Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

UNO Alumni Help Lead Mayor's Plans to Celebrate City's 300th Anniversary

Mark Romig Mark Romig, a 1978 alumnus of UNO, heads up the 2018 Commission, appointed this month by the mayor to steer the city's 300th anniversary celebration.

Three University of New Orleans alumni will help to lead the city's 300th Anniversary Celebration, according to a statement issued by the mayor. Heading up the effort is Mark Romig, a 1978 alumnus who now heads the city's tourism and marketing corporation.

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Earlier this month, Mayor Mitch Landrieu introduced the leadership charged with developing New Orleans' 300th anniversary celebration activities in 2018. The 2018 Commission will organize international, national and local partners for the planning of celebrations in honor of the city's history and future, he said.

Romig will serve as the commission's director, while UNO alumni Flozell Daniels and Norma Jane Sabiston will help to lead racial reconciliation and fundraising efforts.

"As we approach 2018, we have the unique opportunity to thoughtfully set a course to a better city," Mayor Landrieu said in statement. "New Orleans is already on a roll — schools are improving, our economy is getting stronger, and murder is at a historic 30-year low. However, we still have work to do. I have enlisted the help of key leaders in our community to ensure that when we reach this 300-year milestone, New Orleans is the city we always wanted her to be."

The privately-funded 2018 Commission aims "to implement programs and projects throughout the community that appropriately celebrate the 300th anniversary," said the mayor, who together with the city's First Lady Cheryl Landrieu, will serve as honorary co-chair.

"...The commission will work to lead a fully recovered New Orleans into the next 300 years," Landrieu's statement said. "The Mayor and First Lady identified a group of individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their chosen fields to serve on the 2018 Commission."

Over the next three years, the Executive Committee will advise the commission on the best way to celebrate the city's journey as a people since its founding in 1718. Rounding out the commission's leadership are city stars including: Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews; Tom and Gayle Benson; Donna Brazile; Drew Brees; Leah Chase; James Carville; Patricia Clarkson; Harry Connick, Jr.; Dr. Norman Francis; Steve Gleason; Russel Honore; Walter Isaacson; Rita Benson LeBlanc; Wynton Marsalis; Mary Matalin and Sybil Morial.

The Racial Reconciliation Committee, which Daniels will co-chair with three others, was formed "to create opportunities for citizens to come together to have open dialogues about race relations in the city of New Orleans and to build relationships that will lead to a more inclusive city in 2018 where everyone can prosper," the mayor said.

Sabiston, a leading political consultant and past president of the UNO International Alumni Association, will spearhead the commission's Finance Committee together with Warner Williams

In the coming months, the 2018 Commission will continue to engage the community to serve in various capacities. The commission also seeks to collaborate with organizations across the city to create a comprehensive calendar of all events, conventions or programs related to the 300th anniversary.