UNO Rolls into "the Week of Excellence" with Excitement

Excitement is brewing across campus this week as The University of New Orleans rolls into the Week of Excellence, five days of honor, service, glory and fun concluding with the formal investiture of UNO President Peter J. Fos, who will officially be installed as the university’s sixth leader and first president.

The Week of Excellence runs Thursday through Monday, Nov. 8-12, and includes a series of celebratory events aimed to connect university students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends and reinvigorate university spirit on campus and the community. To kick off the first-ever celebration week, the UNO Founders Club will present the first lecture in a new presidential lecture series at UNO, entitled the Homer L. Hitt Presidential Lecture Series. Celebrated political pundits and New Orleans residents James Carville and Mary Matalin will present the first lecture at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the University Center Ballroom. The event is open to the public and admission is free. The first 750 people will be admitted.

The talk, appropriately, will be entitled "The 2012 Post-Presidential Election: A Living Room Chat."  The presentation will focus on all aspects of the election, including the efficacy of pre-election strategies by the candidates and implications of election outcome for the next four years. UNO Alumnus, Gambit columnist, publisher and political editor Clancy DuBos will moderate the discussion, fielding limited questions from the audience. The event is hosted by the UNO Founders Club, who have launched a $2 million capital campaign to endow a presidential lecture series on campus.         

To better involve students in the Week of Excellence, the University will also host a day of sports and spirit, followed by a day of service.

First, the University has scheduled the home openers for the UNO men’s and Women’s basketball teams on Friday, Nov. 9 at the Lakefront Arena. The games begin at 6 p.m. with a match-up between the women’s team and Northwestern State, a sister institution in the University of Louisiana System. Following, the men’s team will play San Jose State University. Discounted tickets are available for these games — and all future games—for faculty and staff. The day is a Blue and Silver Day, when spirited members of the UNO community are encouraged to proudly wear their school colors.

UNO students, faculty, staff and friends are encouraged before the games to attend the University's first-ever "Fan Fest," starting at 4:30 p.m. outside the Lakefront Arena. Entertainment includes tailgating and musical performances. Food will be provided and a spacewalk and "hamster balls" will provide fun for the kids.

Second, the University has planned a Day of Service on Saturday, Nov. 10, in which students, and interested faculty and staff, will spend the day performing service projects. All members of the UNO community are invited to participate. The University hopes to see a strong showing, especially from members of the school’s 120 student organizations.

The Day of Service has been dubbed "UNO Serves," and members of the UNO community are asked to don their UNO gear and perform two hours of community service at an organization of their choice in the greater New Orleans area, then send photos to and post them on social media with the hashtag #UNOServes.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the UNO community are invited to plant a tree in honor of President Fos and to beautify the flower beds around the University Center (UC). The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the University Center deck, between the University Center and the Recreation Center.

The Week of Excellence concludes with a grand finale on Monday, Nov. 12, when Fos, who took the helm at UNO in January, will be honored and officially installed as university president at a formal investiture ceremony at 2 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. That evening, a Gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans.             

A cocktail hour starts the gala evening at 6 p.m. From there, the gala will include a sit-down dinner and entertainment from Paul Varisco and the Milestones, followed by a one-hour performance by singer Irma Thomas, known internationally as “The Soul Queen of New Orleans.”             

At the gala, the UNO International Alumni Association will recognize Alumnus of the Year, U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey, who has excelled throughout his career since graduating from the University of New Orleans.             

Gala tickets are $250 each. Faculty and staff pay a price of $125. The net revenue from the gala will be used for scholarships for current and future UNO students.             

For more information, visit the Investiture website.