Captivated by New Orleans


Prof. Mark Burford talks Mahalia Jackson

Some lucky alumni enjoyed a travel study trip to New Orleans during the French Quarter Music Festival in April. The weekend kicked off with a reception at the historic home of Juliet Laughlin ’88 and her husband Tim, where Davis Rogan ’90 played tunes on a lovely grand piano and gave an overview of the great musicians who were on stage at the festival. The evening ended at a local club where Tim took the stage to play traditional New Orleans jazz.

The next day, we visited with Prof. Mark Burford [music 2007–], who spent his sabbatical researching gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and who treated us to an insightful overview of her life and work.

Through the generosity of the Historic New Orleans Collection, and assistant director Daniel Hammer ’00, we got up close to historic maps, books, and artwork that comprise this fantastic collection. Imagine what it was like to look at a map of the Gulf Coast from the 1500s—a mere decade after Columbus’ voyages!

The trip got rave reviews and we’re planning another soon. Watch for updates at