changes were the renovations of the UC and Cudd Hall. Cudd “was a beautiful jewel of a building hidden under hideous white paint.” The renovation turned it into a focal point of the Academic Quad.
Jered currently works in the Office of Alumni Relations at Tulane and hit is 15 year reunion in 2015.
[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. This post was originally published on September 24, 2014.]