Xavier University of Louisiana: Wikis


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Xavier University of Louisiana

Seal of Xavier University of Louisiana
Motto Deo Adjuvenate Non Timendum
Motto in English "If God is with us, Nothing is to be feared"
Established 1915
Type Private HBCU
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Endowment $90,000,000[1]
President Norman Francis
Faculty 241
Students 4,121
Location New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Campus Urban
Sports Basketball, Cross-country, Tennis
Colors Gold and White          
Nickname Gold Rush (men) and Gold Nuggets (women)
Athletics National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
Affiliations Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
Website www.xula.edu

Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), located in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States, is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college with the distinction of being the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education. Although founded to develop African-American Christian leadership, today more than half of its population is non-Catholic and 10 percent is non-black.

A premier university for educating African-American students in the sciences, Xavier regularly ranks first in the nation in placing African American students into medical school as well as first in awarding African Americans baccalaureate degrees in the physical sciences, the biological/life sciences, and physics.[2] The College of Pharmacy is one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana. It ranks among the top three colleges in the nation in graduating African Americans with Pharm. D. degrees.[3]



Located in New Orleans, the small liberal arts college dates back to 1925, when St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament founded the coeducational secondary school from which it evolved. St. Katharine, supported by the interest of a substantial inheritance from her father, banker-financier Francis Drexel, founded and staffed many institution throughout the U.S. in an effort to help educate Native Americans and Blacks.

In 1987, Pope John Paul II addressed the presidents of all U.S. Catholic colleges at Xavier.

Aware of the serious lack of Catholic-oriented education available to young Blacks in the South, St. Katharine came to New Orleans and established a high school on the site previously occupied by Southern University. The High School continues on today as Xavier University Preparatory School, known as Xavier Prep. A Normal School, offering one of the few career fields (teaching) open to Blacks at the time, was added two years later. In 1925 Xavier University became a reality when the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was established. The first degrees were awarded three years later. In 1927, a College of Pharmacy was opened.

Recognizing the university's need for a separate identity and room to expand, St. Katharine bought a tract of undeveloped land for a campus on the corner of Palmetto and Pine Streets in 1929. Construction of the U-shaped, gothic administration building (now a city landmark) was completed in 1933.

In January 2006, former U.S. president Bill Clinton visited the post-Katrina campus.

Through the years, as needs dictated, the campus gradually filled out, with the addition of a library—which now houses music—in 1937, the gymnasium (1937), St. Michael's men's dormitory (1955), the Student Center (1962), St. Joseph's (1965) and Katharine Drexel (1969) women's dormitories, the House of Studies (1967), the College of Pharmacy (1970), the Norman C. Francis Academic/Science Complex (1988), the new Library/Resource Center and College of Pharmacy addition (1993), and Peter Claver women's dormitory (1994). Xavier South, a multi-story office building, was purchased in 1990. The Living Learning Center, a co-ed residence hall for upperclassmen and the Norman C. Francis science complex addition were completed in 1998. Most recently a new student center called the University Center was opened in 2003. It replaces the previous Student Center built in 1962, and now houses the bookstore (previously housed at Xavier South) & the post office (previously housed in the Administration building). An additional dormitory for upperclassmen, the Saint Martin Deporres hall was also opened in 2003. The previous Student Center was recently knocked down to make way for the new Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion, which is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2009.

The campus of Xavier University of Louisiana is often referred to as Emerald City, due to the various buildings on campus that have green roofs. These include the Library/Resource center, the Norman C. Francis science addition, the University Center, the Living Learning Center, the Saint Martin Deporres hall and the Katherine Drexel hall.

In April 2006, the Middle Eastern country Qatar donated $17.5 million to assist the university in Hurricane recovery and expanding the school's College of Pharmacy.

The Sisters remain a vital presence on campus today, providing much-needed staffing and some financial assistance, but today Xavier is governed by a multicultural Board of Trustees. Xavier's president, Dr. Norman C. Francis, himself a Xavier graduate, is a nationally-recognized leader in higher education.

Even with its special mission to serve the Black, Catholic community Xavier's doors have always been open to qualified students of any race or creed. In fact today, more than 50 percent of Xavier's students are of other religious affiliations, and close to 10 percent are of other races.

Xavier also has a connection with the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. In 2006, Obama (then a senator) addressed the graduating class at the first Commencement post-Katrina with his keynote speech. He was also granted an honorary degree on behalf of the University.

Student activities



Xavier is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Its men's and women's teams participate in basketball, cross-country and tennis.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Alvin J. Boutte 1951 The founder and CEO of Indecorp, the largest Black-owned financial institution in the U.S. Also serves as chair and CEO of the Independence Bank and the Drexel National Bank in Chicago, Ill.
Bernard P. Randolph 1954 retired, USAF General; Only the third African-American to reach the rank of four-star general in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, serving as head of the USAF Space and Defense Systems Command. Now an executive with the defense contractor TRW Corporation.
Charles Champion 1955 A community pharmacist in Memphis, Tenn., and a specialist in the use of herbal medicines. Named as one of America's 50 most influential pharmacists by American Druggist magazine.
Annabelle Bernard 1956 The first Black to perform as a principle player with the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Germany. Thirty-four years later she is still performing in Europe, and has been awarded the highly coveted title of Kammersaengerin by the German government. A soprano, she has performed on five continents.
George McKenna III 1961 Currently serving as superintendent of the Inglewood Unified School District in Los Angeles, Calif. While serving as principal at Washington High in Los Angeles, he turned a "bad" urban school in an educational model of excellence, the basis for the TV movie "The George McKenna Story," starring Denzel Washington.
Marie McDemmond 1968 First female president at Norfolk State University (enrollment 8,400). A 25-year veteran in higher education, she previously served as vice president for finance and chief operating officer at Florida Atlantic University.
Louis Castenell 1968 Dean of the University of Cincinnati's College of Education. Has been heralded in such national publications as the New York Times and the Washington Post for his innovative teacher education programs.
Alexis Herman 1969 First African American U.S. Secretary of Labor; former director of the White House office of Public Liaison.
Ivan L.R. Lemelle 1971 Judge; Currently serving his second consecutive, eight-year term as U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court in New Orleans.
Regina Benjamin 1979 Current United States Surgeon General; First physician under the age of 40 and First AA woman named to the American Medical Association's Board of Trustees; Former president - Alabama State Medical Association; Recipient of MacArthur Genius Award.
Sherrie Brown Littlejohn 1979 Vice President and chief information officer for SBC Messaging in Ramon, Calif., a telecommunications subsidiary of voice mail service provider SBC Communications.
Rosalind Miller 1988 Director of the J.B. Henderson Family Investment Center in New Iberia, La., which provides services for residents of the area's three low-income housing developments.
Patrice Jean 1993 Graduate student at Princeton University, where she was honored as an "Unsung Heroine" for her demonstrated commitment to social justice and academic excellence. Also presented Graduate Student Teaching Award for effectiveness in teaching molecular biology.
Todd Stroger 1985 Elected Cook County Board President in 2006, succeeding his father.


External links

Coordinates: 29°57′55″N 90°06′25″W / 29.965219°N 90.106994°W / 29.965219; -90.106994


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