Volume 39 No. 12
December 08


XU President Feted at
40th Anniversary Gala

Joseph Named 2008
Alumnus of the Year

Program Prepares Bilingual
Speech Pathologists

Runners Score 3rd Straight GCAC Championships

XU Review Press to Publish Groundbreaking Book



Basketball Update

Gold Rush: Despite an 0-2 road trip to California this past weekend, the XU men enter the month of December with a good 6-2 record. Coach Dannton Jackson’s charges are currently ranked 14th in the Victory Sports Network’s NAIA Division I rankings.

Leaders to date for the men’s team include 6-4 sophomore guard Devin Andrew of Harvey LA (Vandebilt Catholic High), who is averaging 10.1 points a game, and 6-4 senior forward Kelechi Okoroha of Missouri City TX (Dulles), who is averaging 9.1 points and a team-leading 5.9 rebounds per game.

The Rush have one home game left in 2008 – this Saturday (Dec. 6) vs. Paul Quinn at noon in the Barn – before heading back on the road for four straight games. They open GCAC league play Jan. 8 at defending GCAC champ LSU-Shreveport.

Nuggets: Coming off a sweep of their own annual Thanksgiving tournament, the Nuggets enter the month of December with a solid 5-1 record. Coach Bo Browder’s team was ranked 19th in the NAIA Division I preseason rankings.

Leaders to date for the women’s team include two freshman guards: 5-8 Jasmine Grant of Shreveport LA (Southwood High) and 5-7 SiMon Franklin of Baton Rouge LA (St. Joseph’s), who are averaging 12.3 points and 11.0 points per game, respectively. 6-0 junior forward Brittany Powell of Milwaukee WI (Divine Savoir) is averaging 10.8 points and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds.

The Nuggets also have one home game left in 2008 – this Saturday (Dec. 6) vs. Paul Quinn at 2:00 p.m. in the Barn – before hitting the road for tournaments in Texas and Puerto Rico. The XU women also open Gulf Coast Conference play Jan. 8 at LSU-Shreveport.

1834 XU Faculty Selected for NYU Colloquium

Two faculty members – Dr. Wendy Gaudin and Fr. Phillip Linden – have been invited to attend the prestigious NYU Faculty Resource Network’s Winter Colloquium in San Juan, Puerto Rico in January 2008.

The annual winter gathering, sponsored by New York University and hosted by the University of the Sacred Heart, is an interdisciplinary colloquium which offers NYU and Network faculty an opportunity to engage in informal discussions and scholarly exchange. This year’s event centers on three topics.

Gaudin, an assistant professor of history who utilizes the methodology of recording oral histories in her specialty (race and racial ideology in the Americas), will participate in the seminar, “Writing from Experience: The Theory and Practice of Narrative.”

Linden, an associate professor of theology whose intellectual and academic interests include politics and religion, will participate in a program, “Political Cultures of the Middle East.”


XU Places Second in
Bayou Sales Challenge

XU business students took second place in the team competition at the 2008 Bayou Sales Challenge, a sales role-play competition held at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA. 

Top individual performers at the event were senior Shaughn Thomas of Chino CA (Chino High) and junior Amanda Garrison of Chamblee GA (Chamblee), who made it to the semifinal round of the overall competition. Senior Jessica Taylor of Oxnard CA (Oxnard) was runner-up in the Pressure Round of the competition, while Thomas was also singled out as best dressed. 

Also competing were senior Kandice Keelen of New Orleans (McDonogh 35) and junior Mario Myles of Stone Mountain GA (Redan). All five students are sales and marketing majors.   


XU Presence Felt at Women's Conference

Two faculty/staff members – Dr. Pamela Waldron-Moore (chair, Political Science) and Ronicka Harrison (A&S special projects coordinator) – and four students – Jasmine Daniel, a senior psychology major from Detroit MI (Mercy High); Brittani Melvin, a senior political science major from South Holland IL (Thornwood); Rainah Richard, a junior Psychology major from St. Louis MO (Beaumont); and Nzingha Tyehemba, a visiting Amherst College student – all with a special interest in XU’s new women’s studies program, participated in the Second Women of Color Conference, held at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC.

Waldron-Moore presented a paper focusing on women in the Greater New Orleans area, “Where are we now?”

The students led panel break-out sessions on community organization, Education, Housing, and Policymaking in New Orleans in the post-Katrina period.

1834 Xavier in the News

Few in La. Have Ties to Obama1Times-Picayune [editorial]
Celebrating a Leader
XU President Marks 4 Decades1ESPN.com
The Barn has Impacted Many
2Clarion Herald [ jump ]
Xavier Success Fuels Francis
Jazz's Roots Explored
- Dr. Michael White '76
2PBS (Tavis Smiley)
Reflection on the Election
- Dr. Norman Francis
1Associated Press
University President Looks Back


Dr. Norman C. Francis and wife Blanche Francis react to comedian Bill Cosby, who as master of ceremonies for the 40th Anniversary Gala honoring the long-time president, presents Xavier’s First Lady with a bunch of roses and a bouquet of friendly barbs. Visit HERE for more Gala photos.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


On a night sure to be remembered, long-time Xavier University of Louisiana President Norman Francis and First Lady Blanche Francis were honored in an Anniversary Gala worthy of the name.

At a star-studded event, thousands of well-wishers gathered at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to honor Francis for his 40 years of service as president of the university at the “Legacy for a Legend” presented by Liberty Bank.

At the pre-Gala patron party and the tribute concert that followed, Francis was feted by the XU Board of Trustees, the National Alumni Association, the United States Post Office and the Vatican, among others. Visit HERE for more Gala photos.

More so, it was a night of pure entertainment – starting with comedian Bill Cosby, Jr. providing a monologue and acting as master of ceremonies for the event, and ending with a spectacular musical performance by diva Gladys Knight.

Cosby stole the early part of the show, interlacing his customary humor and poignant remarks into his monologue as he stressed the importance of instilling Black cultural traditions into the younger generation and lauded both Francis and Xavier as symbols of academic excellence.

One of the highlights of the evening came when Cosby invited the Francis and wife Blanche onstage and presented the First Couple with special XU sweatshirts of his own design, signed by himself and Knight.

During the Tribute portion of the program, Francis was bestowed with a variety of artifacts by university and community leaders, among them: an original art piece commemorating his life created by Steve Prince ’91 and donated by the National Alumni Association; a bronze bust unveiled by XU Board of Trustees chairman Dr. Myron Moorehead and artist Thomas Bruno; an honorary commemorative envelope presented by Hedy Duplessis of the U.S. Post Office; and a special Vatican Medallion presented by Bishop Roger Morin of the Archdiocese of New Orleans on behalf of Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI and N.O. Archbishop Alfred Hughes.

After a video tribute and few words from members of the Francis family, Dr. Francis himself made some closing remarks, including thanking St. Katharine Drexel, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and all the XU faculty, staff and students who helped him make Xavier the success it is today.

The night then moved into the concert stage, where Knight delighted the audience with such beloved classics as “Midnight Train to Georgia”, “Neither One of Us” and as a personal tribute to Francis, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”


XU Alum Among “Best Leaders”
in U.S. News and World Report

Dr. Regina Benjamin '79 has been named one of "America's Best Leaders 2008" in a U.S. News & World Report special report.

Benjamin, who operates the La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre AL, was one of 21 individuals recognized as "the kind of people who can help him (President-elect Barack Obama) lead us out of our doldrums."

The complete story can be found HERE.



James Freeman, a senior biology/pre-med major from Hammond High, Hammond, LA (Hammond High), has been accepted into the University of Rochester Medical School via the Early Assurance Program.  

Conisha Holloman, a senior biology/pre-med major from Baton Rouge, LA (Baton Rouge High), has been accepted into the University of Rochester Medical School via the Early Assurance Program.  

Leslee McElrath, a senior chemistry/pre-med major from Cincinnati, OH (Hughes Center), has been accepted into Wright State Medical School via the early decision program.  

Joyce Muruthi, a senior biology/pre-med major from Gretna, LA (LA Math/Science High), has been accepted into LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans.

Leslie Pham, a senior biology/pre-med major from Harvey, LA (St. Mary's Dominican), has been accepted into the University of Houston College of Optometry.

Paisley Robertson, a senior psychology/pre-med major from Westwego, LA (Karr High), has been accepted into the Life College of Chiropractic Medicine.


Joy Bachemin Joseph '60 accepts the 2008 Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year Award from (L-R) National Alumni President Frederick Carter '69, the late Victor Labat's grandson Michael Labat, Jr. '90 and XU President Norman Francis '52 at the annual Homecoming Gala. The annual celebration drew a sell out crowd of more than 600 attendees to the University Center Ballroom. Visit HERE for more HC photos.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


Joy Bachemin Joseph, a 1960 graduate from Los Angeles CA, was honored as the University’s top alumni at the annual Alumni Homecoming Gala.

National Alumni president Frederick Carter '69, the late Victor Labat's grandson Michael Labat Jr. '90 and XU President Norman Francis '52 made the presentation of the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the year award to Joseph during the annual Gala, the traditional highlight of alumni homecoming week.

“Whenever her alma mater called she was there to answer – and sometimes she didn’t wait for us to call, she called us,” said Carter in his introduction of this year’s winner. “Her response has always been, ‘What do you need me to do?’” 

The annual Homecoming Gala drew a sell out crowd of more than 600 attendees to the University Center Ballroom. Class agents for the 14 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $266,350. The Class of '58 led the way
with 61 individual donors contributing $60,000, which will be used to establish the Class of 1958's second Endowed Professorship.

Check HERE to see a photobank of Homecoming 2008 activities.

Joseph, who now serves as president of her own company (J-O-Y-S Quality Management Systems), has excelled during a lengthy career in the pharmaceutical industry. She has held numerous positions including vice president of science and technology for the Japanese-owned pharmaceutical company Pharmavite. She has served on scientific advisory boards for several universities including the University of Illinois-Chicago.  She is the only African American member of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) that sets the standards for pharmaceutical products all over the world.

Despite her career responsibilities, Joseph, who hails from a family of Xavierites – including two children and one grandson who attended the university – she has always included Xavier among her top priorities. A long-time volunteer, she has participated in the annual phonathon drives and represented the university at recruitment fairs, inaugurations and receptions – some financed out of her personal account.

Her tenure as president of the National Alumni Association was unexpectedly extended when the university was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She was instrumental in helping Xavier reach out to its alumni and students during the recovery efforts.

Joseph was a leading advocate of the university’s Xavier 500 campaign, a fundraising initiative which encourages alumni to give at or beyond the $10,000 major gift level. She was, in fact, the first alumni to sign up for membership in that exclusive group and has solicited other graduates to increase their giving levels to the university as well.

She is currently serving her second term as president of the Los Angeles Alumni Chapter.


It’s hard enough living in an English speaking world when English is not your first language. It’s even harder when you have a speech or language problem and the speech pathologist doesn’t speak your native language.

Project Buena Lingua at Xavier University is working to increase the number of speech pathologists qualified to provide services to native Spanish speakers who are learning English.

Students in the program agree to provide two years of service in public schools with bilingual populations for every year of funding received. The program, currently open to juniors and senior Xavier students, is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Participants receive both a scholarship and stipend for their last two years of study. They will be immersed in specialized coursework in Latino language and culture, participate in a study abroad program to a Spanish speaking country, as well as participate in multicultural activities, cultural diversity workshops and receive coursework and practical experience in bilingual speech and language development. In addition, students will be involved in activities in the New Orleans Latino community.

“New Orleans has always had a strong Hispanic community,” said Dr. Nancy Martino, Project Buena Lingua director. “After Hurricane Katrina, the community has grown, and includes native Spanish speakers from numerous countries. It’s important to have speech pathologists who understand the difference between speech and language proficiency and speech and language problems. We cannot say that an individual has a speech and language problem if he is proficient in his native language.”


New Alumni Directory
Set for Publication

Xavier has contracted with the Harris Publishing Company to produce a new alumni directory.

Scheduled for release in August 2009, the directory will be the most up-to-date and complete reference on more than 20,000 XU alumni ever compiled. This comprehensive volume will include current names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail and business/career information bound into a classic library-quality edition.

Harris will soon begin compiling the information for the directory by e-mailing or mailing a questionnaire to all alumni with known addresses in January 2009. Please be on the lookout for yours.

The last alumni directory was printed in 2004, also by Harris.

Every other summer a specialist in the field of bilingual language disorders will come to New Orleans to teach a course for the project participants. Dr. Kathryn Kohnert from the University of Minnesota, who specializes in language acquisition in diverse populations, is one of the presenters. Students who complete the program at Xavier will have met state regulations for licensure as a speech language pathology assistant. 

“The focus of the program is on community involvement,” said program coordinator Anna Frachou. “This program offers bilingual education and community engagement. It will increase the number of highly trained, degreed and state licensed speech-language pathology assistants."

 For more information on Project Buena Lingua contact Dr. Martino at 504-520-5087.


Paced by individual second-place finishes from Ebony Harding and Ray Walston, both the Xavier men and women rolled to their third consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) team cross country championships.

The team titles earned the Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets automatic bids to the NAIA National Championships at Kenosha WI. There, in the harsh 20 degree weather, they finished far off the pace set by the more traditional national leaders such as Malone College (men) and Azusa Pacific (women).

The disappointing showing n the nationals, however, did little to dampen the spirits of the two squads, which each accomplished their ultimate preseason goal of being three-peat GCAC champions.
XU scored 34 points in the women's standings, 20 fewer than runner-up Belhaven, while the Gold Rush outscored Spring Hill 33-42 to win the men's division. Xavier is the second GCAC member to sweep the men's and women's team titles three consecutive years and the first since Mobile did it six straight seasons (1994-99).

"I'm very excited for our teams," said fourth-year head coach Joseph Moses. "I'm blessed to have a great group of men and women who can compete at this level and get Xavier into the national meet."Harding, a junior from Baton Rouge LA (Baton Rouge High), was the GCAC women's runner-up for the third consecutive year, completing the 5,000 meter race in 19 minutes, 48.84 seconds to break her school record for the third time this season.

"I finally broke 20 minutes," Harding said. "I really wanted to win the race, but I can't be disappointed because we qualified for nationals and I ran a personal best."

Walston, a freshman from Atlanta GA (Mays) covered the 8,000-meter men's course in 27:16.90 to earn his third top-five finish of the season and record the Gold Rush's fastest time at a GCAC meet since 1998.

In addition to Harding and Walston, XU produced three other male and female All-GCAC runners by virtue of top-10 finishes, including junior Darren Wallace of Baton Rouge LA (Baton Rouge), senior Bryan Khan of Baton Rouge LA (Baton Rouge) and senior Joe Drexler-Dreis of Shorewood WI (Miami) among the men; and freshman Anna D'Souza of Baton Rouge (St. Michael’s), sophomore Stacey Windon of Baton Rouge LA (Redemptorist) and freshman Ashley Taylor of LaPlace LA (Cabrini).


The Xavier Review Press is scheduled to publish a ground-breaking book, Free-Men-of-Color Cabinetmakers in the New Orleans Furniture Trade 1800-1850, later this month.

Authored by Margo Moscou, a graduate of Sotheby’s Institute in London, the book is the first such publication devoted to African American furniture makers in the United States. The preface is by Wendell Garrett, editor-at-large for The Magazine Antiques, and the foreward is by XU English professor emeritus Thomas Bonner, Jr.

Cabinetmakers is one of three books that have addressed African American artisans locally, the others being Marcus Christian’s The Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana and the catalogue for The New Orleans Museum of Art’s exhibition “Raised in the Trade.”

Cabinetmakers has chapters on the cabinetmakers themselves, the free people of color, the furniture trade in New Orleans, and the art and craft of the furniture. There are 18 pages of illustrations. Aside from furniture in private collections, the book includes considerations of furniture from The Historic New Orleans Collection, the Louisiana State Museum, the Hermann-Grima House, and Ursuline Academy./

The Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis Street, will be host to book-signing by Moscou from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12.

Bob Skinner, director of the XU Library, is managing editor of the Xavier Review Press, which publishes several scholarly and creative works in the arts and humanities each year. It has special interests in the American South, New Orleans, the Gulf and Caribbean sphere, African American culture, ethnography, and religion.

1834 Got News for TMAX?

Recently been accepted into professional or graduate school, earned an advanced degree, received an internship or a scholarship, won an award, secured a grant, had a book or article published, accepted a new job or promotion?

If so, why not share the good news with the XU community? Send an e-mail to the TMAX at rtucker@xula.edu – it’s really that simple.

The non-profit press, active since 1988, is the only press at an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) south of Howard University in Washington, D.C. It is one of only five university-related presses (and the only one at a private university) in the tri-state area encompassing Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.


Dr. Charlette Cain ’98, a clinical veterinarian with the Center for Comparative Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, has become board certified in laboratory animal medicine. She holds a master’s degree in comparative medicine at the University of Missouri and a DVM from Tuskegee University.

Jalene Mack ’90, has garnered a starring role in the upcoming movie, “Hurricane Season,” based on the true story of Coach Al Collins and his John Ehret High School basketball team which won the state championship in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A prominent Houston attorney turned actress, she plays the mother of one of the principal players.

Darlonda Reynaud ’07, has been accepted into the LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans.

Dr. David Travillion ’90, has been promoted to Medical Director of the Polytrauma Network Site at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga., which treats wounded soldiers that have returned from combat.  


Beverly Guillory Andry (business) has been elected to the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., the nonprofit organization that owns Jazz Fest presented by Shell. She will also serve as treasurer.

Dr. Jose Bautista (JP Morgan Chase Endowed Professor of Economics) is the principal investigator for a $30,000 grant to the Division of Business from the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank to conduct an economic analysis of the impact of minority contractors since Hurricane Katrina. 

Dr. Thomas Bonner, Jr. (Professor Emeritus) was presented a Life Time Achievement Award for his service to South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA) and for his work in the Humanities at during the SCMLA conference, held in San Antonio, TX.

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton '85, '98 (pharmacy) received the 2008 Torchbearer's Award in Honor of African American Women in Higher Education from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Greater New Orleans Chapter. 

Gennice King (Associate Library Director) was recently named to Marquis' Who’s Who in America.

Dr. David Lanoue (English) gave the keynote talk, "Something With Wings: Fay Aoyagi's Haiku of Inner Landscape", at the Haiku Society of America's South Region meeting in Hot Springs, AR. He was also recently named an Associate of the Haiku Foundation.

Dr. Silas Lee (sociology) was a presenter at the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute, focusing on the changing demographics in post-Katrina New Orleans and its implications on social policy. He also served as an evaluator for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation on election day and was a panelist at the Post-Election Media Briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He was quoted in a Congressional Quarterly article anayzing the upcoming 2nd Congressional District run-off. In addition, he is in the process of beginning a national survey of minority journalists about race and media coverage in the 2008 presidential election for a web site and media coalition.

Robert Skinner (Library Director) had an article, "Dark Rides in the Country: The Novels of Daniel Woodrell" published in the November issue of FIRSTS.

Six English/African American Studies faculty members read papers at the South Central Modern Language Association conference in San Antonio TX, including: Danielle Bienvenue Bray, “'Farther Up and Farther In’: Crossing Boundaries to Magical worlds in Twentieth-Century Fantasy Literature”; Dr. Violet Harrington Bryan, “Language, Rituals, and Myths of the African Diaspora: Poetry and Fiction of Erna Brodber and Velma Pollard”; Sister Donna M. Gould (with Dr. Ray Lang, Computer Studies), “An Analysis of Transformation Myths”; Dr. Nicole Pepinster Greene, “Irish Junos: Daughters, Fathers, and Non-Marital Pregnancies in Film and Literature”; Dr. Bonnie Noonan, “To Be A Sci-Fi Man”; and Dr. Biljana D. Obradovic (English/AFAM), “Political Borders:  Poetry Translation Difficulties between Serbia and the US.” In addition, James Shade served as secretary for the Interdisciplinary Studies Humanities Panel.

Five English/African American Studies faculty members attended the La. Association for College Composition conference in Alexandria LA. Two read papers: Dr. Jason Todd, “The Center Cannot Hold”, and Jeremy Tuman, “On Zinsser in Composition”; two read from their creative works: Katheryn Laborde, “Breaking the Chain”, and Robbi Pounds, “Rubble Fever: Excerpts from a Hurricane Memoir”; and  Dr. Nicole P. Greene, president of LACC, chaired the executive board.

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