The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to events and large gatherings in March 2020, just about a month before one of the university’s most anticipated celebrations: Crawfest. As so many other events have been coming back, slowly but surely, since the beginning of the pandemic, Crawfest did so bigger and better than ever under the leadership of executive director and 2022 graduate Brett Franklin.
Having been first introduced to Crawfest during a campus tour, Franklin knew that he wanted to get involved. He applied to the board and joined as the sponsorship manager and was then invited to join the leadership team to oversee the festival’s entire financial operations his sophomore year. About a year ago, he became the festival’s executive director, an amazing opportunity.
“I’m not aware of many other opportunities to lead a festival the size of Crawfest in the world’s capital of festivals as a 22-year-old college student,” he said.
This year was the first time Crawfest returned to its full form since 2019. It certainly faced many obstacles, including capacity constraints due to heightened demand (welcoming back the class of 2020 as well as nearly three classes that had never experienced a true Crawfest before), as well as increased funding needs and the pandemic itself. However, Franklin and his team pulled it off perfectly with rave reviews. Nearly 84% of registered guests attended, and the team raised the largest amount of funds in the organization’s history.
Franklin will graduate from the School of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Following Commencement, Franklin intends to use his knack for business and problem-solving as a consultant for Ernst & Young in New York. He feels that the outstanding opportunities he has been offered here at Tulane have established for him a very sturdy foundation for his career path goals.
“I have always been attracted to leading groups of people to a common goal, but I truly enjoy the process of identifying a problem or challenge, brainstorming for potential solutions, and finally implementing a solution,” he said.
Needless to say, Crawfest will continue to be back better than ever thanks to Franklin’s leadership.