TULANE BUSINESS: Tulane University broke ground Sept. 9 for an expansion of the A.B. Freeman School of Business that will unite the school's two buildings into the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex. Crews are renovating about 40,000 square feet of existing space and building a four-story addition of approximately 45,000 square feet. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2018.

UNO RANKINGS:For the sixth straight year, the University of New Orleans ranks among the universities whose students graduate with the lightest debt loads, according to U.S. News & World Report. UNO is the only Louisiana institution to make the list in the category of national universities. The list examines the debt load of the class of 2015 and includes loans taken out by students from their colleges, from private financial institutions, and federal, state and local governments. For UNO's class of 2015, that amount was $19,861, putting it among the top 25 national universities with the lowest average debt load. Fifty-five percent of UNO's class of 2015 graduated with debt. Princeton University topped the list with the smallest percentage of graduates with debt (16 percent) and the lowest average amount of debt ($8,577).

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS RANKINGS: Loyola University New Orleans provides one of the region's "best values" in higher education, is considered one of the nation's top colleges, and ranks among the top 10 universities in the South, according to U.S. News and World Report "Best Colleges" 2016 edition. Loyola also ranked fourth in the region for diversity. The "best value" ranking was calculated based on Loyola's academic quality, as reflected by its U.S. News and World Report "Best Colleges" ranking, and the 2015-2016 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. Sixty-eight percent of Loyola students receive grants based on needs, according to U.S. News. The average cost to students of a Loyola education after receiving need-based grants is $26,814.

FROM NOCCA TO STANFORD: Musical theater alum and NOCCA Academic Studio graduate Morgan-Me'Lyn Grant, '16, has been selected to participate in Stanford University's Ernest Houston Johnson Scholars Program. The two-quarter program for freshmen builds a community of scholars through intimate interaction with world-class faculty; exposure to fellowships, internships and scholarships; and opportunities to network with prominent alumni. Grant was featured in NOCCA's 2015-16 season productions of "Flora The Red Menace" and "Crazy For You." One of only three students from the Gulf South admitted to Stanford's Class of 2020, Grant will be double majoring in international relations and theater and performance, with a concentration in theater making.

DELGADO THEATER: The theater program at Delgado Community College will present a recontextualized production of Sophocles' tragedy "Oedipus Rex" Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in the Timothy K. Baker Theatre on the first floor of Building 1 at Delgado Community College, 615 City Park Ave., New Orleans. “Oedipus Rex” is directed by Kristopher LaMorte, with scene design by James Means, lighting and sound design by Tom Dawson and costume design by Jerry L. Johnson. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Tickets are $12. Call (504) 671-6360.

XAVIER JAZZ ENSEMBLE: The Xavier University of Louisiana Jazz Ensemble performed in China Sept. 10-18 at the inaugural Dajidian International Music Festival, Baoding, Hebei Province. Tim Turner, music department chair, directed the ensemble, and the trip leader was Shu Peng, assistant director of the Confucius Institute. The Jazz Ensemble includes James Charles, piano teacher; Alijah Jett, trumpet; Ajene Johnson, guitar; Ronald Davis, electric bass; and Wayne Matthews, drums. The Xavier Ensemble also performed at Hebei University, where Turner discussed possible teaching and research exchanges, including the possibility of distance co-teaching of Chinese and jazz music.

UNO AND DELGADO: The University of New Orleans and Delgado Community College have signed two agreements designed to boost educational attainment and transfer rates between the two institutions. A new partnership bridge program will encourage participants to begin pursuing their educational goals at Delgado and then transfer to UNO when they are eligible. The two institutions also renewed a long-standing cross-enrollment agreement under which full-time students can take one course at the host institution for each course taken at the home institution, with a maximum of two courses taken at the host institution. Students are allowed to enroll in courses not offered at the home institution.

LSU DENTISTRY: Kitrina Cordell, associate professor and head of the department of diagnostic sciences at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry, has been awarded a $5,000 grant by the Academy of General Dentistry to develop a program to teach patients how to screen themselves for oral cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma represents 3 percent of all cancers in men and 2 percent of all cancers in women in the United States. African-American men and women have significantly lower oral cancer survival rates.

TECHNICAL SKILLS EXPO: Delgado Community college will hold a technical skills expo for high school students Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 10 and 11, at Delgado's Jefferson Campus, 5200 Blair Drive, Metairie. Participants will learn about high-wage, high-demand occupations that they can train for through a dual-enrollment program with Delgado. For information on the expo or the dual-enrollment program, contact Arnel W. Cosey at (504) 671-5055 or Larissa Littleton-Steib at (504) 671-6488.