Volume 41 No. 10
October 2010









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Walk for Education
Nashville Cats

1834 Men's Basketball

The Gold Rush basketball team enters the 2010-11 season with high expectations – and not just their own. The men’s team is the preseason pick of league coaches to win the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) championship.

The Gold Rush received 24 points in a poll of the GCAC's head coaches. Tougaloo was second with 21 points, followed by SUNO, Dillard, Edward Waters and Fisk. It’s the first year of competition in the newly-structured NAIA conference.

XU returns seven lettermen from last season's 18-13 team, including All-GCAC and third-team All-Louisiana guard Michael Harvey. Last year the Gold Rush ranked second in NAIA Division I in field-goal percentage defense, sixth in scoring defense and defeated three ranked opponents.

Check HERE for the complete 2010-11 season schedule.

1834 Cross Country

Two of XU's two oldest cross country records were broken at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns Invitational last month.

Ray Walston, a junior from Atlanta (Mays High School) ran 6,000 meters in 21 minutes, 8 seconds – more than three minutes faster than the previous men’s school record, while Yazmin Ramirez, a freshman from Los Angeles CA (St. Mary's Academy) ran the 4,000 meter race in 17 minutes – shaving eight seconds off the previous women’s best.

For the complete cc schedule and results visit these links MEN / WOMEN.

1834 Volleyball Update

The Gold Nuggets are 4-10 on the season. Next up is Spring Hill Oct. 6 in The Barn.

Visit HERE for the complete schedule and results.

1834 Benefit Concert

World renowned comedian, actor and philanthropist William “Bill” Cosby is the opening act for the 3rd Annual Dr. Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert Nov. 19 sponsored by AT&T at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The event will also showcase performances by legendary R&B vocalists Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, Howard Hewitt and Freddie Jackson, who are performing together this year in the nationwide “Men of Soul” concert tour.

AT&T Louisiana is the primary sponsor of this year’s event, while BP is an additional corporate sponsor.

The annual concert serves as a major fundraiser to support the scholarship fund, which was established to help deserving students earn a XU education.

Tickets are on sale via Ticket Master at (866) 448-7849 or ONLINE. Call (504) 520-4252 to learn about special packages.

1834 Operation Diabetes

Students from the College of Pharmacy will host the annual Operation Diabetes at Lakeside Mall Oct. 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.
XU students and professional pharmacists will provide blood pressure and glucose screenings, as well as info on the symptoms of diabetes and ways to manage the disease. In addition a podiatrist and nutritionist will be a part of the event providing information on diabetic needs in those areas.

Diabetes is the leading cause of death by disease in the United States and the 5th leading cause of death by disease in Louisiana. It is particularly prevalent among African Americans.  

For more info call 520-5346.

1834 Fall Lecture Series

The Fall Speakers Series continues with an appearance by award-winning mentor, motivational speaker, and successful entrepreneur Dr. Calvin Mackie Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

A native of New Orleans, Mackie is the co-founder of Channel ZerO, an educational and motivational consulting company, and has presented to numerous civic, educational institutions and Fortune 500 corporations. He former associate professor of engineering at Tulane University, he served on the Louisiana Recovery Authority following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He is featured prominently in Spike Lee’s documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts.

For more info on the Fall Lecture Series visit HERE.

1834 Walk for Education

The 23rd annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Walk for Education will be held this Saturday (Oct. 2) at Audubon Zoo and Park Riverview area.

Visit HERE for more info.

1834 Homecoming 2010

Homecoming 2010 is closer than you think. Make your plans now to attend the celebration Nov. 17-21.

Check out the official website HERE for more info and the latest updates.

1834 Creole History and Culture Convention

The Louisiana Creole Research Association in conjunction with the XU Department of Languages & the University Archives will present the sixth annual conference on Creole history and culture Oct. 16-17 in the XU University Center Ballroom.

“Creole Louisiana: Cultural and Family Ties Along Back Roads and Waterways” will explore the many Creole communities that exist in Louisiana – from Bayou Lacombe to Bayou Teche and from the Gulf to the Prairie Country.
For more info or to register visit HERE.

1834 Alumni Activities

Check out the alumni HOME PAGE regularly for events near you. Here's what's happening this month:

Oct. 2
Philadelphia Chapter
XU Music Tour
7 p.m. - SBS Motherhouse.

Oct. 3
Philadelphia Chapter
XU Music Tour
2 p.m. - Cathedral

For more info contact Dr. Jazmine Harris.

Oct. 17
So. California Chapter
Mardi Gras Jazz Brunch
Noon - Proud Bird
11022 Aviation Blvd. LA

For more info contact Anthony Sharp.

1834 XU in the News

U.S. Secretary of Education's T.E.A.C.H. Campaign
Sit-ins Sparked Civil Rights Case [Dr. Rudy Lombard '61]
1The Tidings
St. Katharine Drexel:
A Life of 'Total Gift'


Members of the Class of 2014 – (from left) Khylin Patton, Kaila Harris, Yves Young, Briston Hines, Nadia Turner and Montrelle Joseph – show off their Gold Rush piggy banks, the icon for their new voluntary student-giving initiative. Students are encouraged to fill the banks with their spare change, with monies collected to be used to support programs and activities selected by the freshman class.

Photo by Irving Johnson III


Contrary to conventional wisdom it’s NOT necessarily always best to start at the beginning – especially when there are numerous opportunities to get ahead of the class. And that’s been the successful philosophy of a growing number of XU freshman scholars who have seized the day and gotten their college careers off to a fast start.

Case in point: biology/pre-med majors Antonio Roberts of Alexandria LA (Peabody Magnet High School), Sharon Ogidan of Arlington TX (Texas Leadership Academy) and Desmond Stewart of Louisville KY (DuPont Manuel High School); and chemistry/pre-med major Wyndy Bailey of Fayetteville GA (Fayette County High School).

These students are representative of a new breed of high school graduates who started earning degree-credit hours long before they stepped foot on campus.

In the case of these scholars, all four entered XU with at least 29 college degree credits already banked toward their respective curriculum requirements, making them sophomores and juniors in academic standing.
--- more - -

Where Are They Now?


For more than four decades Dr. Gilbert Rochon ’68 and Dr. Norman Francis ‘52 have had two things in common. Both are XU alumni and both can trace career milestones back to 1968 when Rochon was finishing up work on the first of his three academic degrees and Francis was beginning his tenure as president at Xavier.

Now they have three things in common: both are college presidents. Rochon joined that elite rank of higher education administrators when he was named the sixth president of Tuskegee University in September.---- more -


St. Katharine Drexel


She was the equivalent of an American princess, born into the privileged family of a wealthy Philadelphia banker and philanthropist. She could have lived her life in the lap of luxury, oblivious to the suffering of others.

But instead, throughout the 1890’s and the first half of the 20th century – long before taking up the cause of racial equality came into vogue – St. Katharine Drexel was at the forefront of efforts to improve the lives of others. -- more -

katharine drexel


Thirty-six new professors and instructors have joined the faculty at Xavier for the 2010-11 school year according to the Dr. Loren Blanchard, vice president for academic affairs.
They are listed below by department:

Biology – Dr. Mohamed Awad and Dr. Qian Jin Zhang
Business – Dr. Mark Quinn
Chemistry – Dr. Algernon Kelley, Dr. Florastina Payton-Stewart and Dr. Terry Watt. Communications – Dr. Lisa Flanagan, Sheryl Kennedy Haydel, Dr. Kimberly Johnson
            and Dr. Patricia Minnis
Education – Dr. Nikki Josephs and Dr. Theodore Phillips
English – Hannah Baker, Dr. Alana Gravano, Catherine Mizell-Nelson, Dr. Sim
            Shattuck and Cocoa Williams
Languages – Giti Farudi
Mathematics – Dr. Andrew Klimas and Caitlin Stevens
Music – Dr. Marcus Ballard
Philosophy – Dr. James Dunson
Pharmacy – Dr. Robert Stratford, Dr. Syreeta Tilghman, Dr. Danielle Broussard,
            Dr. Margarita Echeverri, Dr. Sarah Amering, Dr. Kendrea Bryant, Dr. Lori          
            Crawford, Dr. Kisha Gant, Dr. Jessica Johnson, Dr. Heather Olivier and Dr.
            Edward Stemley
Physics – Dr. Larry Maddox and Dr. James Rantschler
Psychology – Dr. Jeremy Cohen


American rapper and actor Common visits with (from left) India Keys of Carson CA, Ashley Conoway of Greenwood MS and Kaitlyn Gaddis of Snellville GA prior to addressing a much wider audience in the first installment of the university’s Fall Lecture Series.

Photo by Irving Johnson III

ahead of their class cont

Roberts had already garnered 30 hours of college credit before he arrived in New Orleans in July of this year. And he’s up to 33 hours now, thanks to an additional three hours he earned through XU’s chemistry-based Howard Hughes Biomedical Summer program. Course-wise that officially makes him a sophomore.

Roberts, who is attending XU on full academic scholarship, amassed his hours in the traditional way – concurrently enrolling at LSU-Alexandria while still in high school, mostly in English, math and history courses. He picked up an additional three hours at the biology-based Howard Hughes summer program at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Although his high school actively encouraged him. Roberts said he embraced the extra academic load because he knew it would help him down the line, while admitting it took some balancing of family obligations and extracurricular interests.

It paid off big time for the first generation college student who received scholarship offers from Tulane, LSU, Morehouse and Baylor, but ultimately he decided on Xavier the month of graduation due in part to his overriding interest in the health sciences and the University’s unrivaled success in that area.

“I have seen members of my family suffer with diseases like cancer and diabetes, and I have always wanted to learn what causes these illnesses and how they can be cured,” he said. “Health care has been an area of great interest for me and Xavier seemed like a natural fit.”

And he is happy with his decision, and pleased that the transition from high school to college wasn’t all that difficult.

“I got a lot of positive pointers from the peer deans during New Student Orientation that made that first week of classes a lot easier,” he admitted,” and the faculty and the older students I’ve met have been really helpful.”

Roberts, who participates in ROTC through the university’s joint agreement with Tulane University, ultimately plans to pursue a double major in business administration with the goal of enhancing his prospects for a career in hospital administration or with a health-related research company.

Ogidan leap-frogged even further, entering Xavier with 65 college credits already banked. That makes her a junior – academically speaking.

She garnered those credits through a residential honors institute for junior and senior high school students at Lamar University, where students can fulfill both their high school requirements and earn college credit. She amassed her credits mostly in mathematics, the sciences and English.

Ogidan, looking to fast-track into a career in pediatric medicine, was following in the footsteps of two older siblings who completed the same program at Lamar and are now both in medical school. The elder of the two, Patrick, now at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, was a member of Xavier’s first post-Katrina graduating class (2006).

“I was looking for a change of scenery, and since my brother had a good experience here, this was a natural choice,” said Ogidan, explaining her decision to attend Xavier after accumulating so many credits at Lamar. “Besides, engineering is Lamar’s forte, and I wasn’t really interested in that. I want to be a doctor – and Xavier is the place to be for that.”

Ogidan concedes that being far ahead of the curve is not without its drawbacks. As most of her advanced credit was in core subjects, when in class she finds herself a freshman novice among seasoned upperclassman.

“It’s been a little awkward because most of them (the upperclassman) already know each other, and here I am this stranger,” she said. “Most of them don’t know my story – they figure I must be a transfer or something.”

Fortunately she has been warmly received, but in any case she has had plenty of time to hang out with her fellow freshmen when out-of-class, as well as in the Freshman Seminar and her public speaking classes.

“I don’t regret my decision to fast-track in the least,” said Ogidan. “I’ve learned a lot in the programs I’ve been in and met a lot of amazing people along the way. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Stewart followed a different track to his advanced credit hours – Advance Placement (AP) classes. Taken at the high school itself, these honor-level courses allow students to meet their high school requirements and earn college credit at the same time – provided they score high enough on a nationally-administered exit test.

Stewart amassed 26 of those in mathematics, business, history, language and computer science, and then tacked on three more credit hours attending Xavier’s Howard Hughes Biomedical program this past summer.

“Dupont offers more AP courses than any other school in the state – it’s a pretty rigorous curriculum – so students are more or less expected to take them,” said Stewart.
Since most of his advance credits were electives, Stewart spends most of his class time with his peers in the more core subjects. He has adjusted well to campus life, although he admits learning to manage your time is one of the more difficult transitions from high school.

He credits the New Student Orientation program with providing some assistance in that area, as well as with the social aspect. No one else from his high school came to Xavier, so he was grateful that orientation afforded him “the time to get to know people without the stress of going to class.”

1834 Ribbon-cutting Set for Qatar Pavillion

The official ribbon-cutting for the Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion is scheduled for Oct. 15, to coincide with the fall meeting of the XU Board of Trustees.

H.E. Saad Bin Ibrahim al-Mahmoud, the minister of education and higher education for the nation of Qatar, will be among the honored guests at the ceremony. The Middle Eastern nation donated $12.5 million toward construction of the expansion.

The pavilion, connected to both the Library Resource Building and the existing College of Pharmacy building and facing the campus’ I-10 boundary to the north, has actually been in use since the start of the fall semester.

All of the new high-tech teaching labs, as well as two large auditorium-style lecture halls – each capable of seating as many as 200 students – are housed in the five-story, 60,000-square foot addition expansion. It also houses teaching and research laboratories, a mock pharmacy skills laboratory and a Drug Information Center.

The expansion will allow the University to sustain its increased enrollment growth while drastically improving the overall quality of the academic programs and research endeavors.



Jay Aronowitz ’80, was recently promoted to senior executive service (SES) in the U.S. Army, and is serving as the deputy assistant secretary (Force Management and Resources) in the Pentagon where he is the principal advisor to the assistant secretary of the army on all matters pertaining to military, civilian and contractor manpower.

Maryse Holly ’06, has been accepted into the master’s program in International Agriculture and Rural Development at Cornell University.

Leonard Lightfoot '00, has earned a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University, where he also previously received his M.S. degree.

Shauntell Myles ‘09, has been accepted into the master of science (chemistry) program at Hampton University.


Dr. Violet Bryan (Mellon Professor of English) presented a paper “Woodside: Migration and Return in the Works of Erna Brodber and Velma Pollard” at the recent conference of The Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars (ACWWS) at LSU in Baton Rouge LA.

Dr. Nicole Greene (English/Afam) published a review article "Summer Palace Press:  A Community of Poets" in the Irish Literary Supplement, fall 2010.

Katheryn Krotzer Laborde (English) has won the William Faulkner/William Wisdom Creative Writing Award for her novella His Name was Mu Bob Wang. The category's judge was novelist Julia Glass. She will be honored at the 2010 annual meeting of the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society during the annual Words and Music Literary Feast. She also gave a reading at Garden District Books from her recently published Do Not Open: The Discarded Refrigerators of Post-Katrina. In addition, she was an honoree at a reception featuring writers of new books on Hurricane Katrina.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary Professor of English) led a workshop on "Reading the New Haiku" at the meeting of the Southern California Haiku Study Group in Pasadena CA. His translations of the Japanese poet Issa appear in Elisabeth Tova Baily's new book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.

Joseph LaRochelle (pharmacy) served as a reviewer and consumer mentor for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program titled the Genetic studies of food allergies research program. The grant review was held in Washington DC and will appropriate 1.8 Million dollars.

Dara Rahming (music) has been cast in the role of Clara in the New Orleans Opera Association’s 2010-2011 season-opening performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Show times are scheduled for Oct.15 (8:00 p.m.) and Oct. 17 (2:30 p.m.) at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.

Stewart himself didn’t decide to attend Xavier until mid-way through his senior year in high school.

“My next door neighbor, who’s been like a grandfather to me, suggested that I go to an HBCU – and he specifically recommended Xavier,” he said. “Honestly, I had never heard of Xavier before that.”

It was his over-riding interest in medicine and the human body – he’s currently thinking of a career in anesthesiology or primary care at the moment – that tilted the scales and sent him down to New Orleans.

Bailey earned all of her 34 hours via Advanced Placement courses at her high school – mostly in the areas of science, English, mathematics and history – and that makes her a sophomore in academic standing.

While she also considered attending some home state school – the University of Georgia and Spelman College were on the list – she, like Stewart, was sold on Xavier’s reputation for placing African American graduates into medical school. She is also on full scholarship.

Bailey, who plans to follow in her father’s footsteps (he is a physician himself) or diverge slightly into dentistry, took on the AP courses in high school not so much to get a head start on college, but because of the time management and critical thinking skills they helped her develop.

“I looked upon the AP courses as a challenge, and they were,” she said, conceding that, for the most part, they were much harder than her standard prep classes. “But I think by taking them I better prepared myself for college and, eventually, med school.”

tuskegee cont

“I am respectful of what has gone on before at Tuskegee and hope to build upon those achievements and its great heritage,” said Rochon, who officially takes office next month. “I consider it an honor to follow in the footsteps of such leaders as Booker T. Washington (Tuskegee’s founder) and Dr. Benjamin Payton (who has served as its president since 1981).”

Ironically, Rochon didn’t actively seek the position. Rather he was one of 20 candidates recommended to the university by a national search firm. Nevertheless, once he looked into the situation he found it lined up perfectly with his own talents, experience and interests.

“I can see so much potential at Tuskegee,” he said. “The university is primed for a great leap in technology, and is poised to make great strides in public health and in community involvement.”

Tuskegee apparently agreed with that assessment.

“As we reviewed and evaluated Dr. Rochon’s education and professional experience, it became evident that he has been preparing thoroughly [without aiming for it specifically] for the presidency of Tuskegee University,” said Dr. Andrew Brimmer, chairman of the Tuskegee board of Trustees. His resume is very impressive.”
And indeed it is.

Rochon will be moving from Purdue University, where he currently serves as a senior research scientist at the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing and director of the Terrestrial Observatory at Purdue University, a satellite ground station which collects real-time data on the earth from orbiting satellites for a multitude of applications. Additionally he served as associate vice president for collaborative research and engagement.

He has held several other positions in education, health, and community and national agencies. His resume includes: research team leader-land use & hydrology for the US Environmental Protection Agency's National Risk Management Research Lab; tenured associate professor, appointment to the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professorship and director/chair, Urban Studies and Public Policy Institute at Dillard University, where he established joint BA/MS degree programs in collaboration with counterparts at Columbia University, New School for Social Research and the State University of New York, Stony Brook; and university affiliates coordinator for the DOD high performance computing modernization Programming Environment & Training (PET) program, under Northrop Grumman/Logicon sub-contracts.

He also has an extensive background of international research. He is currently an adjunct professor at the Mae Fah Luang University in Thailand.

Rochon, who also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has delivered over 100 presentations at professional conferences and scholarly symposia and published and/or collaborated on book chapters and articles in peer-refereed journals, such as Clean Technologies & Environmental Policy, International Journal of Climatology, etc.  He is the founding editor of the Journal of Terrestrial Observation.  He also served on many review panels and advisory boards in the areas of his scientific specialization.

A native of New Orleans, Rochon calls Xavier “the crucible for my interdisciplinary development”, noting that not only did he receive a quality education as a student but that he practically grew up on the campus due to the fact that his mother, Ursula Carrere Rochon Jupiter, was supervisor of the chemistry laboratories for 32 years, while his father, Gilbert Rochon, Jr. ’45, graduated from Xavier in pharmacy.

His wife, Patricia Saul Rochon ’67, who also holds a master’s degree from Yale University, is yet another XU grad, as is his brother, Admiral Stephen Rochon (USCG Ret.) ’84, now Chief Usher of the White House & Director of the Executive Residence. The youngest brother, Gregory Rochon, attended Xavier, was elected president of the IBEW, the electricians union local in New Orleans, and now, since Hurricane Katrina, is supervisor for AMTRAK at Union Station in Washington DC.

our founder cont

It was during these decades shadowed by the segregation and degradation forced on Blacks as well as the dispossession, relocation and betrayal of Native Americans that the name of St. Katharine Drexel shone out as a beacon of hope.

St. Katharine was at the forefront of efforts to educate African-Americans and Native Americans with an eye toward helping them to develop their own leadership and self-determination. Her schools were always open to all faiths; and the nuns who followed her lived among the poor they served.

She was born in 1858 to wealthy Philadelphia banker and philanthropist Francis Drexel and his wife Hannah, who died a mere five weeks after giving birth. Her father remarried two years later. It was from her parents, revered for their own generosity and charity to the less fortunate, that St. Katharine learned early the lesson of stewardship and responsibility to the poor.

Early on, St. Katharine indicated her intent to establish a bureau to distribute her wealth to Indians and Black missions, and to enter a cloistered religious order. But instead, during a trip to Rome with her family, she accepted the challenge of Pope Leo XIII and established a brand new order (the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament) which went on to found and staff schools and centers in the inner cities of the North and East, the Indian reservations of the west and across the Deep South.

Despite the many obstacles placed in their path, including strong opposition from whites, by 1942 the Sisters were operating black Catholic schools, convents and mission centers in some 13 states. So extensive was her influence in the Black, rural areas of New Iberia, St. Martinville and other Acadiana parishes that she is often referred to as the “Patron Saint of South Louisiana.”

St. Katharine’s presence was also felt in urban New Orleans, where the Sisters not only opened a Catholic high school and several elementary schools, but also established Xavier University of Louisiana, which was to become the capstone of her educational system.

Originally a coeducational secondary school, Xavier evolved into a teacher’s college and by 1925 had achieved full university status. A College of Pharmacy, now one of only two pharmaceutical schools in the state, was added two years later.

The stresses and strains of building a nationwide network of schools for black and Indian children were hard on St. Katharine. The never-ending work and awesome responsibilities that she shouldered for more than a half-century finally took their toll in 1935 when she suffered a near-fatal heart attack. For 20 years she was confined to the infirmary at the Motherhouse in Bensalem, Pa., where she is said to have spent most of her remaining waking hours in prayer and meditation.

St. Katharine died on March 3, 1955. She was officially canonized a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in October of 2000 by Pope John Paul II. She is only the fifth American to have been canonized and only the second American-born Saint. She is now in the select company of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, Rose Philippine Duchesne, Bishop John Neumann and Mother Elizabeth Seton.

“(Katharine) Drexel is an excellent example of that practical charity and generous solidarity with the less fortunate that has long been the distinguishing mark of American Catholics,” the Pontiff said during a rain-soaked canonization ceremony that drew tens of thousands to the Vatican, noting that her life brought about “a growing awareness of the need to combat all forms of racism through education and social services.”

It is estimated that St. Katharine, who during her lifetime shared the annual income from her father’s trust fund with her two sisters, gave away more than $20 million.

If you have any comments about TMAX or have some information you
would like to submit for publication, please direct an e-mail to rtucker@xula.edu

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