Aneesha Marwah had a different freshman experience than your typical college student. In the very first days of freshman year, hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Unfortunately, right after move in, the storm hit and the university and the school shut down. The school predicted that classes would resume three days following the storm, but unfortunately that did not occur. For five days following the storm, Aneesha and her parents were stuck in a hotel in New Orleans without water and electricity until they could finally relocate to Texas. Since the hurricane caused Tulane to shut down for the remaining time that semester, Aneesha attended American University. After she got a feel for American and being in Washington D.C, Aneesha decided that New Orleans and Tulane University was the place for her. Aneesha transferred back after freshman year. She wanted to be apart of the recovering period and just New Orleans in its entirety. For her remaining college years, Aneesha stayed at Tulane and absolutely loved every minute of her college experience.
Aneesha felt a strong connection to Tulane University and the New Orleans city and culture. When she was a student she noticed that there is so much going on in New Orleans. There are always different events and places to go. As a student, she “worked hard and played hard.” She learned to focus her time and be productive and do her work before getting carried away in the city of New Orleans. Aneesha enjoyed many of the places that New Orleans has to offer. Her favorite place in the city is Igor’s Lounge and Game Room located on St. Charles. As a student, Aneesha and her friends went to Igor’s every Mardi Gras morning. She enjoyed hanging out with her friends in the Lounge while drinking Bloody Mary’s before Zulu. During her time, many of the frat boys hung out at and around Igor’s. She says that this location and the Mardi Gras celebration showcased the New Orleans and Tulane experience.
While in school, Aneesha loved seeing how Crawfest grew into the event it is today. When she was at school, it was one of the first years that Crawfest has started. So it was amazing to her to see how fun and big it became over the years. She also has great memories from her homecoming senior year at City Park at Tad Gormley Stadium. She says that it was small enough, extremely fun and memorable. As far as traditions go, Aneesha agreed that Tulane offers many traditions that make the university such a great, special place. Not only did she love the Crawfest tradition that began when she was an undergraduate, her favorite traditions also include senior year graduation. Aneesha’s graduating class was the first class to graduate in the Superdome after the hurricane in 2005. Aneesha enjoyed celebrating with her fellow classmates, for a final time, such an exciting time in such an amazing city. She says that graduation was very emotional, but also truly amazing to see the recovery of the city post tragedy.
Tulane and New Orleans are constantly changing. Since Aneesha’s time at Tulane, she has noticed that the university has changed in many areas. She has recognized that Tulane University is becoming a better partner with the city. After college, while living in New Orleans, Aneesha got to see a lot of the work that president Cowen has done and she has noticed this stronger relationship that he has created. Also, Aneesha is proud to note that she has been apart of the recovery process. Additionally, Aneesha mentioned that when she visited New Orleans about three weeks back for a wedding, she ran past the campus. She couldn’t believe the new dorm, Greenbaum, that has been recently added. When she was a student, Aneesha and her friends gathered around the quad right near Greenbaum Hall, so it was strange to her to see a new dorm building in that location now.
Aneesha joined the sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi. She has fond memories with her sorority sisters and from her time in the sorority in general. She remembers clearly the afternoons she spent on the quad with her friends under the New Orleans sun. Sorority life was just a small part of Aneesha’s college social life. Not only did she enjoy going out with her friends at night, Aneesha also loved just hanging with all of her friends on the quad under the sun.
Aneesha majored in international development and international relations. Aneesha got her first job and summer internship right out of college. She got her job through a recommendation from a professor at Tulane University. Aneesha worked as a legislative aide for State Representative Jared Brossett for the Louisiana House of Representatives. She contributed to many of the recovery projects following the hurricane. Living in New Orleans, being apart of the hurricane recovery process, and the opportunities at Tulane helped Aneesha realize that she wanted to choose a career path in urban planning. Today, Aneessha is in graduate school in Chicago earning her masters in urban planning. Without Tulane, she would not be the person she is today and she is very thankful for the memories she had in the city of New Orleans and at Tulane University!
Today, Aneesha works for the Alumni Relations in Chicago. She is now the co-president for the Alumni Chapter in Chicago. Aneesha wanted to rebuild the network and get the Tulane Alum engaged. She strives to keep the Tulane Alumni Relations alive!
This piece was originally published on November 4, 2011.