Volume 40 No. 09
September 09
Fall'09 Enrollment Reaches New Post-Katrina High Post-Hurricane Katrina enrollment has hit a new high this fall, thanks to a solid freshman class that exceeded projected levels and a welcome influx of new transfer students  ... [ more ]
Six New Chairs Provide Leadership This Fall Six academic divisions and departments in the College of Arts and Sciences are under new leadership this year, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, vice president for academic affairs  ... [ more ]
XU Among "Top Tier" in U.S. News Best Colleges Guide The university has once again garnered inclusion in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges” special edition.  ... [ more ]

1834 Homecoming 2009
Dates Announced

Jot down these dates on your calendar – Nov. 19-22 – that's when XU alumni will make the journey back to campus for Alumni Homecoming 2009.

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 alums are encouraged to participate in the festivities.

A brochure with more details is forthcoming. For more info contact Kimberly Reese, Director of Alumni Relations at 1-877 WE LUV XU (1-877-935-8898) or send an e-mail to kreese@xula.edu.

1834 Cross Country Opens
2009 Season on Road

The men’s and women’s cross country teams, both three-time defending Gulf Coast Athletic Conference champions, will open their respective seasons Sept. 4 in the Southern Miss Invitational at Tatum Park in Hattiesburg, Miss.

The women will run 5,000 meters at 6:30 p.m., followed by the men's four-mile race at 7:00 p.m. It’s the third straight year that Xavier has competed in the Southern Miss event.

Looking ahead on the schedule, the CC teams will compete in four Louisiana meets, including three in a row in September (the Wolfpack Invitational Sept. 12 at Lafreniere Park, the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational at Lafayette Sept. 18, and the LSU Invitational at Baton Rouge Sept. 26.

For additional info on the Gold Rush visit HERE and for more Gold Nugget info visit HERE.

You can also get up-to-the-minute news about cross country and all other Xavier athletics via Twitter. Visit HERE for details.

1834 Book Donation Aids
Women's Studies

The university's fledgling Women’s Studies program has gotten a boost thanks to a donation of several boxes of books by Gay Rhodes Gladhart of Metairie LA.

Dr. Pamela Waldron-Moore, coordinator of Women’s Studies promised to make the texts available to the growing number of students who are participating in Women’s Studies, either as minors or in the completion of a concentration in the field. The books will be catalogued and available for student and faculty use in the Fall 2009 semester.

Gladhart, who describes herself as the daughter of a silent feminist of the 1930s, was moved to make the presentation after she learned that Xavier had introduced a women’s studies program.

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 your former classmates and other Xavierites, and receive up-to-date info on alumni and class events?  

Then you’ll want to join the Alumni Online Community, a password-protected website available only to registered members. Some features of the community are: individual profile pages, an alumni directory, online event registration, reunion class notes, e-mail forwarding for life, a career directory and chapter pages. 

It’s easy to join, just visit HERE.

1834 New Issue of Xavier Review Now Available

Dr. Nicole Pepinster Greene (English/AFAM) has announced publication of the latest edition of Xavier Review.

A biannual journal of literature and culture, edited by Greene, Xavier Review features creative and scholarly works with special interest in the American South, New Orleans, the Gulf and Caribbean sphere, African American culture, ethnography, and spirituality.

Volume 29-1 features the poem “Heredity” by Kristina Robinson, a senior English major/creative writing minor from New Orleans (De La Salle High School).

Copies of the journal can be purchased at the Library  Resource Center (Room 221) or from the Department of English/African American Studies in the Administration Annex (Room 204). For more info contact Greene at 504-520-5246.

1834 Xavier in the News

2Michigan Citizen
Study: HBCU Pours $300M
into New Orleans Economy
1The Grio
The Real 'Sister Act':
Black Nuns in America
- Sr./Dr. Jamie Phelps, O.P.

LSU Board Approves Hospital Governance Agreement

LSU, Tulane OK Revised
New Orleans Hospital Plan
2Catholic News
New Catholic Pharmacy Schools Helping Ease Shortage



First-year College of Pharmacy students sign their professional oaths at the annual White Coat Ceremony, during which the neophyte students received their first professional uniform - the white jacket - symbolizing ethical practice and signifying the beginning of their professional pharmacy educations.

photo by Irving Johnson III



Post-Hurricane Katrina enrollment has hit a new high this fall, thanks to a solid freshman class that exceeded projected levels and a welcome influx of new transfer students.

The addition of 767 new freshmen and 146 transfers has pushed the university’s current overall enrollment to 3,345 students, four percent higher than last fall’s 3,204. Enrollment has grown steadily the past four years after Katrina had knocked down the student population to around three-quarters of its best pre-storm figures.

Administrators are pleased with the university’s progress.

“It’s very gratifying to see students and parents from across the nation continue to put their faith in Xavier,” said President Norman Francis, attributing the sustained interest in the nation’s only historically Black, Catholic college to its continuing national reputation for academic excellence and leadership in the math and science fields, as well as its a solid liberal arts core curriculum.
“Despite the hardships we have endured following Katrina, Xavier has never wavered from its commitment to provide students with the academic excellence which people have come to expect," said Francis, pointing out that the University has produced nearly 3,000 graduates since re-opening six months after the hurricane in January ’06. "Our students continue to compete and excel in the sciences as well as in business and liberal arts.”

Admissions had projected an incoming freshman class of 740-750, due to the nationwide worsening economy, so "getting 767 through the door is a very encouraging sign that the Xavier brand is still strong among those who seek a quality education" according to Winston D. Brown, Dean of Admissions.

The three previous post-Katrina freshman classes of 2006-2008 had 447, 651 and 778 members, respectively, far below the last pre-Katrina freshman class of more than 1,000 – an historic high. While those smaller classes continue to be drag on the university’s current overall enrollment, Xavier officials are confident that the short-lived phenomenon will correct itself as Katrina becomes less and less of an issue and getting a quality education becomes more so.

“After Katrina we set out on a five-year plan to gradually grow our freshman class back to a sustainable level of around 800 new students each year,” he added. “We are pretty much on that schedule.”



Amy Bryan '98, assistant professor of art and director of the Art Gallery at Dillard University, presented a paper "Elizabeth Catlett and Margaret Walker: For My People" at the Fifth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) in Ghana.

Christina Ellington '08, has been accepted into the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the University of Southern California.

Danyale A. Ellis '97, director of Development at Lawndale Christian Health Center  in Chicago IL and the Midwest Cultures in Giving Workshop facilitator for the Delta Research and Education Foundation, has been recognized by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with the "On the Move" Award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of philanthropy.


Six academic divisions and departments in the College of Arts and Sciences are under new leadership this year, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, vice president for academic affairs.

Taking over the chairmanship in their respective A&S disciplines are Dr. Rosiland Pijeaux Hale in the Division of Education, Dr. Elliott Hammer in psychology, Brother Herman Johnson, O.P., in languages, Dr. Joe Melcher in communications, Nora Olgyay in art and Dr. Steven Salm in history.

Hale is back at Xavier after a three-year absence. Prior to that, the ’69 XU grad had served at the University for nine years, including an earlier stint as chair of education and NCATE coordinator. She has taught courses in educational leadership, instructional technology, secondary curriculum, multicultural education and research. Her research interests are in the leadership styles of women in education and how that impacts the dynamics of the organization. She holds an Ed. degree in educational leadership from Auburn University.

Hammer is in his 10th year at Xavier. A Ph.D. in experimental social psychology (Tulane University), he typically teaches experimental psychology, introduction to research, analytic research, cognitive psychology and a stereotyping/prejudice seminar. He holds the University’s John LaFarge Endowed Professorship in Social Science. His research focuses on the cognitive aspects of impression formation and stereotypes. He is writing about racial dynamics in teaching and co-authoring a book on the psychology of disaster. 

Johnson, a ’76 XU graduate, has taught at his alma mater since 1989. He has taught all levels of Spanish, including advanced grammar and Spanish for medical personnel. He is also involved in the Campus Ministry program. Holder of a doctorate in teaching Spanish from Columbia University NY, he recently completed a four-week stay in France, where he researched the second language acquisition process of learning the French language.


Melcher, who has previously served several stints as chair of communications, is entering his 40th year at Xavier. A Ph.D. in audiology (LSU), he will be teaching introduction to audiology, speech and hearing science, hearing testing and supervising the Audiology practicum courses where students perform hearing tests for children in the Head Start program and for elementary school children at Lafayette Academy. He also served on the University’s Rank and Tenure Committee. His current research interest is in auditory processing disorders.

Olgyay comes to Xavier from George Mason University VA, where as an associate professor she launched the undergraduate and graduate design programs. During her tenure, her students won five national design awards. Previously she had taught as an adjunct/visiting instructor at a variety of other universities. In 1988 she founded Foci Studio, a communication and environmental design collaborative. Her book, Safety Symbols Art, was exhibited at the Smithsonian’s national Design Museum as one of 20 significant contemporary ergonomic design products.  She holds B.A. degree from Princeton University and an M.S. degree from the Pratt Institute.

Salm has been at Xavier since the fall of 2003. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin and teaches a variety of courses in African History, the Black Atlantic World, World Civilizations, and Research Methods. In spring 2010, with the support of a CAT/Mellon Foundation grant, he will be offering a new course on the History of Popular Culture in Africa. Salm has served on the editorial boards for a number of publishers, including the new series, Carolina Studies on Africa and the Black World. Salm is currently acting as advisor of XU's Fulbright Program as well as co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the African Studies Association conference to be held in New Orleans this November. His research has includes a book on the Culture and Customs of Ghana, four edited books on African urban history, and a number of other journal articles and chapters.

Twelve other faculty chairs have returned to guide their respective departments for yet another school year. They include: Dr. Murty Akundi in physics/engineering, Dr. Gurdial Arora in mathematics, Dr. Amy Bellone-Hite in sociology, Dr. Thora Bayer in philosophy, Dr. Andrea Edwards in computer science, Dr. Jerry Farmer in theology, Dr. Nicole Greene in English, Dr. Shubha Ireland in biology, Dr. Anil Kukreja in the Division of Business, Dr. Cheryl Stevens in chemistry, Dr. Timothy Turner in music, and Dr. Pamela Waldron-Moore in political science.


The university has once again garnered inclusion in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges” special edition.

In the newly released 2010 edition of the magazine’s widely-read annual college guide, Xavier was ranked 27th among the publication’s list of the "Best Universities - Master's" from the southern region of the United States. That places the university in the “top tier” of the 120 institutions included in that category and marks an improvement over last year’s ranking of 29th.

Xavier is also ranked 5th among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) behind Spelman College, Howard University, Morehouse College and Fisk University.
The U.S. News guide divides all colleges and universities into four categories – national, master's, comprehensive and liberal arts colleges – grouping them further into designated geographical regions. Xavier is included among the master's schools because it offers a full range of undergraduate, some master's level programs and a single doctoral program. According to the guide there are some 572 master’s schools in the U.S. The southern region includes 12 states.   

According to the magazine the ratings are based on academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

Xavier also figures prominently in a special Guide article on HBCU’s, “The Challenge for Black Colleges.” The specific reference to XU in the article reads:

“Others, such as Xavier University of Louisiana, are recruiting based on their track records of turning disadvantaged kids into stars."

" Xavier boasts that it sends more African-Americans to medical school than any other college in the nation. It manages to do this while charging about $25,000 for everything – tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation, and so on. While that may sound high, many big public universities – in California, for example – have similar sticker prices for in-state students. Also, over half of all Xavier students receive grants averaging more than $5,000, bringing their net cost below $20,000.”

"Best Universities - Master's" is available HERE while the complete guide can be accessed HERE


The University has once again received the endorsement of a prominent, annual college rating publication. Xavier was singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2010 edition of its annual guide, "The Best 371 Colleges."

The Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company, showcases only about 15 percent of the four-year colleges in American and two Canadian colleges in its annual "The Best 371 Colleges" guide. XU was one of 365 holdovers from last year’s guide.

Schools included in the guide are evaluated based on institutional data collected from the schools, feedback from students enrolled in the schools and Princeton Review visits to schools over the years, as well as the opinions of independent college counselors, students and parents.

The guide offers two-page profiles on each of the 368 schools including candid comments from current students who participated in a Princeton Review survey. The guide also ranks the top 20 colleges in various categories – ranging from academics to social life.  

"Each of our 371 ‘best’ colleges offers great academics,” says Robert Franek, author of the book and vice president/publisher. “However we don’t rank schools academically because our goal is to help students find and get into the best school for them. Instead we tally 62 ranking lists based on how students at these schools rated their campus experiences, plus ratings based on institutional data we collect on issues important to applicants. It's all about the fit." 

The guide cites Xavier’s unparalleled success in a number of academic areas – particularly premedical and pharmacy studies.

Student comments range from academics [“No matter what your discipline, XU professors are intimately involved in the learning experience, and if a student shows that they are in a classroom to learn, professors will go out of their way to make sure that he or she understands the material”] to student life [“acceptance and equality permeates throughout the entire student, faculty and staff population.”]

For more info on Xavier or to view the complete guide see The Princeton Review.


The St. Katharine Drexel Chapel Advisory Committee will host “In the Footsteps of St. Katharine Drexel” a one-day pilgrimage in honor of the canonization of St. Katharine Drexel October 3, 2009.

The pilgrimage will travel by bus to several New Orleans churches and locations where St. Katharine Drexel and the religious order she founded, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS), had an influence and, in some cases, still do. These include Epiphany, Corpus Christi, St. Peter Claver, St. Monica, St. Katharine Drexel (formerly Holy Ghost), Blessed Sacrament, St. Joan of Arc and Xavier Prep high school.

The pilgrimage will be from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

“A pilgrimage is a time for sacrifice and prayer,” said committee chair Stella Reese. “This pilgrimage is an opportunity for prayer, reflection and thanksgiving for St. Katharine Drexel and the wonderful work she has done, especially for the New Orleans community.” 

This is the second pilgrimage that the committee has hosted honoring Drexel, who was canonized in 2000. The first, held in 2005, traveled the rural Louisiana locations where the SBS had an impact.

Tickets for the October Pilgrimage are now available for $40. Seating is limited; lunch is included. For more info call 504-520-5122.

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

Celeste Parker ‘03, a travel speech-language pathologist in Houston TX, has been accepted into the Doctorate program in speech-language pathology at Nova Southeastern University.


Dr. Renée Akbar (education) and Dr. Pamela Waldron-Moore (political science) presented a paper "Water-Logged but not Shipwrecked: Virtual Classrooms as a Transformative Option" at the EDULEARN09 conference in Barcelona, Spain. Waldron-Moore also chaired a session on E-Learning.

Dr. Michelle Bell Boissiere ‘86 (biology) attended a National Institutes of Health course in Genomics focusing on curriculum development, current developments in genetics research, and public policy. She was joined by senior biology major Rachel Clark of Edgard LA (West St. John High).  

Dr. Violet Bryan (English) presented a paper "Jamaican Folk Culture, Religion, and Language as Healing in the Works of Erna Brodber and Velma Pollard" at the Fifth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) in Ghana. 

Joseph Byrd (VP for Student Services) was honored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. with its Outstanding Service Award for his leadership with the APA National Education Foundation and serving as co-chair of the fraternity's 103rd anniversary convention.

Kim Cherry (education) has been named director of the Math and Science
Teacher Institute. The MSTI, supported by a grant from Exxon/Mobil, provides training and support to math and science teachers in the New Orleans region.

Dr. Ronald Dorris ’72 (African American Studies and English) has a short story,
"Moustique," published in Lanangston Hughes Colloquy (Vol. 10).

Dr. Conchetta White Fulton '85, '98 (pharmacy) has been re-appointed to another three-year term on the Louisiana Medicaid Pharmaceutical & Therapeutics Committee. She has served on the committee, which works to ensure the indigent patients in the state receive medications that are both safe and cost-effective, since 2001. 

Charles Gramlich (psychology) had two books published this summer: Write With Fire, a collection of essays and articles on writing, many from his online column "Writer's Block"  focusing mainly on fiction; and Writing in Psychology: A Guidebook, a collaboration with Dr. Y Du Bois Irvin (Williams) and Dr. Elliott Hammer (psychology) focusing on writing term papers and research articles.

Dr. Nicole P. Greene (English/AFAM Kellogg Professor) was invited to participate in the National Endowment for Humanities seminar “Anglo-Irish Identities” held at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. David Lanoue (RosaMary professor of English) has published in India a bilingual English-Hindi book The Distant Mountain:The Life and Poetry of Kobayashi Issa. In Ottawa, Canada, he presented a paper, "Reading the New Haiku," at the Haiku North America conference.

Dr. Robin Vander (English) presented a paper "The Tides that Bind: New Orleans, Pan-Africanism, and the African Diaspora" at the Fifth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora in Ghana.

Alfred Williams ’08 (athletics) has been named an assistant coach for the men’s basketball program. The former Gold Rush averaged 8.4 points in 97 career games.

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