The main student dining facility at Tulane University is now known as The Malkin Sacks Commons, thanks to the forward-thinking leadership, commitment and generous gifts from Tulane alumni and former Tulane parents Barry Malkin (A&S ’84) and his wife, Jodi Block, and Michael (A&S ’84) and Cari Sacks.
“When The Commons opened in 2019, the Tulane community immediately knew it was anything but ‘common.’ Now, this extraordinary building bears the names of some extraordinary Tulanians whose support will help ensure that the transformative Tulane student experience continues for generations to come,” President Michael Fitts said.
Michael Sacks, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based GCM Grosvenor, and Barry Malkin, founder and senior managing partner of GEM Realty Capital, also in Chicago, are childhood friends who attended Tulane together, rooming in Phelps residence hall as first-year students. Malkin is a member of the Board of Tulane.
“Tulane has meant so much to me and Michael and to our families,” said Malkin. “When President Fitts brought us the opportunity to be part of this important investment for the Tulane community, we were a quick ‘yes.’”
Located in the heart of Tulane’s uptown campus, The Commons is a 77,000 square-foot marvel that combines student life, academics, research, inquiry and, in true New Orleans style, great food. The Commons houses Tulane’s new state-of-the-art dining room, which occupies two floors and offers multiple dining platforms, a rotating menu of local and international cuisine, and a Chef’s Table demonstration kitchen. With more than 1,000 seats for eating, studying and conversation, the Dining Room at The Commons fosters community and builds relationships.
Since its opening in 2019, The Malkin Sacks Commons has transformed campus culture, providing a bustling hub for academic and social life on the uptown campus. The Commons, which is also home to the Newcomb Institute, offers students an engaging environment where community and connections thrive.
Nestled among centuries-old oak trees and offering commanding views of the Berger Family Lawn and Newcomb Quad, The Malkin Sacks Commons is steps away from student residences, the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and other essential spaces at Tulane. It is connected by a walkway to the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life and in spirit to the heart and soul of the Tulane experience.