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Seventh-generation grad represents class as speaker

May 15, 2012 1:30 AM
Carol J. Schlueter cjs@tulane.edu

Laura Meagher grew up in Virginia but there was never a doubt where she would go to college. A seventh-generation Tulanian, with alumni ancestors dating to the university's founding in 1834, she will represent both the class of 2012 and her family history when she gives the student speech at Saturday's (May 19) Unified Commencement Ceremony.


Laura Meagher

Paging through a 1916 Jambalaya yearbook, Laura Meagher learns more about her family history. She will graduate on Saturday (May 19) and give the student speech at the ceremony. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

She won the competition for 2012 student speaker earlier this spring. Her reason for applying?

“I feel like I have a lot to say. I want to be a good representation of how Tulane grads are feeling on this day, and how we're going into the future,” Meagher says. “With the amazing track record we have as current students, plus alumni for centuries, we should never feel there aren't opportunities ahead of us.”

Attending Tulane “was always my first choice,” she says. “I got my acceptance to Tulane on Valentine's Day.”

And that coincidence contains a twist of irony — her parents, Hugh and Bridget Meagher, not only met at Tulane in a History of Jazz class taught by associate professor of music John Joyce, they also married at the Episcopal Chapel of the Holy Spirit on Broadway.

With a line of Tulane attorneys, physicians, an architect and others who came before her, Meagher has made her mark as a Dean's List student with a double major in Latin American studies and Spanish. She is interested in immigration law and thinks law school might be in her future, though first she plans to get involved in nonprofit work in Latin America.

Her campus career has included playing French horn in the Tulane University Marching Band, leading campus tours as a Green Wave ambassador and helping plan the student-run Crawfest event held each spring.

“I've loved Tulane since I was a little kid, but I never expected to have such an incredible undergraduate experience,” she says.