Volume 40 No. 11
November 09
XU President Among
America's Best Leaders
The Xavier community has yet another reason to be proud of its president, Dr. Norman C. Francis, who is being recognized once again for his achievements over a career that has surpassed four decades ... [ more ]
Two Join Xavier
Board of Trustees
The University has added new members and new leadership to its governing Board of Trustees. The two new members joining the Board for their first of two three-year terms are Dr. Regina Benjamin and Carla Harris..... [ more ]
Campus Leaders Make
Annual Who's Who List
One hundred and fifty-one student scholars will appear in the 2010 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, an annual chronicle of the nation’s outstanding campus leaders ... [ more ]
$92,000 Grant to Promote
Social Entrepreneurship
Xavier has received a $92,000 grant from the UNCF to encourage and mentor African-American students to become more involved in social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship refers to the employment of business principles to address ... [ more ]
University Honors 59
Long-Time Faculty/Staff
Fifty-nine long-time faculty and staff members were honored as part of Xavier University of Louisiana's annual Founder’s Day celebration  ... [ more ]

1834 Some Things You
Really Should Know

Early registration for continuing students for the Spring 2010 semester will be held Nov. 2-6). For more details visit HERE.

The XU Concert Choir will perform the Magnificat Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the XU Music Recital Hall. For more info call (504) 520-7597.

The Center for Intercultural and International Programs invites the XU community to participate in International Week at Xavier, a week-long celebration of world culture and cuisine Nov. 2-6. For more info visit HERE.

The Music Department’s Visiting Artist Series continues Nov. 3 with a performance by award- winning American pianist Heidi Williams and violinist Corinne Stillwell at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall. For more info call (504) 520-7597.

The Offices of Career Services and Student Activities will sponsor a workshop on careers in the entertainment industry Nov. 5 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. Several artists will perform. Visit HERE for more info.

The English Department will present a poetry reading by writer/poet/educator Jericho Brown Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center, Rm. 205. For more info call (504) 520-5155.

Everyone knows the story of Frankenstein. Or do they? A traveling exhibition coming to the XU Library Resource Center Nov. 18 offers a fresh look at Mary Shelley's book and its importance in discussion about social responsibility and ethical scientific research. Call (504) 520-7606 or visit  HERE for more info.

1834 Cross Country After GCAC TItle Repeats

Xavier runners will look to win their fourth straight Gulf Coast Athletic Conference titles this Saturday (Nov. 7) when they compete in the conference meet at the Choctaw Trails Cross Country Course in Clinton MS.

The 5,000-meter women's race gets underway at 8:00 a.m., closely followed by the 8,000 meter men's race at 8:30 a.m. Go out and support the teams if you're in the neighborhood.

1834 Alumni Homecoming 2009 Almost Here

Alumni Homecoming 2009 is fast approaching – make sure your travel plans are in order for Nov. 18-22.

A usual this year’s celebration will honor the 16 five-year anniversary Classes of 1929, 1934, 1939, 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999 and 2004, but all alumni are encouraged to participate.

Among this year’s highlights are the annual banquet, mixers and the 2nd annual Dr. Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring Wanda Rouzan ’69 with special performances by Irvin Mayfield and DJ Captain Charles.

All reunion events will be held on campus. For more info visit HERE or call call 504-520-6782 or 1-877 WE LUV XU (1-877-935-8898).

1834 Nominations Sought
for Faculty Awards

Attention Students! Do you have a teacher here at XU who shows a strong commitment to you and your learning? demonstrates excellence in the classroom? is innovative and committed to your academic and/or professional development? has nurtured your intellectual or artistic development?

If the answer is “Yes” you are encouraged to nominate that professor for the Norman C. Francis Excellence in Teaching Awards. The award entails a monetary award and a medallion that will be given at Spring 2010 commencement.

For more details visit HERE.

1834 Join the XU Alumni
Online Community!

Want to make sure you’re on the mail and e-mail lists to get the latest news and info about your alma mater? Want to stay in touch with fellow alums?

Then join the Alumni Online Community, a website open only to registered members. Some features include an alumni directory, online event registration, reunion class notes.

1834 Speech Path Majors Work Health Fairs

The Speech Pathology and Audiology Program was represented at the Vietnamese-American Health Fair held in Marrero LA. 

Communications chair Dr. Joe . Melcher, and seniors Paris Florence of Marrero LA (John Ehret High) and Constance Ejismekwu of Oak Park IL (Oak Park) performed hearing screening tests, while faculty member Patrice Haywood and junior Meghan Triplett of New Orleans (St. Mary's Academy) conducted speech and voice screenings.

"This is the first time we have participated in this health fair," said Melcher. "We were pleased to provide the service and to make the community aware that these services are available."

Students also participated in a health fair sponsored at St. Maria Goretti Church.

1834 Xavier in the News

1ABC26 News
N.O. Lawyer Nominated
for Federal Judge
- Brian Jackson '82
In New Orleans, Uneven Recovery Awaits Obama
Catholic Colleges Work
to Maintain Access
Dillard, Xavier Get Grants
to Fix Historic Buildings



Miss Xavier 2009-2010 Amber Robins (center), a senior biology/pre-med major from Baton Rouge LA, will be officially crowned at the annual University Coronation Ball Nov. 14 along with her class queens (from left) Miss Freshman Robin Reddix of Madison MS, and Miss Sophomore Brianna Bell, Miss Junior Jade Young and Miss Senior Iesha Bethley, all of New Orleans. For the complete schedule of student homecoming activities visit HERE.

photo by Irving Johnson III



The Xavier community has yet another reason to be proud of its president, Dr. Norman C. Francis, who is being recognized once again for his achievements over a career that has surpassed four decades. 

Francis is one of twenty-two men and women selected as the country’s most exemplary individuals by the U.S. News Media Group, in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy's School of Government, for the 2009 edition of “America's Best Leaders”, available ONLINE and in the November issue of U.S. News & World Report magazine.  

The fifth annual “Best Leaders” issue honors a select group of men and women from a variety of fields including business, public service, education, and arts. These inspiring professionals have contributed to industry advancements with their innovation and achievements, and through their advocacy, service, activism, and philanthropy, have dedicated their careers to improving the everyday lives of people across the globe.

According the U.S. News selection criteria, the selection committee utilized a three-pronged approach to identifying the outstanding leaders, including a leader who sets direction, achieves results, and cultivates a culture of growth.

Francis is recognized as an education professional who has led the New Orleans campus for more than four decades. During his tenure Xavier has grown from a small predominately African American teacher college to a powerhouse in the sciences, sending more African Americans to medical school than any other university in the nation. Xavier's College of Pharmacy has also grown under Francis' leadership and today is one of the nation’s top three producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients.

Now in his 41st year at the helm of the nation's only historically Black & Catholic university, Francis is the longest serving university president. Still a dynamo at age 78, he spends long hours on the job and maintains a travel schedule that might easily debilitate younger men.

Francis earned further national respect when he led the recovery of Xavier's devastated campus in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, making good his pledge to reopen the campus in less than five months. In addition to that challenge, he also accepted the role as chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority immediately following Katrina. Those dual roles, and the decades of national educational leadership Francis already demonstrated, undoubtedly led to President Bush awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 2006.

"It’s a privilege to be on the list,” said Francis. “I take it for New Orleans and Louisiana as a part of the resilience and the hard work that it takes to do what we do in higher education, as well as in the city in general."

"The country is facing exceptional challenges," said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S.News. “We focused on individuals from a range of industries who have demonstrated unwavering leadership and a commitment to finding solutions in this difficult time."


Keishondra Sampson, a sophomore chemistry/pre-med major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (McKinley Senior High), participated in a six-week intensive science and medical summer program at Yale University Medical School.


Brian Jackson ’82, a partner in the law firm of Liskow & Lewis where he specializes in commercial litigation, government investigations and white collar criminal defense, has been nominated to serve on the federal court for Louisiana's Middle District by
President Barack Obama.


Ralph Adamo (English) has edited a book, I Hope It's Not Over, and Goodbye – poems of the late Everette Maddox (a New Orleans resident from 1976-89 and a former visiting writer at XU), published by the UNO Press.

Joseph Byrd (Vice President for Student Services) has received the 2009 Community Service Award from the Just Willing Foundation in recognition of his leadership, service and professionalism.


The University has added new members and new leadership to its governing Board of Trustees.

The two new members joining the Board for their first of two three-year terms are Dr. Regina Benjamin and Carla Harris. Selected to leadership roles were Mary Keller Zervigon (chair), Sister Patricia Suchalski S.B.S. (vice chair), Sister Eileen Sullivan S.B.S. (secretary) and Mark Romig (assistant secretary).

Benjamin, a family physician and ‘79 Xavier graduate, is founder and CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic which serves the poor, uninsured and other underserved patients in Bayou La Batre AL. She holds a MD degree (University of Alabama-Birmingham) and an MBA (Tulane University). This past week the U.S. Senate CONFIRMED President Barack Obama's nomination of Benjamin as U.S. Surgeon General; to avoid any conflict of interest she will officially resign from the board having attended only last month's fall meeting.

Harris is the managing director of Global Capital Markets at Morgan Stanley, an investment banking firm in New York NY. She has been with the company since 1987. She has extensive experience in investment management and serves on various community boards and foundations in the Greater New York region. Harris,  who previously served as a member of XU’s Board of Visitors, holds an MBA and an AB in economics from Harvard University.

Active carryovers on the 21-member board, who are serving either their first or second terms, include Sister Doris Blum S.B.S. ’55, Dr. Dale Mason Cochran, Sister Elizabeth Collins S.B.S., James Garner, Sister Juliana Haynes, the Rev. Monsignor Paul Lenz, Michael Lynton, Sister Amedee Maxwell S.B.S., Sister Rita Radloff S.B.S., Romig, Michael Rue, Paula Saizan '69, Leo Sam Jr. ’52, Suchalski, Sullivan, David Voelker, Janice Frielot Wilkins ’67 and Zervigon. Dr. Norman Francis ‘52 (ex-officio) also serves on the board.

Rotating off of the Board after serving two terms were Oliver Butler ‘62 and Dr. Myron Moorehead.


One hundred and fifty-one student scholars will appear in the 2010 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, an annual chronicle of the nation’s outstanding campus leaders.

The students – chosen by XU department chairs and faculty and approved by the editors of the directory – were selected based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success.

They join an elite group of students from more than 2,000 institutions of higher learning in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several foreign nations. Outstanding students have been honored in the annual directory since it was first published in 1934. The students included in this year's directory are listed below, grouped by their majors:

ART – Andrea Hodge;

BIOLOGY – Kelly Baquet, Chante Calais, DeShawn Coleman, Brenton Combre, Kha Do, Russell Fertitta, Lee Gibbs, Sierra Hall, Kordell Hunter, Jessica Isom, Danielle Jones, Jarnelle Jones, Jaspreet Kaur, Danielle Le, Victoria Lewis, Azsha Matthews, Andrew Minias, Jennifer Msigwa, Alexandria Ross, Hanh-My Tran, Joann Tran, Kristen Walker, Shavonn Whiten and Ashley Williams;

BUSINESS – Jenese Antoine, Bilesha Autry, Robert Garland, Jamie Harmon, Christian Joiner, Bryan Khan, Jessica Martinez, Tyrone Oubre, Harold Reese, Monique Robertson, Jared Romance, Michael Ruffin, LaKeisha Shields, Aminn Thompson, Renate Thompson, Mikhail Vaval-Desse, Cynthia Watson, Kelsey Williams and Sondra Willis;  

CHEMISTRY – Alisha Bailey, LaShathan Banks, Emily Gray, Samantha Hicks, Thy Ho-Pham, Julian McKnight, Angela Nguyen, Vi Nguyen, Jennifer Olofindayo, Robin Philip, Ca’ra Schexnayder, Porscha Showers, Marleesa Thompson, Kia Williams, Carita Winn and Jade Young;   

EDUCATION (GRADUATE) – Darren Lewis and Regina Reeves;

ENGLISH – Troy Baham, David Becnel, Rubianti Brown, Angelina Callis, Jillana Cavalier, Raphaela Romero and Val Williams; 

HISTORY – Cassandra Shepard; 

MASS COMMUNICATION – Kevin Barnes, Kristin Fletcher, Rachel Lockhart, Jalisa Mathis, Hong Nguyen, Danielle Smith, Alexander Stone, Morgan Valerie, Darren Wallace and Stacy Windon; 

PHARMACY – Margaret Alabi, John Andry, Tenecia Auguillard, Genee Bailey, Gevoni Bolden, Jeremy Branch, Anthony Chappell, Tehmi Chassion, Courtney Chavis, Honesty Cockrell, Nicole Comeaux, Ebony Cook, Liliana Cosenza, Victoria Dixon, Sabrina Fenceroy, Shonte’ Foster, Brittany Franklin, Geoffrey Gros, Brandi Hamilton, Hong-Anh Hoang, Michael Lievers, Dominique Mano, Tameka Martin, Charles Mason, Megan McSweeney, Courtney Meggs, Meagan Minor, Lakia Montegut, Ifeanyi Onor, Italia Riley, Christine Shalaby, DeShawn Stevenson, Tammara Taylor, Laquisha Thomas, Arneka Tillman, Dominique Tomlinson, Tuyet Tran, Ellie Usey, Mallory Waguespack, Yolan Walker, Savannah Washington, Alona Williams, Bionca Williams and Erika Wilson. 

PHILOSOPHY – Gaylon Smith;

PSYCHOLOGY – Shontrell Bailey, Brittany Boudoin, Alycia Boutte, Lauren Cooper, Melissa DeLoach, Dianna Dikitanan, Lectoria Epperson, Adrienne Glover, Ninma Idowu-Fearon, Alane Jackson, Nixia Jordan, Victoria Kyerematen, Phillip Luu, Kirsten McGregor, Breanne McLain, Whitney Miller, Jaime Morgan, Christopher Perriatt, Courtney Thomas and Brittanae Veal;

SOCIOLOGY – Brittany Powell;

SPEECH PATHOLOGY – Constance Ejismekwu, Paris Florence, Trenai Lewis and Brittany Warren; 

THEOLOGY – Keri Crump.

Xavier has received a $92,000 grant from the UNCF to encourage and mentor African-American students to become more involved in social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship refers to the employment of business principles to address a social mission or problem.
“So often we think of non-profits as the sole areas of social entrepreneurship,” said grant coordinator Dr. Pamela Franco. “However, corporate or other for-profit businesses can also foster social entrepreneurship. The goal of this program is to encourage African-American students to consider social entrepreneurship as a viable career objective. It also aims to inspire universities to think of establishing Centers for Social Entrepreneurship.”
“This comes at a very good time for Xavier and the City of New Orleans,” said Dr. Gordon Wetzel-Stewart, a faculty member in the Division of Business, whose expertise is social entrepreneurship. “Social Entrepreneurship is a rapidly moving field. With this program we’re providing something practical, that students can get on board and learn from. As with all types of learning, the experience of doing it and actually applying what you’ve learned helps you to better understand.”

The Division of Business is planning to offer a Social Entrepreneurship course in the spring.
“Here at Xavier we’re already doing a lot of the things the UNCF program talks about and we are committed to going further,” said Dr. Franco. “When we read the initial call for proposal, we thought we were an ideal candidate for the program, with our mission of educating students to contribute to a more just and humane society, our strong entrepreneurship program, a number of interdisciplinary projects, and our level of leadership training and community service involvement.
The Social Entrepreneurship program is open only to juniors. The review process will begin with the marketing of the program in November and the selection of three students, which will be announced in Spring 2010. These students will receive assistance and training in leadership and business skills. Plans also call for students to participate in an 8-week summer internship. Upon graduation, students will be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant over a two-year period if they commit to working in some type of social entrepreneurship organization or business.

Drs. Conchetta White Fulton '85, '98 (pharmacy) and Lovie Lewis '07 (pharmacy) participated in the Moving Into the Future: New Dimensions and Strategies for Women's Health Research for the National Institutes of Health workshop, held at the Warren Alpert Medical Center of Brown University in Providence RI.

Dannton Jackson ’92 (athletics) appeared on the nationally syndicated sports talk show “From the Press Box to the Press Row” – a sports talk show which places major emphasis on HBCU Sports. 

Katheryn Krotzer Laborde (English, New Voices advisor) had a flash literary nonfiction piece, "Drive," published in You are Here:the Journal of Creative Geography.
Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English), had an essay, "The Haiku Mind: Issa and Pure Land Buddhism," published in The Eastern Buddhist, a Japanese journal of Buddhist studies.

Michele Woods, J.D.,M.L.I.S. (library) participated in the Southwestern Association of Pre-Law Advisors (SWAPLA) regional conference in San Antonio TX.



Last month TMAX announced plans for the new St. Katharine Drexel Chapel, but at the time no architectual renderings were available. They are now.

You can see what's in store in the artist's rendering above and by visiting HERE.

Last month the long-awaited project officially moved off the university’s “to do” list and onto its “get it done" list when world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli visited the XU campus to unveil his design before senior university staff.

Construction on the 11,000 square foot structure will begin in spring 2010. It will be situated between the College of Pharmacy and St. Michael's Residence Hall.

Like the other buildings on campus, the chapel’s exterior will be made of limestone. Its domed roof will be made of copper with a large cross located strategically at its crest.

"People will see this cross and know it is the chapel at Xavier,” said Pelli.

The project is expected to cost more than $7 million. XU President Norman C. Francis is optimistic about raising the needed funds.

“The new chapel and its centrality on campus will reinforce Xavier’s historic Catholic identity and its continued commitment to the goals and mission established by Saint Katharine," he said. "It will welcome students of all faiths to share in their spiritual development.”

Those wishing to make donations towards construction the new Chapel should call XU Institutional Advancement at 504-520-7575.


Cynthia Cooper (ITC - Information Technology Center) and Karen Watkins (President’s Office), both with 40 years of service, receive the applause of a standing room only crowd during the annual Founder's Day Convocation. A total of 59 long-time faculty and staff members were recognized.

photo by Irving Johnson III



Fifty-nine long-time faculty and staff members were honored as part of Xavier University of Louisiana's annual Founder’s Day celebration. 

Topping the list of honorees celebrating anniversaries of their employment at XU were Cynthia Cooper (ITC - Information Technology Center) and Karen Watkins (President’s Office), both with 40 years of service, and Dr. John Sevenair (Chemistry) and Winston Brown (Admissions), both honored for 35 years.

Other employees honored for long-term service included:

30 years – Barbara Franklin (Student Services), Gladys Hampton (Fiscal Services), Yvonne Parker (Fiscal Services), Sondra Reine (Admissions), Brenda Robinson (Fiscal Services), Viola Spencer (Housing) and Richard Tucker (University and Media Relations).

25 years – Shirley Labbe (Counseling), Randall Schexnayder (Pharmacy) and Silas Steele (Recreational Sports).

20 years – Dr. Augustine Aruna (Pharmacy), Dr. Teresa Birdwhistell (Chemistry), Roy Crowley (Physical Plant), Alma Henderson (Athletics), Gwendolyn Hudson (Pharmacy), Brother Herman Johnson (Languages), Dr. Shashikant Phadtare (Pharmacy), Dr. Janet Privett (Chemistry), Vera Rogers (Housing), Bettye-Jean Skinner (English), Dr. Sindhu Unnithan (Mathematics) and Jacqueline Windham (Switchboard).

15 years – Dr. Robert Blake III (Pharmacy), Dr. Michelle Boissiere (Biology), Dr. Violet Bryan (English), Dr. Carroll Diaz, Jr. (Mathematics), Dianne Encalade (History), Ultra Fredricks (Fiscal Services), Eileen Frick (Campus Ministry), Osannah Harrison (Campus Police), Dr. Shubha Ireland (Biology), Dr. Vlajko Kocic (Mathematics), Dr. R. Raymond Lang (Computer Science), Karen Lee (Center for International Studies) and Paula Singleton (Library).

10 years – LaKeysha Arthur (Institutional Advancement), Ronald Bechet (Art), Kerwin Byrd (Central Plant), Bart Everson (CAT), Dr. Conchetta Fulton (Pharmacy), Dr. Dominique Gendrin (Communications), Dr. Galina Goloverda (Chemistry), Karen Hodge (Fiscal Services), Lionel Jacobs (Central Plant), Darrel Johnson (ITC), Kelsh Kelly, Jr. (Campus Police), Map Kinnord-Payton (Art), Toni LaBranch (Counseling), Dr. Adrianne Mitchell (Pharmacy), Dr. Paul Schafer (Philosophy), Dennis Sigur (ITC), Vincent Simmons (ITC), Reginald Starks (Animal Care Facility), Paul Waddell (ITC) and Robert Williams (Post Office).

1834 Basketball Teams Open New Seasons

It was a good season-opening weekend for both the Gold Rush and Gold Nugget basketball squads

The men opened with 100-58 win at home against Carver Bible College, while the women took a pair of games from Talladega 72-50 and Martin Methodist 69-62 at the Tip-off Classic in Mobile AL.

Visit HERE for a Gold Rush preseason preview and HERE for the Nugget preview. Keep up with all XU athletics HERE.

1834 NAIA Honors XU
for its Character

Xavier is among the 231 institutions designated Champions of Character by the NAIA, which bestows the distinction on member schools which demonstrate integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and leadership and hold student-athletes, coaches, parents and fans to specific standards and expectations.


644 Xavier students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends showed up in force to help raise monies for student scholarships at the 22nd annual UNCF 5K Walk/Run held this past weekend in New Orleans’ Audubon Park.

photo by Irving Johnson III


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