Founding fathers of Ochsner pooled their M.D. talents in 1942 for a multi-specialty group, theretofore unknown in the city (and the butt of controversy and opposition), which, through the years, has become an extensive system. Take a bow, Drs. Alton Ochsner, Edgar Burns, Guy Caldwell, Francis E. “Duke” Lejeune and Curtis Tyrone (all deceased). On a recent Tuesday evening, Ochsner Health System and the Department of Philanthropy requested the pleasure of one’s company at the Benefactor Dinner “celebrating the generous philanthropists of Ochsner.”

Touted as the “Party of the Century,” and inclusive of 650 alumni, faculty and friends, the A.B. Freeman School of Business of Tulane University recalled its 1914-2014 years with revelry. It was billed as an “evening of cocktails, dining and dancing” to hail 100 years of business education at Tulane. Oh, and with a tip of the hat to festivals in the city, the suggested attire was “Anything goes.” The suits were still on, of course, but a number of guests did indeed opt for casual togs.

Yet another anniversary celebration rounded up members of the Women’s Professional Council, which paid tribute to its 30 years. All three founders, Carole Neff, Carol Wise, and Ellen Yellin, were present. Meeting monthly for dinner and a professional program, the council furthers its goal of providing professional women with an “organized means of networking and furthering their careers.”

All the events occurred on park-related (or very nearby) properties.

Philanthropic Pals

The Audubon Tea Room was the location for Ochsner’s 2014 Benefactor Dinner, which commenced with a cocktail reception followed, an hour later, by prandial pleasures and special recognition. President and CEO of Ochsner Health System Warner Thomas and Michelle Dodenhoff, senior vice president and chief development officer, presented the honorees — the new members of the Benefactor and Heritage societies — with crystal gifts recognizing their generosity to Ochsner.

Meanwhile, everyone enjoyed a dinner that started with a Caprese salad, continued with filet of beef tenderloin, and closed with strawberry angel food cake. The Rev. Anthony DeConciliis, C.S.C., gave the opening prayer.

Noted among the donors were Mary Lou (Mrs. John) Ochsner with relative Dr. Rise Ochsner, Catherine Burns Tremaine (daughter of founder Edgar Burns), Dr. George Porter, Frank and Paulette Stewart, Robert and Ann Boh, Calvin and Frances Fayard, Paul and Donna Flower, Bill and Lulu Freiberg, Marcel Garsaud, Cliffe Laborde, John and Sylvia Laborde, Jules and Roxanne Lagarde, Dr. David and Judith Taylor, Sandy and Margie Villere, and scores more.

On a happy natal note, Ochsner’s Marjory Harper received congratulations at the event on becoming a grandmother to a little boy, Everett Bradford Harper, whose parents are Marjory’s son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Becky Harper of Salt Lake City, Utah. Today, Peter is celebrating his first Father’s Day as a dad.

Centennial Salute

It was in another park, City Park, that “Centennial Celebration” held forth. En masse, guests headed to the Pavilion of the Two Sisters at the invitation of the A.B. Freeman School of Business Dean Ira Solomon and “many of your favorite Freeman professors.” The Centennial co-chairmen were Jay Lapeyre and Frank Stewart.

A diverse menu of classic New Orleans cuisine fed the flock, who savored oysters en brochette, crab cakes, turtle soup, crawfish pasta, mini roast beef “debris” po-boys, and for dessert, Plum Street sno-balls.

Further features included a giant outdoor screen with vintage Freeman School photographs, a photo booth for centennial souvenirs, faculty cut-outs for posing (and more photos), the opening of the program by Dean Solomon, and Jay Lapeyre’s announcement that $520,000 had been raised for the Freeman Centennial Scholarship Initiative. Alumna Jenny Kottler, chairwoman of the 1984 class reunion, presented a check for $112,000, which represented the collective giving of the 11 alumni reunion classes.

A joyful moment transpired when Dean Solomon and Jay Lapeyre (Frank Stewart was not present) led the jubilant audience in singing “Happy Birthday.”

All the while, the Boogiemen band beckoned the throng to the floor, where the business of dancing became serious stuff. Night moves were readily tallied. After all, said a few of the Freeman flock, this party won’t happen for another 100 years.

A Three-Decade Tribute

Ralph’s on the Park was the site for the Women’s Professional Council Dinner that now claims 80 members. The professsionals, who come from a gamut of fields and endeavors, are headed up by Beth Terry. During the program, she gave an eloquent speech about the history and achievements of the organization over the last 30 years and how business opportunities for women have been advanced. WPC President Terry then presented the three founders, Carole Neff, Carol Wise and Ellen Yellin, with a custom-made history book written by Mary Judice, the council’s historian.

Easily recognized, the founders each wore a corsage designed by Joan Tupper of roses in jewel-tone colors of red, gold and magenta. Said one appreciative onlooker, “They were gorgeous.”

For dinner, the menu featured City Park Salad, pan roasted chicken with Gulf shrimp, and crème brûlée.

Among the many relishing the outing and the general camaraderie were Ann Ogden, Janet Fabre Smith, Diane Lyons, Priscilla Lawrence, Crystal McDonald, Bev Nichols, Kim Boyle, Danica Ansardi, Kim Austin, Jaye Calhoun, Maria Calzada, Amina Dearmon, Gayle Dellinger, Denise Estopinal, Josephine Everly, and Cynthia Fromherz.