Cornel West is Keynote Speaker for MLK Week of Peace
XU Students to Host High School Leadership Summit
University Names New Registrar

Xavier Team a Top Winner at PRSA 2006 Awards Ceremony
XU Wins Local UNCF President’s Cup
Public Speaking Course Partners with Historic 7th Ward
Tulane-XU Women’s Health Center Honored

XU to Benefit From Joyner Campaign
Gold Rush Suffer Second Consecutive Loss
Nuggets Get Thumped at Central Arkansas
Garza Leads Wiley Past Gold Rush

Nuggets' Bell Ranked 14th in NAIA Singles
Turnbull Leads Nuggets Past Clark Atlanta
Harding, Moses Earn All-Louisiana Honors
Gold Rush Complete Sweep of Rams
XU Women Hold Off Tuskegee

Xavier Featured in National Community Arts Casebook


FBI Praises XU Students for Successful Marketing Campaign
Science Student Gets Down to Business
Turnbull Named GCAC Player of the Week
$570,000 Learn and Serve Grant to Help Recruit Katrina Volunteers
Olafioye Punishes Panthers with Career-High 27 Points
Tregre, Houze Selected for Alumnus of the Year Honors
National Alumni Association Elects New Officers
No. 20 Trevecca Crusies Past Nuggets
Martin Methodist Defeats Gold Rush

Scholar-in-Residence to Speak on “Aliens on the Plantation”
Virginia Alumni Give to XU Hurricane Relief Efforts
Nuggets' Cleaves is Chosen GCAC Player of the Week
FBI, Xavier Students Join Forces for Marketing and Recruitment Campaign
Nuggets Move to 4-0 With Win Over Concordia
Gold Rush Rally to Post Third Straight Victory
Baton Rouge native Crowned New Miss Xavier University
Another Overtime Victory for Nuggets
Two CC Runners Earn Regional Honors
Xavier Men Beat Texas College in Opener
NIH Grant Supports COP Research / Education
XU Returns to the Basketball Court


Savvy Entrepreneur author to speak at Xavier Nov 9
Three Guest Artists at Nov. 08 Xavier Music Concert
XU Receives Recognition at Technology Council eWARDS
XU Sweeps Conference Cross Country Titles
‘Rebuild, Restore, Renew’ at XU Alumni Homecoming Nov. 16-19
XU Named to Honor Roll for Distinguished Community Service
Xavier Music CD "New Orleans Crescendo" Now On Sale
Landis Family $100,000 Endowed Scholarship at Xavier
University Honors 51 Long-Time Faculty/Staff Employees
Xavier Jazz Ensemble in NYC to Launch Katrina CD Fundraiser
Gold Nuggets Picked 3rd in GCAC Preseason Poll
Xavier Music Season Underway
Enrollment Holds, University Back on Academic Calendar
University Approves Five Faculty Promotions
Xavier Men Picked 6th in GCAC Preseason Basketball Poll


Alumni Homecoming Details Announced
XU Basketball Teams Resume Pursuit of Excellence
"Collage Concert" at Xavier Sept. 29
Harding, Wallace Lead Xavier Runners Again

Phelps Honored as Emerging Business Leader
Broussard Promoted to Associate Head Coach
XU "Operation Diabetes” Sept. 30 at Lakeside Shopping Center
Cross Country Teams Capture Southern Meet
Two from California join Gold Rush
Xavier Opens 2006-07 Academic Year


XU Included Among The Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges”
XU Ranks High in U.S. News College Guide
City of Refuge, Tavis Smiley Endow XU Scholarship
Former Presidents Launch “Wave of Hope” Campaign
160 Honor Graduates Accent Commencement
DeLisle, Long-time Music Professor, Dies
Orthopedic Surgeon’s Message Has Nothing to do with Medicine
Bracy Receives Promotion to Vice President
XU Music Department Begins California Tour Aug. 12
XU Business Department Inducted into Honor Society
59 Students Receive Sigma Pi Phi Scholarship Assistance
Dr. Jacqueline Hunter to Retire After 32 Years of Service to XU

JULY 2006

Egans joins men's basketball staff

Internationally Renowned Pianist Serving as XU Artist in Residence 
G.I. Dog Tags Exhibit at Xavier Spurs Interest
’06 Commencement Moved to New Orleans Arena
Entrepreneurship Institute Presents “Business of Science” Lecture
Summerfest X-plodes on Campus this Week
Cassiere Named Sports Information Director
Festival of Scholars Showcases Student Research
IBCS Summer Program Opens at Notre Dame
Xavier Review Journal Celebrates 25 Years in Publication

JUNE 2006

XU Hosts Open House on Teacher Certification  Funding Opportunities
XU ALLSTARS Summer Camp Holds Registration June 26-30
Xavier Jazz Ensemble Concert Honors Diversity Theme
Loyola College (of Maryland) Announces Hurricane Relief Donation
XU Student Selected for Baylor Summer Health Professions Program
Obama to speak at 2006 Commencement

608 Scholars Make Dean’s List for Fall Semester
Gold Nugget Earns Coca-Cola Community All-American Award
International Diversity Conference Hosted by Xavier June 12-15

MAY 2006

Theology at Xavier: It’s Not What You Think

Porter Awarded UNCF Research Fellowship
New Orleans Arts Council to honor XU Professors' Bechet, White
30 Honor Graduates Accent Unique College of Pharmacy Commencement
Job Fair and Admissions Open House June 3 at Xavier
Xavier-Pfizer Renewal Partnership to Boost Xavier’s Recovery
Qatar Ambassador Announces Aid to XU, Region
SGA Sponsors Candidates Forum and Voting Rally
"Dead Man Walking" Author to Speak at Xavier May 17
Upward Bound Accepting Applications: Program starts June 12
Qatar Pledges $17.5 Million for Pharmacy Expansion and Student Scholarships
Pharos Capital Donates $122,000 to New Orleans HBCU’s

APRIL 2006

Xavier Athletics Will Return for 2006-2007 School Year
May 20 Commencement for XU Pharmacy Majors, Despite Katrina!
Pharmacy Minority Advocate to speak at COP Commencement
Xavier Job Fair Being Planned
New Emergency Telephone Number and Website Readied
Student Postcards Make Katrina Book
Francis to Receive Five More Honorary Degrees
Free Tuition and Books For  Mild-Moderate Special Ed Certification
Southern Illinois Music Faculty Visit the Xavier Campus
High School Entrepreneurs Compete in Business Plan Competition
Willie Humphrey Scholarship "Free" Benefit Concert

MARCH 2006

Xavier Activities Board Sponsors Omar Tyree Book Signing

Jazz Ensemble to Present Concert on April 6
Applications Being Accepted for Summer Science Academy
XU Sponsors Forum on The Jazz Funeral Tradition & Post Katrina Recovery
University Honors 35 Long-Time Employees
PR Class Helps Recruit Students for Alternative Spring Break
Xavier Sponsors Public Forum on Katrina and the Culture of New Orleans
Students / Faculty Say “Get Well” With 1,000 Japanese Cranes  [see display]
Post-Karina Enrollment Holds Steady; Registration Underway for Second Term
Concert Choir to Give Two Performances of Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass
XU Students Reach Out to Community Youth
Xavier receives $350,000 grant from HUD
Online Registration for Second Term ‘06 Begins March 12
HUD Secretary to Visit Campus to Award Grants to HBCUs


St. Katherine Feast Day / Memorial Mass for Sr. Beatrice Jeffries March 3
American Jewish Committee visits city / campus for donation and dialogue
XU students share entrepreneurship knowledge with high school students
Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz faculty perform at XU Feb. 23
Dr. Michael White/Original Liberty Jazz Band offer free concert Feb. 26
Students to take "community plunge" Saturday
Post-Katrina scholarships to 85 XU students
Xavier campus comes alive; "fall" classes underway


3M presents $100,000 for Xavier computer lab
XU campus leaders make annual student's Who’s Who list
Music Department presents "Festival Concert for Survivors"
Mason is keynote speaker for annual MLK Jr. Week for Peace
Xavier holds Media Day as prelude to campus reopening
Count winds down to official campus reopening!


Hurricane Katrina campus photos available online
Philanthropist contributes $250,000 grant for student scholarships
More than 3,100 students register for next semester
2006 International Diversity Conference coming to New Orleans
Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund announces help for colleges


75% of Xavier students returning in January 2006
Tulane, XU Partner to address racial disparities in cancer outcomes
Pharmacy graduation on schedule as rotations continue
Bush Foundation donates $2 million to XU for recovery efforts

News Releases

Cornel West is Keynote Speaker for MLK Week of Peace

New Orleans, La. - Dr. Cornel West, one of America’s most gifted, provocative and important public intellectuals, will be the keynote speaker for the 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace, Jan. 15-19, 2007.

The Martin Luther King Week for Peace is presented by Xavier, Tulane, Loyola and Dillard Universities. The theme for 2007 is “Defining Our Citizenship: Uniting Communities.” 

In addition to the featured Tuesday lecture – at which Lifetime Achievement and Student Community Service awards will be presented – other MLK week activities include an interfaith service, a community service day, a candlelight march and an Expressions of Unity celebration. All events are free and open to the public.

West, whose writings, frequent lecturing and preaching have brought him widespread attention and honors, is a professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University.  

His work has been described as a “polemical weapon that attempts to transform linguistic, social, cultural, and political tradition to increase the scope of individual development and democratic actions.” His writing, speaking, and teaching weaves together the American traditions of the Baptist Church, transcendentalism, socialism, and pragmatism.

His best-selling book, Race Matters (1993), sold 400,000 copies and changed the course of America’s dialogue on race, justice, and democracy.

The complete calendar of activities are as follows:

Monday, Jan. 15
10:00 a.m. - Interfaith Service
XU UC Ballroom 3rd Floor

Immediately following: A Day of Service in Greater New Orleans in sponsorship with City Year, Volunteers of America and Interfaith Works. School refurbishment site location: John McDonogh High School (Esplanade Ave.).

Tuesday, Jan. 16
MLK Convocation
6:00 p.m. - Reception
TU Lavin-Bernick Center Kendall Cram Room

7:00 p.m. - Lecture
(Dr. Cornel West)
TU McAlister Auditorium

Friday, Jan. 23
Candlelight March
Candlelight March
XU University Center
5:00 p.m. - Candle Distribution
5:15 p.m. - Kickoff Speaker
5:30 p.m. - The March will begin at the Xavier and proceed to the Tulane campus. The Expressions of Unity celebration will be held at Tulane's McAlister Auditorium.

XU Students to Host High School Leadership Summit Jan. 27

New Orleans, La. - College students at Xavier University of Louisiana will host a leadership summit for high school students Saturday January 27 on the Xavier campus.

The High School Leadership Summit will be hosted by XU LEADS (Xavier University Leadership Education and Development Skills), a leadership program for Xavier Students that promotes effective and ethical leadership skills. The program originally designed for campus organization officers, is now open to all students. Students receive certification after participating in the program, which is required in order to hold leadership position on campus.

The summit will include presentations, activities on topics such as managing student life, conflict resolution, communication skills, post-secondary preparedness and options, and leadership skills.

"The High School Leadership Summit has been planned, organizing, and will be executed by Xavier University leaders, said Kawana Coulon, coordinator of the program. “We hope to engage local students in academic, leadership, and personal topics that impact their everyday lives. This summit is a valuable way to connect high school students with college students who are impacting change through education and involvement."

For more information on the High School Leadership Summit, contact Coulon at 520-7320.

University Names New Registrar

New Orleans - Lynn Brown has been named Registrar at Xavier University of Louisiana. Ms. Brown comes to Xavier from St. Louis University where she was coordinator of registration and grading.  

Brown holds a bachelor of arts degree from St. Louis University and has also done post graduate work at St. Louis.    

During a visit to New Orleans for a conference a few years ago, Brown said she fell in love with the city. After Hurricane Katrina she felt she needed to contribute to the city’s recovery.  “Anyone can write a check,” she said. “When I learned that Dr. Francis, (Xavier’s president) was on the task force for rebuilding, I knew I wanted to be a part of Xavier."

“Student centered” is the phrase Brown uses in talking about future direction for the division she is leading.  “I have a good staff and we’ll be working to improve the services we offer.”

Public Speaking Course Partners with Historic 7th Ward

New Orleans, La. - Students enrolled in an honors public speaking course recently completed a service-learning assignment that partnered with residents of the historic 7th Ward neighborhood and the I-10 Witness Project, a post-Katrina oral history initiative.

The class taught by Dr. Ross Louis, assistant professor of communications, conducted oral history interviews with members of the Senior Wisdom Circle in the 7th Ward. The interviews documented the personal histories of the 7th Ward’s senior residents as a contribution to the neighborhood’s ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina. The Historic 7th Ward neighborhood organization will use the interviews to preserve the important stories that its residents recalled about 7th Ward landmarks, events, and leaders.

Xavier students delivered commemorative speeches to the residents based on the themes they discovered during the oral history interviews. Students also presented residents with personal copies of their oral history interviews. Excerpts of the interviews will eventually appear on the I-10 Witness website (

The project was supported by Carolyn LeBrane Tilton of the Historic 7th Ward neighborhood organization, Bruce France of the I-10 Witness Project (and a Xavier instructor in the Department of Communications), and a service-learning grant from Xavier’s Office of Student Leadership and Service.

Xavier Wins Local UNCF President’s Cup

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana recently accepted the 2006 President’s Cup trophy for highest University participation in the United Negro College Fund’s annual “UNCF Fund Run” held in October at Audubon Park in New Orleans.

More than 650 Xavier University students, faculty and staff members participated in the event – raising $39,573.

Leatrice Gaines a representative from the United Negro College Fund office, and a 1986 Xavier graduate, presented the President’s Cup Challenge trophy to Xavier.

The trophy is awarded to the local UNCF member institution with the highest level of participation in the annual walk. The friendly competition between the two New Orleans UNCF institutions, Xavier and Dillard Universities, began in 1998. Xavier last won the cup in 2002.

A 2006 Xavier graduate, Huey Moss created the t-shirt design for this year’s Xavier UNCF walk shirts. Xavier staff members also earned trophies in the run. Kenneth St. Charles won first place finish for a Xavier/Dillard male faculty/staff and Patricia Sills won first place finish for a Xavier/Dillard female faculty/ staff. First year pharmacy student Grace Thacker, won first
place for Xavier/Dillard female student.

Staff members David Bocage and Kim Reese of the Student Leadership & Service office coordinated the student participation.

All of the money raised during the UNCF Fund Run will remain in the local New Orleans community to help provide a college education for students who otherwise might not be able to attend college.

Xavier and Dillard are two of the 39 Historically Black Colleges and Universities that are members of the College Fund.

Tulane-XU Women’s Health Center Honored

New Orleans, La. - The Tulane Xavier National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (TUXCOE) has received the prestigious designation of “Ambassador for Change” from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

TUXCOE, which was recognized for its work in community outreach and health education, clinical services, research, professional education and leadership development on behalf of the women and girls of New Orleans – particularly in the post-Katrina era – was one of only 14 centers nationwide to receive the designation from the DHHS.

A collaborative effort of the Tulane University Health Sciences Center and the Xavier, TUXCOE pulls from the clinical, academic and educational missions of the two institutions to build an effective community network and partnership for women’s health.

XU to Benefit From Joyner Campaign

New Orleans, La. - Nationally syndicated morning radio host Tom Joyner joined the leadership of Xavier, Dillard and SUNO in announcing a new initiative designed to raise funds for the ongoing needs of historically black colleges and universities in New Orleans still working to recover from the devastation of last year's Hurricane Katrina.

Student leaders and administrators from the three schools joined Joyner on the Dillard campus to officially open the “Rebuilding Through Education” Initiative, a nationwide campaign which will be promoted through Joyner's syndicated morning program which airs in 120 markets reaching nearly 8 million listeners. The initiative's goal, which it hopes to meet by the end of January 2007, is to raise at least $1 million to be divided among the three institutions.

All three college campuses were hard hit by Katrina, and each is still engaged in varying stages of rebuilding and recovery while moving forward with their mission to educate their students. Paying for those repairs, and providing financial assistance for students who have also been impacted by the storm in many cases, continues to be a daunting challenge for the HBCUs. As part of its overall mission, the Foundation seeks to make sure these HBCUs continue to provide quality education and opportunities for many more years to come.

Through its partnerships with various corporations and donations from listeners, "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" has already raised tens of thousands of dollars that have been used to provide scholarships to HBCUs for needy students.

FBI Praises XU Students for Successful Marketing Campaign

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana students received congratulations from the FBI after planning and executing a successful marketing campaign. The campaign is part of a semester-long program to give students the opportunity to form an operating marketing agency and work for a real world client.

This agency, known as Branded, is one of six student groups across the nation participating in the FBI Collegiate Marketing and Recruitment Program this semester.  The goal of the program is to aid the FBI in increasing awareness and consideration of career opportunities, including both the Special Agent and Professional Staff positions.

In order to achieve these goals, Branded began the semester with extensive research of their target market.  Students then used this information to develop a marketing campaign to promote the FBI and its career opportunities. 

Students hosted a campaign week running from November 14th through November 16th titled “Endless Opportunities.” The event featured information sessions, a self defense demonstration with SWAT representatives, and a Biotechnology demonstration. After the event, students conducted post-campaign research to assess the success of their campaign and its impact on the target market.

Students will wrap up the program by presenting the results of the campaign to representatives of the FBI.

Business students participating in the project included: juniors Ashton Battrip and  Maria Flateau of Houston, Texas; senior Aaron Newton of Ft. Worth, Texas; senior Crystal Moore of Collinsville, Miss.; senior Meredith Sanders of St. Louis, Mo.; senior Kamal Nkele of Los Angeles, Calif.; senior Jason Gourrier of New Orleans; junior Camiel Irving of Baltimore, Md.; junior Christina Gilbert of Des Moines, Iowa; and senior Jewel Pichon of Slidell, La. Dr. Louis Mancuso served as advisor to the group.

The FBI Collegiate Marketing and Recruitment Program is designed to bridge the gap between industry and education, providing students with valuable, hands-on experience.  The program is coordinated by EdVenture Partners, an education-marketing agency that designs unique industry-education partnerships at campuses across the country.  EdVenture Partners, in conjunction with the FBI, provides each student agency with the resources and guidance necessary to design implement their marketing campaign.

Xavier Featured in National Community Arts Casebook

New Orleans, La. -  Xavier University of Louisiana is one of the featured participants in the newly released Community Arts Casebook, “Art/Vision/Voice- Cultural Conversations in Community.”

The casebook offers the first inside view of into the philosophy, underlying values and practices pioneered in Community Arts Partnership (CAP) programs. The programs were created at Xavier and five other universities in 1999 with funding from the Wallace Foundation.

It is hoped that the casebook will be seen as a unique educational resource to be utilized by students of community arts as well as by the educational and community organizations seeking insight into the field.

In addition to Xavier, case studies are included from CAP programs at California State University, Monterey Bay,Columbia College Chicago), Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science (New York), the Institute for American Indian Arts (New Mexico) and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Xavier’s Community Arts Partners include local organizations Kid SmArt, Pieces of Power, Faces of Culture, and Youth Inspirational Connection, Inc. In addition, supporting partners are the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Arts Council of Greater New Orleans.

The Xavier case study focuses on the Xavier art department’s history of service in the community and professional preparation, dating back to faculty such as Numa Rousseve and Sr. Lurana Neely. Working artists and Xavier art alumni John Scott and Richard Thomas are featured in the case narrative where they discuss their shared influences, and the nature and purposes of community arts.

Faculty and students from the Xavier art department recently attended the Community Arts Symposium in Oakland, California where they gave a presentation on Xavier’s CAP and two recent graduates, Jamie Jones and Perrin Green installed their art work and gave presentations. Another recent graduate Nadrea Reeves also exhibited at the symposium.

The casebook is published by Maryland Institute College of Art and Columbia College Chicago with support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Xavier Science Student Gets Down to Business

New Orleans, La. - It’s not unusual for college students majoring in biology to participate in a summer internship – but an internship in Business? That's how Xavier University of Louisiana biology senior Stephanie Mays of Birmingham, Ala., spent last summer – in a sales internship at 3M Company, a major corporation with global identity.

Mays is part of a new trend of students who major in the sciences, but who minor in sales and marketing.

She came to Xavier planning to major in biology, although unsure of her career path. While about 70% of entering freshman major in the natural sciences – most in pre-med – many will change majors by their sophomore year. And although the majority will remain in science, they will choose a different path than medicine, usually research, pharmacy or public health. The rest will change to non-science majors. Those students are told as freshmen that they have many more options than medical school when considering a career path.

“A lot of students wait until almost their senior year to consider their options,” said Mays.  “They find they didn’t do well on the MCAT (the medical school entrance exam) or look at their transcript, and realize they’re not going to get into medical school with those grades. I wanted to keep my options open.” 

Mays spent the summer of 2004 at the University of Alabama (Birmingham) in a minority medical educational program. Although it was a very good experience, she decided to change her minor to business.

She found out about an internship opportunity in one of her business courses and decided to apply. Stephanie excelled in her summer sales internship with corporate giant 3M this past
summer. As an intern she was successful in introducing a new product from 3M in the Los Angeles area. Not bad for a biology major.

“My biggest apprehension wasn’t my selling skills,” she pointed out, “And thanks to my biology background I had good grasp of the materials, but I knew I wasn’t a ‘people person’. Doing that internship made me come out of a shell. I learned not to take rejection personally, after all, all they can say is no.”

Mays worked with the western medical division. “I was treated like a regular employee. I had two days of product training, I generated leads and facilitated the evaluation of products.”

“We were focusing on new product, a surgical drape that reduced the risk of infection and could save hospitals money and increase patient morale,” she said. “It helps to have a good product.”
Mays was the first person on the west coast to sell the product. And she went out of her way to get it to those she thought had the most need for it.  “I had a list of places I was scheduled to go to, but if I had extra time between appointments, I also went to locations not on my list. Some places, once they heard what I had to offer, purchased immediately.”  Her managers liked that she took initiative.

“Stephanie’s internship supervisors were very impressed with her,” said marketing professor Dr. Joe Ricks who encouraged her to apply for the position. “She not only introduced the product in that area for the first time, she was also able to get a number of products evaluated in hospitals, two that 3M had not penetrated before.” 
Mays did have some sales experience before the 3M internship. A year before she answered an ad to sell kitchen products. “It was a part time job and although I generated my own leads, I was selling mostly to my relatives and friends.”

Of her experience with 3M the reserved senior says, “I really liked medical sales. I was comfortable with the product, the operating room, talking with physicians and nurses. Because of my biology background I knew about infection control, and that helped make me more comfortable in the job.”

Asked if she would she recommend sales for other science students, Stephanie says yes, with some caveats. “I think it depends on the person – if you like selling, you’re outgoing, have an ability to take risks, you’re persistent and resilient; you can be taught the techniques. It greatly opens your opportunities and you’re not limiting yourself thinking med school or graduate school is your only option.”

Stephanie is anticipating her graduation day in May 2007.  She is considering graduate school in health care administration, but wants to work for a while first. She has a job offer from 3M and plans to attend campus career fairs. She’s keeping her options open.

$570,000 Learn and Serve Grant to Help Recruit Katrina Volunteers

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana will enlist some of its public relations students to recruit fellow students to consider an alternative break community-service program, underwritten by a $570, 000, three-year Learn and Serve grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

According to Kimberly Reese, assistant dean of students, the grant will assist Xavier in coordinating the alternative break program for college students who want to come to New
Orleans and assist in the rebuilding; help in institutionalizing service-learning in the University’s Division of Education; and support the creation of service-learning academies. 

“This funding will also let us focus on service-learning academies and how we can help get students involved in their own community,” said Reese.

Repeating a successful effort last year, Xavier communications professor Dave Park and his public relations class will again handle the publicity to recruit students from other schools --
particularly HBCUs -- to assist as volunteers in the rebuilding of New Orleans.  "The grant will allow us to assist with the students’ housing and other needs,” said Reese.

Reese says institutionalizing service-learning in Xavier’s Division of Education for pre-service teachers is also an important step.  “We will introduce pre-service, K-12 teachers to the pedagogy of service-learning through required course work.”

Service learning engages students by using what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. According to the corporation for national and community service, a national
study of Learn and Serve America programs suggests that effective service-learning programs improve grades, increase attendance in school, and develop students' personal and social responsibility.

“By introducing pre-service teachers to service-learning in their college courses, once they graduate they will  know how to institute service learning in their own classrooms,” said Reese.

Xavier also plans to establish service-learning academies in the New Orleans community. 

“We will identify two schools for each year of the grant for a total of six. These schools will receive a $5000 grant to implement service-learning in the school and in addition, each teacher involved will receive a stipend. There will be an application process and any teacher may apply,” said Reese.

In order to qualify, the selected teacher will identify three other teachers who will serve as fellows and agree to be trained. Those three teachers will then each train two others. Reese
says in this way more teachers will be reached. The teachers will connect what they’re teaching with a community project. For example, at Xavier, one of the Creative English courses is studying women’s issues and has partnered with a physical education class at Douglass high school talking with the students about health issues.

“We’re anticipating that we will get applications from many of The ‘new’ New Orleans schools, because we’re looking for new and innovative ways of doing things with this project.” she said.

Xavier has participated in service learning since the early 1990’s and has received funding since 2000. 

 “All of the teachers involved with our ‘mini-grants’ service-learning projects really see a difference in their students," said Reese. "They better understand concepts and what the lesson is trying to get across; they listen to the teacher and actually apply the knowledge.
They have a better understanding how their community operates and what is their responsibility to the community, so they’re more interested in class and behavior issues are less.”

Tregre, Houze Selected for Alumnus of the Year Honors

New Orleans, La. – Concepcion Tregre ’73 and Jeneice Wong Houze ’59 shared the stage at the annual Alumni Homecoming Gala as Xavier University honored its top alumni the past two years.

Tregre, a high school administrator from New Orleans, was awarded the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award for 2005 – a belated recognition due to the cancellation of last year’s Homecoming celebration by Hurricane Katrina – while Houze, an educator from Los Angeles, Calif., was presented the Alumnus of the Year award for 2006.

An active member of the New Orleans Alumni Chapter, Tregre, former development director of St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans, has served her alma mater in various capacities, including co-chairing the Annual Fund and the New Orleans Alumni Chapter Day at the Races, acting as class agent for her reunion year, and serving as president of the Art Alumni Association.

She was the driving force behind the Annual Arts Gala, a successful event that has raised thousands of dollars for student scholarships. A talented artist herself, Tregre has donated the sales of some of her paintings at art shows to the University.

She is the wife of Calvin Tregre ’69, XU Senior Vice President for Administration.

Houze, an English teacher for the Torrance Unified School District in Los Angeles, Calif., was recognized and honored for excellence in education by President Bill Clinton in 2000.

A leader in the XU Southern California Alumni Chapter, she has served various committees, including the St. Katharine Drexel Mass and Chapter Membership Drive committees. She has also held several offices in the National Alumni Association, including having been newly elected 1st Vice President.

Houze has worked closely with the Xavier Pre-Alumni Council and volunteered her time in assisting the Alumni Office in annual fund solicitations.

The two alums were presented their awards at the Annual Homecoming Gala, which drew a crowd of nearly 600 attendees to the University Center Ballroom.

Class Agents for each of the xx special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $322,293. The 2006 Golden Anniversary Class of ’56 led the way with 49 individual donors contributing $52,055; while the belated Golden Anniversary Class of ’55 contributed $46,608. 

Xavier Team a Top Winner at PRSA 2006 Awards Ceremony

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana’s Office of University and Media Relations captured five awards at the annual Public Relations Society of America, New Orleans
Chapter Awards ceremony on November 16, including three entries that were deemed "Best in Category."
The team received awards for two of its campus publications: Xavier Gold alumni magazine, Fall 2006 in the External Relations category; and in the Books & Booklets category for“After Katrina: Rebuilding Xavier University.”  Also receiving an award in the Feature Story category was “80 Years Later: The Miracle Still Thrives,” an article written by Publications Director Richard Tucker.
The 6-minute video, “After Katrina: Rebuilding Xavier University” garnered an award in the audio visual category, and University photographer Irving Johnson, III, won in the Photography category, for his unusual ground-level cover photo of the campus used for the 2006-08 University Catalog. 
The Xavier Gold, feature story and photography awards all received Best of Category recognitions.
“The University & Media Relations team’s winning entries were judged in competition against some of the top PR agencies and professionals in the city,” said Adrienne Brooks, senior
vice president for Institutional Advancement at Xavier.  Associate Vice President Warren Bell, Jr. heads the University and Media Relations department, which includes Tucker, Johnson, Carol Dotson, media relations specialist and Germaine Age Williams, marketing manager. 

Bell – a veteran journalist and a former member of the Board of Directors of NABJ, the National Association of Black Journalists – credits those years of journalism, combined with his many media contacts established over the years, with serving him well in the days and weeks after Hurricane Katrina had devastated much of New Orleans including the Xavier campus.

“Having been through several tropical storm threats the year before at Xavier, we had already put into place an emergency telephone message system for our employees and students to
call toll-free from wherever they had evacuated for regular campus updates,” explains Bell, “plus, we secured an emergency micro web site to post that same information online at”  Bell had evacuated with his own family to Baton Rouge the day before Katrina hit New Orleans, so that he could begin establishing a “field office” for
communications and media relations after the storm.

Relying upon his mobile phone (which worked sometimes) and occasional access to his AOL web mail account, Bell began sending out news advisories and fielding calls from reporters.
Several of those early calls came from NABJ professional and student members, some of whom he had just given his business cards to during the 2005 NABJ convention in August. 

“Those NABJ colleagues maybe didn’t realize it at the time,” says Bell, “but their early stories written about our school helped us to establish the message that we’d be coming back
to our campus – and it let other media know that we were up and running with our communications and media relations soon after the disaster.”

In early October, Xavier’s I/T staff had re-established full web service after relocating their servers to another host site far away from the damaged campus. By then, Bell and his publications director Richard Tucker had set up temporary offices in Baton Rouge – after retrieving the computers from their offices on the Xavier campus – and were able to begin sending out a series of “XU Road to Recovery” online updates featuring digital photos of the damaged campus and the repairs that were already underway, articles detailing the repairs and progress taking place on campus, plus messages from the president assuring all that the campus would reopen
so that Xavier could continue its mission. The online updates were distributed via e-mail to Xavier students, faculty and staff as well as to alumni and media contacts.

Several of the university’s winning entries for the PRSA Awards were produced as part of those post-Katrina marketing and communications efforts, including several publications and a
6:00-minute video entitled “After Katrina: Rebuilding Xavier University.”

National Alumni Association Elects New Officers

New Orleans, La. - Alumni have elected new officers for the National Alumni Association Board of Governors for 2007-2009.

Providing leadership to the National Alumni Association are: Frederick Carter '69 of Chicago Ill., President; Jeneice Wong Houze '59 of Los Angeles, Calif., 1st Vice President; Dr. Earl Mitchell '60 of Stillwater, Okla., 2nd Vice President; Dr. Evita Bynum '85 of Washington, D.C., Corresponding Secretary; Lorraine Rousseve Detiege '59 of New Orleans, La., Recording Secretary; and Elvira Day Henry '58 of New Orleans, La., Treasurer.

All but Bynum had served on the previous board, albeit some in different capacities.

Scholar-in-Residence to Speak on “Aliens on the Plantation”

New Orleans, La. - Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Robin Vander ‘92, will speak on “Aliens on the Plantation: Science Fiction, 19th Century Slave Narratives, and Ethnographic Discourse” Nov. 29 at 4:00 p.m. in the University Center, Room 205.

In her presentation she will consider recent scholarship on 19th century slave narratives contextualizing the literature as ethnographies and forms of writing that provide their readers/audiences entry, travel to intellectually alien landscapes of the plantation South.

The lecture is sponsored by the Xavier University Endowment for the Humanities. For more info contact Violet Bryan at ext. 7635. The event is free and the public invited.

Virginia Alumni Give to XU Hurricane Relief Efforts

New Orleans, La. - Alumni from two now-defunct African American boarding schools in Virginia with a connection to St. Katharine Drexel have donated funds to support Xavier University of Louisiana as it continues its recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

The two schools – St. Francis de Sales of Powhaten and St. Emma’s Military Academy of Rockcastle – were two of the first schools started by St. Katharine Drexel, Xavier University’s founder.

Even though St. Francis and St. Emma's closed in the early 1970’s, Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament made an impact on the students who attended
those schools. Those alumni continue to come together and celebrate with reunions in a different city each year.

“As one of the schools founded by our beloved St. Katharine Drexel, one of our goals was to make a donation to Xavier after all reunion expenses were paid.” said Norma Wiley, this year’s reunion coordinator. “We think that it is good to give back to the only university founded by Katharine Drexel, who has given us so much in her establishment of 163 schools for the education of children of former slaves and Indians.”

Fund raising activities included a stage performance commemorating the life of Paul Robeson, and the sale of a specially designed reunion belt buckle. 


In 1893, Colonel Edward Morrell and his wife Louise Drexel Morrell purchased Belmead Plantation. Encouraged by Mrs. Morell’s sister, Katharine Drexel, the adjacent plantation at Mount Pleasant was later purchased. The Morrells deeded the property to the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.  St. Emma, named for the Mother of Louise Drexel (Emma Bouvier Drexel – the great-grand aunt of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis), opened at Belmead in 1895. Also in 1895, Mother Katharine made her final profession to the order and the cornerstone was laid for St. Francis de Sales at Mount Pleasant, later renamed Rock Castle. Her Missionary work began with the opening of St. Francis on September 8, 1899. 

The first student enrolled was Mary Boyd, a Native American girl from St. Stephen’s in Wyoming. Mary graduated in 1903. The schools then stood on adjacent hilltops within one-half mile of each other, overlooking the James River. St. Francis de Sales closed in 1970; St. Emma in 1972. The “castles” however, still stand atop the adjacent hilltops. Together, the schools boasted enrollment of more than 20,000; graduates number more than 10,000. The existing alumni roster, though incomplete, lists more than 1,100 known alumni living in the United States and abroad. Katharine Drexel was canonized a Saint in 2000. Xavier University, like St. Francis and St. Emma’s, stands as one of her major achievements.

During her lifetime, Katharine Drexel opened, staffed, and directly supported nearly sixty-five schools and missions, many of them in the South. The Sisters of the Blessed
Sacrament continue her vision and ministry. The sisters opened the Saint Katharine Drexel Mission Center and Shrine in the spring of 2004 at the SBS Motherhouse in Bensalem, Pa.

FBI, XU Students Join Forces for Marketing and Recruitment Campaign

New Orleans, La. - Marketing students at Xavier University of Louisiana are taking part in a semester-long internship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of the FBI Collegiate Marketing and Recruitment Program.  The students will have the chance to develop and execute their own marketing campaign, while addressing recruitment needs of the FBI , especially within the African American community.

Xavier is one of six schools nationally selected for the program. During the semester, students in professor Louis Mancuso’s Marketing Strategy” course have created a working marketing agency to research, develop, implement and evaluate a campaign.  The students received a $2,500 budget to bring their campaign plans to life.

The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness and consideration of FBI career opportunities, both the Special Agent and Professional Support positions.  The campaign is specifically targeted towards students possessing a variety of critical skills including:  accounting/finance, engineering computer science/information technology, physical sciences and math, intelligence experience, especially fluency in foreign languages.

The FBI collegiate marketing and recruitment program is designed to bridge the gap between industry and education, providing students with valuable, hands-on experience while assisting the agency to more effectively identify prospective future employees.  The program is coordinated by EdVenture Partners, an education-marketing agency that designs unique industry-education partnerships at campuses around the United States. EdVenture Partners, in conjunction with the FBI provides each student agency with the resources and guidance necessary to design and implement their marketing strategies.

For more infoabout the FBI Collegiate Marketing and Recruitment program at Xavier, contact Jewel Pichon at 985-201-0427 or Professor Louis Mancuso at the Department  of Business 504-520-7505.

Baton Rouge native Crowned New Miss Xavier University

New Orleans, La. - Sundee Warren, a senior biology/pre-medicine major from Baton Rouge, La., was crowned the new Miss Xavier 2006-2007 at the annual University Ball and Coronation Ceremony Nov. 11.

Warren, a 2003 graduate of Southern Lab High School, is the daughter of Beverly Warren and Frank Herbert. During her Xavier career Warren has been a member of the Biology club, the campus chapter of the NAACP, the Biomedical Honor Corp and served as Junior Class Treasurer. She is currently a resident assistant at the St. Katharine Drexel residence hall, a volunteer with the homework clinic, vice president of the Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-med honor society, and a member of the Student Government Association.

Savvy Entrepreneur author to speak at Xavier Nov 9

New Orleans, La. - Lee Pryor, author of the best-selling book, The Savvy Entrepreneur – An Insider’s Secrets to Managing for Success, will be the featured speaker for the Entrepreneurship Institute Speakers Series on Nov. 9 at 4:00 p.m. in the University Center, Room 205.

Pryor, who has many years of experience as a founder and Chief Executive for start-up and late stage entrepreneurial companies, began his career with Time Warner. He then moved on to IBM in mainframe sales, before leaving the computer giant to found his own  computer supply company that grew to 55 sales people, over 300 employees and $48 million in sales.

Subsequently he ran five both private and public companies. These emerging and late stage companies were in a variety of industries including e-commerce, Internet database publishing and marketing, online on-demand printing, computer supplies distribution, and technology contract manufacturing.

Pryor attended Johns Hopkins University, the US Naval Academy and graduated from Northwestern University after which he spent two years with the Counter Intelligence Corp in Japan and China.

Pryor, a former member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), has been on the Board of The National Defense University and Kent School. He is also on the Board of Directors of the publicly held software company CaminoSoft of Los Angeles and the Board of the Louisiana Technology Council, where he is Director of the LTC Recovery/Incubator Center which is funded by the Louisiana Economic Development Commission.

A business executive coach for emerging enterprises, Pryor has an entrepreneur column in BIZ News, and is a speaker on the topic of entrepreneurship at venture capital conferences, association meetings and business schools.

He is following up his first book with another, Bouncing Back, Lessons Learned from the Katrina Disaster, which he compiled with research assistance from ten Tulane MBA graduate students. Under his research direction, New Orleans area businesses were interviewed and analyzed in regard to their disaster preparation, reaction and recovery.  Once published, the book will be a real-life look into what happened to a community in the wake of one of the nation’s worst national disasters.

Three Guest Artists at Nov. 08 Xavier Music Concert

New Orleans, La. - Lovers of classical flute, piano and the soprano voice are in for a treat when Xavier University’s music department presents a concert featuring guest artists Danilo
Mezzadri, Elizabeth Moak, and Susan Ruggiero on Wednesday, Nov. 08, at 7:00 p.m. in the music recital hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The musical trio’s performance will include pieces from Debussy, Ravel, Borne and Hahn.

Flutist Danilo Mezzadri, Assistant Professor of flute at the University of Southern Mississippi, sustains an active career as a performer and teacher. As an international competition winner, he has appeared as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Pró- Música Symphony Orchestra of Rio de Janeiro, Camerata Florianópolis, Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra, Musique 21, and the University of Southern Mississippi
Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Mezzadri is principal flute in Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, and he also plays with other mujsic ensembles.  He earned his undergraduate degree at the School of Music and Arts of Paraná (Brazil) where he received the First Prize Award of his graduation class. He holds a Masters and Doctoral degree in flute performance from Michigan State University.

Noted for her “sensitivity” and “generous imagination” (La Suisse, Geneva, Switzerland), pianist Elizabeth Moak recently performed in Québec, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. In addition to honors for her solo playing (winner of the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Auditions), Ms. Moak has also been recognized for her collaborative work by the Music Academy of the West and Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where she earned a DMA in Piano Performance (studies with Leon Fleisher, Julian Martin, and Ann Schein). Additionally, she holds the “Diplôme de Virtuosité” with highest honors from the Neuchâtel Conservatory (Switzerland). Ms. Moak taught for eight years at Millsaps College who honored her with their “Outstanding Young Faculty Award.” In 2004, she joined the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi, one of the few universities in the United States to be accredited in all four disciplines of music, dance, theater, and visual art.

Soprano Susan Ruggiero has been described as having a voice that is “stunning and pure.”  The Boston Globe noted her performance at Tanglewood Music Center saying: “It is preposterous to speak of the ''potential" of youngsters like...Susan Ruggiero-Mezzadri...they are already artists.”
Last fall Ms. Ruggiero made her professional debut with Kentucky Opera in "The Happy Prince." She is the recipient of the First Place Award in Shreveport Opera’s Singer of the Year Competition, the Third Place Award in Mobile Opera’s Scholarship Competition, and the Joseph Frank Spada Award in the Connecticut Opera Guild Young Artists’ Scholarship Competition. Outside of the United States, Ms. Ruggiero has performed in several recitals in Brazil, including the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná Orchestra for a nationally televised broadcast concert. She holds a double master’s degree in voice and flute performance from the University of
Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Michigan State University.

XU Receives Recognition at Technology Council eWARDS
New Orleans, La. - Overcoming technological obstacles caused by Hurricane Katrina earned special recognition for Xavier University of Louisiana  at the Third Annual Technology
eWARDS Gala held on October 25.

Catherine J. Lewis, Xavier’s  Vice President, Office of Technology Administration (OTA), was awarded one of three special recognition awards at the gala. The eWARDS were presented by the Louisiana Technology Council and Greater New Orleans Inc.

Lewis was a relative newcomer to Xavier when Katrina struck, having lead the Office of Technology Administration since March of 2005. Lewis and her OTA team faced many
challenges following Katrina's widespread damage to the campus, but were successful in restoring telecommunications and information technology including bringing up other
critical applications such as Blackboard Learning System and Raiser’s Edge, and also restoring selected file shares, all in about three months.

However, one of the biggest challenges that Lewis and her team faced was restoring the switch room, located on the first floor of the Administration building, which took on about four feet of water. Additionally, she had to contain the costs to funds reimbursable by FEMA and the University’s insurance companies.

“The switch room is the heartbeat of voice and data communications across the campus,” said Lewis. “This room also housed network equipment enabling cross-campus and Internet communication.”

Lewis's team developed a creative solution, by raising the floor of the Switch Room three feet.  In the end, this decision saved slightly more than a million dollars and had the switch room ready a few weeks ahead of time.  The cost of moving the switch room would have been about $1.5-million while the cost of renovating the existing switch room was about $500,000.

This accomplishment is notable not only because of its pivotal role in the campus reopening, but because of the complexity of the task.  In addition to having a new Siemens phone switch
installed and all associated wiring replaced, Lewis’s team had to replace BellSouth telephone and Internet equipment and all wiring, which included redundant fiber link to the opposite
end of campus.  Closed circuit TV equipment used for surveillance on campus was also replaced in that room.

The LTC eWARDS recognize the achievements of organizations and individuals who have helped the technological development of the region, and includes companies, educators, government and business leaders across a ten- parish area.  


‘Rebuild, Restore, Renew’ at Xavier Homecoming Nov. 16-19

New Orleans, La. - Xavier alumni will get a first hand look at how their campus is recovering when they return this November for the annual Alumni Homecoming Reunion, Nov. 16-19.

With the theme “Rebuild Restore Renew” two sets of reunion classes will be honored.   Due to Hurricane Katrina, the University was unable to celebrate Homecoming 2005, so the University is hosting Homecoming 2006 in honor of those alumni currently celebrating their reunion and those who were unable to celebrate last year,” said LaKeysha Arthur, Interim Director of Alumni Relations.

All alumni are encouraged to get their tickets early for the Homecoming Gala on Saturday Nov. 18.  Tickets must be purchased in advance by November 3. Seating is limited.

A highlight of weekend’s events will be the Rebuild, Restore, Renew Celebration on Friday at noon.  Alumni and students will have the opportunity  to come together to celebrate the spirit of Xavier.

There are several other activities scheduled for the returning alumni including a jazz concert, receptions for business and pharmacy alumni, an art exhibit, an alumni mixer for all alumni, a vesper service, featuring the Xavier Concert Choir, and the Homecoming Gala on Saturday night.

New Alumni officers will be installed at the annual Board of Governors meeting and alumni are invited the Mass on Sunday. 

Kimberly Dummons ’95 will be the featured artists. Dummons is a printmaker who has created a series of prints focusing on the City of New Orleans.

A few of the homecoming events are being hosted by the Student Government Association, including a comedy show, a greek show in the Barn, and a queen’s brunch for all former campus queens hosted by the current Miss Xavier Sundee Warren. Due the additional groups participating and the limited space, the Office of Alumni Relations  is asking alumni to contact them early to reserve their space. For more information on the 2006 reunions, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 504-520- 6782 or 1-877-WE LUV XU (1-877-935-8898), email, or visit the website at

XU Named to Honor Roll for Distinguished Community Service

Chicago, Ill. – Xavier University of Louisiana was named to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for distinguished community service in recognition of extraordinary volunteer efforts by the school and its students to serve area neighborhoods and Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

XU was one of 141 institutions of higher education out of 500 applicants recognized for distinguished service at the Campus Compact 20th Anniversary celebration. Schools receiving distinguished service recognition provided exceptional community service over the past year, contributing their time, resources, energy, skills – and intellect – to serve America.

“Xavier has set a strong example for college-level civic engagement,” said Stephen Goldsmith, Chief Executive officer of the CNCS, the federal agency that works to foster a culture of volunteering and service in America. “Many people and communities have been improved because Xavier and its students identified some of society’s most pressing needs and got involved.”

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is co-sponsored by the Corporation, the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The recognition is presented in cooperation with Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 college and university presidents, and supported by all the major national higher education associations.

Xavier Music CD "New Orleans Crescendo" Now On Sale

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University’s band director, Dr. Tim Turner, and a quarter of students from the Xavier Jazz Ensemble have returned home after a recent performance in
New York City for the CD release of “New Orleans Crescendo,” a music CD created to raise funds for their University as it recovers following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

The American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) "ACCESS: New Generation Initiative" and the Office of Black Catholic Ministry (Archdiocese of New York) were the co-hosts for the evening
of jazz, held October 12 at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.  That event launched the "New Orleans Crescendo" music CD, an AJC-produced original recording by the
university's Jazz Ensemble, conceived as another means of supporting Xavier -- the nation's only historically Black and Catholic university.
The “New Orleans Crescendo” album is on sale for $20 at the online sales site "CD"  Available for $20 via the internet (visit and select multi-media), the CD features the 18-member Xavier ensemble playing jazz standards by Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Heath, and others. 

Sales of the CD will raise funds for Xavier University’s summer academic programs and its Junior School of Music, to ensure that deserving middle and high school students receive training in music as well as the sciences.

The Xavier University Jazz Ensemble is one of the music department’s outstanding performance groups, which also includes the Concert Choir, University Chorus and Symphonic Band. This group of promising music students is under the direction of Dr. Tim R. Turner, himself a talented professional musician. 

Xavier music students who performed in New York were: Charles James, keyboard/bass, sophomore, New Orleans, Erion Williams, saxophone, senior, New Orleans, Mayuri Kurihara, piano, senior, Fukuoka, Japan and Michael Olaiya, drums, sophomore, Largo, Maryland.


The devastation of Hurricane Katrina prompted ACCESS to lead a mission to New Orleans in February to do hands-on relief work. The delegation worked closely with the Office of the Black Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York on the trip.

AJC members raised more than $1.2 million to help rebuild churches and synagogues throughout the Gulf Coast, and to provide assistance to Dillard and Xavier universities.  “Our
partnership with Xavier University to help local youth is integral to our efforts to build strong relationships with key communities in the Gulf Coast,” said Rebecca Neuwirth, AJC’s director of special projects. The AJC’s ACCESS initiative is made up of people in their 20’s and 30’s participating in a national program that explores critical issues facing the Jewish community today.

Meanwhile, Brother Tyrone A. Davis, executive director of the Office of Black Ministry (Archdiocese of New York) says “It is a pleasure for us to join in collaboration with AJC to help our friends at Xavier, especially since it is America's only historically Black and Catholic university.”  The Office of Black Ministry produced its own very successful fund-raising concert earlier this year, raising $50-thousand in donations for Xavier.

The group visited the campus in February, where they met with Xavier President Norman C. Francis and presented the donations. In addition the group had a moving dialogue with
Xavier faculty, students and staff -- many of whom remain displaced by since Katrina.

The Xavier campus reopened in January 2006 after just five months of intensive reconstruction began the semester with nearly 75% of its former student body in attendance.

This jazz compilation project, "New Orleans Crescendo," seeks to promote Xavier University as a model of resilience and academic excellence for the greater community and the American public, and to help support the young people of New Orleans.

For more info on Xavier University, please visit the web site at For more info on the American Jewish Committee, visit

Landis Family $100,000 Endowed Scholarship at Xavier

New Orleans, La. - Members of the Landis family recently visited the Xavier University campus to establish a $100,000 endowed scholarship in the name of the family
matriarch Evelyn Landis Christman.

Mrs. Christman served on the Xavier board of trustees for a number of years in the early 1980’s and also served a term as Chairman of the Board.

Her son, Jim Landis, is president and CEO of Landis Construction, one of the University’s major contractors. The company had most recently completed Xavier’s University Center and the dePorres Residence Hall in late 2003, before being called in to oversee campus repairs and restoration following Hurricane Katrina.

“We’re very pleased to endow this scholarship,” said Jim Landis. “We have had a long relationship with the University both personally and professionally.

At the presentation of the endowed scholarship, Mrs. Christman said, “This is such a nice honor for me,  I have such admiration for Xavier. It is a wonderful institution.  I’m glad to be part of the future and I’m delighted so many of my family members could be here today. Jim, especially knows how close Xavier is to my heart.”   

During her tenure on the Xavier board, Mrs. Christman said she got to know first hand about the University. “Xavier sets high standard for students but also gives the nurturing
support needed to meet those standards. And the legacy of the nuns and St. Katharine Drexel are such an inspiration to me and to so many others.”  

The Landis Construction company was on site for the recovery of the Xavier campus as soon as Katrina's flood waters receded. Xavier president, Norman Francis credits Landis with helping to achieve the remarkable re-opening of the University less than five months after the storm. “Having worked on previous campus projects, we had someone who
already knew the campus,” said Francis. “They already knew what was there before the storm...they could practically tell US where every screw was located!”

“We were pleased to be asked to work on the storm damage," said Jim Landis. "Dr. Francis realized and recognized shortly after the storm what needed to happen.  He didn’t fool around and he had the ability to make the hard decisions quickly. 

"We turned down a number of other projects after Katrina, but we felt we had an obligation to Xavier. It was really a labor of love for us, and the University has been very good to us. We felt very good about being here."

University Honors 51 Long-Time Faculty/Staff Employees

New Orleans, La. - The University honored 51 long-time staff and faculty employees as part of its annual Founder’s Day celebration.  

Topping the list of honorees celebrating anniversaries of employment at XU were Sister Maureen Hurley, S.B.S., with 40 years of service in the biology department and Dr. Harold Vincent with 40 years in physics and as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Other employees honored were:

35 years – Dr. Thomas Bonner, English; Christine Lee, Sedexho; and Gloria Wright, credit union.

30 years – Dr. Ann Barbre, pharmacy; Sherida Montague, chemistry; and Dr. Warren Ray, chemistry.

25 years – Jacqueline Ballansaw-Ward, registrar’ office; Willie Caffey, biology; Eloise Dixon, counseling; Dr. David Lanoue, English and CAT; Lonnie Lewis, pharmacy; Gwendolyn Martin, Sedexho; Dr. Raquel Mesa, mathematics; Pamela Rogers, Family Life Center; and Sister Mary Ann Stachow, S.B.S., theology.

20 years – Dr. Charles Gramlich, psychology; Mildred Higgins, financial aid; Jacqueline Claiborne, Sedexho; and Karen Williams, admissions.

15 years – Dr. Gurdial Arora, mathematics; LaJuana Chenier, institutional-advancement; Solomon Foster, university police; Adrienne Hunter, physics/engineering; Irving Johnson III, university and media relations; Gilda Knight, registrar’s office; Father Phillip Linden, Jr., S.S.J, S.T.D., theology; Sister Patricia Lynch, S.B.S., university historian; Lisa Lewis-McClain, campus ministry; Dr. Tarun Mandel, pharmacy; Dr. Peter Martinat, biology; Gwen Morris, registrar’s office; Sharon Porter, fiscal; Dr. Yashoda Pramar, pharmacy; Dr. Jonathan Rotondo-McCord, history; Louise Smith, library; Anita Williams, communications; and Cynthia Watson-McElveen, physical plant.

10 years – William Bostick, internal auditor; Kelvin Bush, ITC; Katrina Crawford, financial aid; Dwight Fitch, campus ministry; Ultra Fredericks, fiscal; Mary George, library; Jacqulin Joe, pharmacy; Dr. Kathleen McCloud, physics/engineering; Palani Ponnapakkam, ITC; Pamela Ridder, MIE; Tyrone Thornton, fiscal; and Terina Walker, graduate placement.

Xavier Jazz Ensemble in NYC to Launch Katrina CD Fundraiser

New Orleans, La. - A quartet of Xavier University student musicians, along with their director of bands, will perform in New York City on October 12 to launch a brand new CD-ROM created to raise funds for their school as it continues its recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) ACCESS: New Generation Initiative and the Office of Black Catholic Ministry (Archdiocese of New York) will co-host an evening of jazz on October 12 at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.  The event will launch their "New Orleans Crescendo" music CD, an AJC-produced original jazz recording by the Xavier University Jazz Ensemble. 

The event will help raise funds for Xavier University’s Summer Science programs and its Junior School of Music, to ensure that deserving middle and high school students receive
training in music as well as the sciences. The Xavier University Jazz Ensemble is a group of promising music students under the direction of Dr. Tim R. Turner, himself a talented professional musician. The $40 suggested donation for the New York City reception includes a complimentary copy of the New Orleans Crescendo CD for those who attend.

AJC’s Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund made a major contribution last year to Xavier University.  AJC members raised more than $1.2 million to help rebuild churches and synagogues throughout the Gulf Coast, and to provide assistance to Dillard and Xavier universities.  “Our partnership with Xavier University to help local youth is integral to our efforts to build strong relationships with key communities in the Gulf Coast,” said Rebecca Neuwirth, AJC’s director of special projects. The AJC’s ACCESS initiative is made up of people in their 20’s and 30’s participating in a national program that explores critical issues facing the Jewish community today.

Meanwhile, Brother Tyrone A. Davis, executive director of the Office of Black Ministry (Archdiocese of New York) says “It is a pleasure for us to join in collaboration with AJC to help our friends at Xavier, especially since it is America's only historically Black and Catholic university.”  The Office of Black Ministry produced its own very successful fund-raising concert earlier this year, raising $50-thousand in donations for Xavier.

Plans call for the "New Orleans Crescendo" CD to be distributed by the American Jewish Committee and Catholic churches across the U.S. who are interested in supporting the mission of Xavier University.  The music CD will also be available for sale during Homecoming Week at Xavier, when hundreds of alumni are expected on campus with their Reunion classes in November.  

Xavier Music Season Underway

New Orleans, La. -  Xavier University of Louisiana's Music Department’s fall season showcases the exceptional talent of the department’s various performance groups.

The Xavier music department takes its talent on the road when members of the Jazz Ensemble perform in New York in October at a fundraiser for the University hosted by the American Jewish Committee.  

At home the music department has scheduled several exciting events for the fall season including performances by the department’s premier performance groups. The offerings range from classical to jazz and include concerts from the Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and choral groups the University Chorus and the Concert Choir.

The Concert Choir will also be featured as part of the Trinity Artist Series at Trinity Church on Jackson Avenue October 29.  The Jazz Ensemble will delight reunion classes at a homecoming concert November 16 and the holiday season gets underway in early December with the department’s Gala Christmas Concert. 

In addition to the weekly student recitals at 12:15 on Thursday, there are senior recitals scheduled from Emmanuel Burke (piano) and Erion Williams (saxophone).  A complete list of events follows.

All campus concerts are held in the music recital hall and are free and open to the public. For more information about these and  other events, contact the Xavier music department at 504-520-87597 or visit the web at

       MusicCalendar Fall 2006

*All performances are held in the Music Building Recital Hall and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted

Oct. 12      Jazz Band performs at the American Jewish Committee Fundraiser
Oct. 19      Student Recital  12:15pm
Oct. 26      Student Recital 12:15 pm
Oct. 26      Emanuel Burke, senior piano recital 7:00 pm
Oct. 29      Trinity Artist Series, Concert Choir 6:00 pm
Nov. 3    Concert Choir Concert 7:00 pm
Nov. 9    Student Recital 12:15 pm
Nov. 15  Student Recital 12:15 pm
Nov. 16  Homecoming Jazz Band Concert 
Nov. 30  Student Recital 12:15 pm
Nov. 30  Symphonic Band Concert 7:00 pm  
Dec. 3    University Chorus Concert 3:00 pm  
Dec. 6    French Concert
Dec. 7    Student Recital 12:15 pm
Dec. 8    Gala Christmas Concert, 7:00 pm
Dec. 10  Erion Williams, Senior Saxophone Recital 4:00 pm

"Collage Concert" at Xavier Sept. 29

Xavier University of Louisiana’s music faculty and students will present a Collage Concert on Friday, Sept. 29, at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall.  The concert is free and open to the public.

“We call it a Collage Concert because it’s made up of all the best elements of the Xavier music department,” said music chairman Dr. John E. Ware. 

Among the performers are Xavier’s faculty artist in residence, pianist Wilfred Delphin. The department’s vocal performance ensembles, the University Chorus and Concert choir will
perform along with instrumental groups, the Symphonic Band and the Jazz Ensemble.  Several individual music students will also be featured.

Ware adds, “We are especially excited to feature our artist in residence Wilfred Delphin."  A 1971 graduate of Xavier, Delphin has performed around the world, making his professional debut in 1977 as part of the Delphin and Romain duo piano team. Delphin is a former professor at Southern Illinois University School of Music and a resident of the Cane River community of Northern Louisiana. 

For more information on the concert, contact the Xavier music department at 504-520-7597.

Harding, Wallace Lead Xavier Runners Again

Lafayette, La. - Sophomores Ebony Harding and Darren Wallace of Xavier University of Louisiana both finished in the top 30 Friday to lead their teams in the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational cross country race at Acadiana Park.

Harding ran 5,000 meters in 22 minutes, 12.76 seconds to place 22nd out of 57 runners in the women's race. Wallace ran 28th out of 60 in the 8,000-meter men's race with a time of 30:31.55.

Xavier, which won both team championships in last week's season-opening Southern University Invitational, scored 160 points to finish sixth out of seven women's teams. Xavier's men were seventh out of eight schools with 161 points.

Individual champions were Southeastern Louisiana's Mandy Wallace in the women's division (19:23.99) and Louisiana-Monroe's Maya Aden in the men's (26:49.38). Host Louisiana-Lafayette scored 56 points to edge runner-up SLU by two points for the women's team title, but SLU won the men's championship by the same margin over the Cajuns.

Xavier's next meet will be the LSU Tiger Festival at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge, La., next Saturday. The 6,000-meter women's race will start at 7:45 a.m., followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at 9:15 a.m.

Phelps Honored as Emerging Business Leader

New Orleans, La. - Aminah Phelps, a sophomore Biology/Premed major from Atlanta, Ga. (Riverwood High), was named the National Business Plan Competition Winner at the 2006 Emerging Business Leader Summit. She was honored at the 24th National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week conference, held in Washington, D.C.

“MBDA is committed to investing in our future by developing youth entrepreneurs,” said Ronald N. Langston, National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, “Aminah represents a shining example of our future business and community leaders; America’s minority youth must come to realize that economic independence is attainable through business ownership.”

Phelps, a future business owner and creator of, was selected on the business plan’s appeal to consumers, quality of the product, ability to make a profit, leadership, management style, business knowledge and experience, and its financial strength. As the national winner, she receives a week-long business executive training from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business covering management, marketing, finance, and operations. will be an online provider of high quality, affordable, custom-designed jewelry with over 35 styles of pierced and non-pierced earrings and organic spa products.

The purpose of the Emerging Business Leaders Summit (EBLS) is to expose minority college students to the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship. Among those who apply from around the Nation, fifty students are selected to participate in this annual event. 

XU "Operation Diabetes” Sept. 30 at Lakeside Shopping Center

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana’s College of Pharmacy continues its efforts to tackle one of the nation's most serious health challenges, when it presents its third annual "Operation Diabetes" event on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Lakeside Shopping Center.

Diabetes is widely referred to as the "silent killer" disease that that can cause kidney failure,  blindness and even foot or leg amputations for thousands of patients each year…and many people don't even know they have it. “In Louisiana, approximately 208,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes,” said Dr. Adrienne Allen, program

The incidence of the disease is especially alarming in the Black community. In fact, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ Louisiana Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System reports that African Americans are 50-percent more likely to have diabetes than whites. The risk of developing diabetes increases with age and about 25 percent of African Americans who have diabetes are over the age of 45.

Even with those statistics, there is hope for Diabetes patients. Research shows that if diabetics control their blood glucose, diabetes complications such as leg and foot amputations, blindness, and kidney failure can be reduced or even prevented.  Yet, even though about one-third of the people with diabetes in Louisiana are on insulin, less than half of them do not check their blood glucose levels every day.

The public is invited to find out more about Diabetes – including managing the disease, and even prevention – at the Lakeside Mall event on Saturday, Sept. 30, from  10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Members of the College of Pharmacy will administer diabetes screenings on location, and consult with patients who are trying to cope with the disease.

“The goal of Operation Diabetes is education,” said Allen. “If  we can educate people, increase their awareness of diabetes and how to manage the disease, we can absolutely reduce diabetes complications and deaths."

The event is being sponsored by Xavier's Center for Student Leadership and Development office through funding provided by a United Negro College Fund Special Projects Grant (UNCFSP/Learn and Serve).

Xavier’s College of Pharmacy is one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana, and one of the nation's top producers of Doctor of Pharmacy degrees awarded to African-Americans. Since 1927 it has graduated an estimated 25% of the 6,500 African-American pharmacists practicing in the United States.

For more information about Operation Diabetes, contact Dr. Adrienne Allen at Xavier University College of Pharmacy (504) 520-5365.

Cross Country Teams Capture Southern University Meet

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana won the men's and women's team championships at the Southern University Invitational cross country meeting in Baton Rouge on Saturday.

THe Gold Nuggets scored 29 points to win the women's title by 19 points over runner-up Southern, while the Gold Rush scored 30 points to finish six points ahead of Mississippi Valley in the men's division.

"I was very pleased to see us come back thuis way," said XU coach Joseph Moses. "Our young folks stepped up. And we're going to get better."

XU sophomore Ebony Harding ran two miles in 13 minutes, 19.04 seconds to finish third out of 19 runners in the women's race. Xavier had five of the nine fastest women, including a 3-4-5 finish. Sophomore Darren Wallace paced the Xavier men with a fourth place individual finish (15:43.14) finish in the three-mile run.

Xavier Opens 2006-07 Academic Year

New Orleans, La. - After an incredible year of recovery from the destruction following Hurricane Katrina last August, Xavier University of Louisiana returns to its regular school schedule when students return Sept. 5 for registration, with classes beginning next Friday, Sept. 8.

About 2,700 students are expected to return for the Fall semester. That's about 70% of Xavier's pre-Katrina enrollment, and consistent with the university's projections in the wake of so many students being displaced last year by Katrina.

Residence halls will begin check-in for incoming Freshmen at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Among the activities scheduled for the approximately 450 [expected] new students – who selected Xavier as their school, despite Katrina – are a Eucharistic celebration, an "information blitz", plus a talent show and more.

Xavier's legendary president for the past 38 years, Dr. Norman C. Francis, will welcome students and parents at a welcome reception, Tuesday Sept. 5 in the University Center dining hall at 6:30 p.m. Earlier that day, he will address parents and students at 2:00 p.m. the UC Ballroom.

There is also a parent’s orientation scheduled on Tuesday with topics such as Family Transitions, Residence Living and Commuter Parents Information sessions.

Freshmen will have the opportunity to obtain information on campus and academic life at information sessions, participate in a capping ceremony, and later in the week – on Saturday, Sept. 9 – they are encouraged to participate in student community service projects along with other activities. 

Registration for Xavier upperclassmen will be held Sept. 6 and  7. Classes for all students will begin, as noted, on Friday, Sept. 8.  For a complete list of Orientation events, visit HERE.

XU Included Among The Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges”

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana has been singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review.

The New York-based education services company features Xavier, the nation's only historically Black and Catholic university, in the new 2007 edition of its annual guide, "The Best 361 Colleges."

According to the editors, only about 15 percent of the four-year colleges in America – and two Canadian colleges – are in the book. The guide offers two-page profiles on the schools, plus student survey-based ranking lists of top 20 colleges in the book in various categories.

"The main factor in our selection of schools in the book was our high regard for their academic programs,” said Robert Franek, vice president for publishing. “We evaluated them based on institutional data we collect about the schools, feedback from students at them, and visits to schools over the years.”

The ranking lists in The Best 361 Colleges are based on The Princeton Review's survey of students attending the colleges in the book. Students rated their schools on several topics and reported on their campus experiences at them. In their comments, Xavier students noted the University’s tough curriculum, the expertise and passion of its faculty, and its family-like atmosphere.

Citing Xavier’s unparalleled success in a number of academic areas – particularly premedical and pharmacy studies – the college guide noted that the “typical Xavier undergrad is ‘black, smart, sometimes a little too hard on themselves,’ and ‘strives for success and wants to further her education through a graduate/professional program.’ Undergraduates here are typically studious …”

For more info on Xavier or a complete look at the guide, visit

Xavier Ranks High in U.S. News College Guide

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana once again gets the nod of U.S.News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Colleges.”

In the 2007 edition of its popular annual college guide, U.S. News ranks Xavier 29th on its list of the "Best Universities - Master's" from the southern region of the United States.

The annual 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 and master's level programs, in addition to a single doctoral program.

A total of 88 colleges and universities from 12 states were included in this year’s southern region rankings. According to the magazine, which lists more than 1,400 schools, the ratings are based on academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student s/electivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

The complete list of  the southern "Best Universities - Master's" is available here:

City of Refuge, Tavis Smiley Endow XU Scholarship

New Orleans, La. - Bishop Noel Jones, pastor of the City of Refuge church in Los Angeles, and Tavis Smiley, media personality and a member of the church, have endowed a scholarship to help needy and deserving students at Xavier University of Louisiana

Jones and Smiley presented the first contribution of $100,000 to Xavier President Norman C. Francis earlier this month with a pledge to support the endowment over the next five years. The university will administer all aspects of the fund and determine the criteria for distribution.

“This endowment ensures the long lasting prosperity of Xavier and specifically provides support for future young minds who will have an opportunity to further their education,” Jones said.

The announcement comes as Xavier continues recovery efforts one year after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Just five months after levee breaks drove four-to-six feet of floodwaters into virtually every building on the campus, the university reopened its doors in January with nearly 3,000 students.

“Our first priority has always been the students. This contribution by the City of Refuge, Bishop Jones and Tavis Smiley reminds us that now and in the future, students are our number one priority,” said Francis.

Tens of thousands of students attending HBCUs were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and caused to find temporary education and refuge across the country. Two of the colleges, Dillard and Xavier, were flooded and forced to close. 6,500 students were impacted at those two schools alone. 

"Tavis Smiley has been a supporter and friend of Xavier for many years before Katrina, and before receiving an honorary degree in 2004 for his outstanding journalistic career," said Francis. "We are deeply grateful for this latest demonstration of support for the Xavier mission by Tavis, and by his pastor Bishop Noel Jones along with the City of Refuge congregation members."

The endowment is the second part of a commitment by members of the City of Refuge who have donated more than $300,000 to aide individual victims and families displaced by the hurricane. Jones and Smiley promised to return next year to provide more support for the university’s recovery efforts.

“I’m pleased to be a member of the City of Refuge and I am extremely proud of the members who have answered the call with enough love in their heart and hope in their soul to reach into their pockets again to give above and beyond what they have already contributed to restore this important institution,” Smiley said.

Photos are available at:

Former Presidents Launch “Wave of Hope” Campaign

New Orleans, La. - Former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush have joined with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to spearhead a multi-million dollar campaign for rebuilding campuses and replenishing scholarships along the Gulf Coast.

The Wachovia Corporation has spearheaded the fundraising efforts with a $1 million contribution to the campaign, which will benefit the seven HBCUs impacted by Hurricane Katrina: Xavier, Alcorn State, Bishop State, Dillard, Jackson State, Southern- New Orleans and Tougaloo.

“Katrina washed away many things, but we can’t allow this disaster to bring further tragedy,” said former president, Bill Clinton, about the Wave of Hope campaign. “We cannot afford to lose these schools that are important to our communities, our children and our future.”

Tens of thousands of students attending HBCUs were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and caused to find temporary education and refuge across the country. Two of the colleges, Dillard and Xavier, were flooded and forced to close. 6,500 students were impacted at those two schools alone.

160 Honor Graduates Accent Commencement

New Orleans, La. - 160 of this year’s 535 College of Arts & Sciences and Graduate School graduates received their diplomas with honors during Xavier University of Louisiana's 79th annual commencement, which was held for the first time at the New Orleans Arena.

The Class of 2006 heard a stirring keynote address by Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the ceremony.

Twenty-seven students graduated with summa cum laude honors, while another 30 earned magna cum laude honors and 77 others earned cum laude distinction. An additional 26 students earned Graduate School honors.
Summa Cum Laudes

Four students with perfect grade point averages headed this year’s group of summa cum laude graduates. The graduates – all of whom received bachelor of science degrees – included: Kendra Adams, a business major from LaPlace. La.; Julie Dumas, engineering major from Vacherie, La.; Tiffany Haynes, a psychology major from Colt, Ark.; and Brooke Howard, a biology/pre-med from Smyrna, Ga.

Earning bachelor of arts degrees with summa cum laude honors were Leslie Spillman and Brandi Tregre.

Also earning bachelor of science degrees with summa cum laude honors were: Sarah Ann Anderson, Joliette Barnum, Tiffany Bell, Jessica Butler, LaToya Clark, Marie-Teresa Colbert, Chantel Gant, Krystal Jerry, Amanda Martin, Shannon Murphy, Cuong Nguyen, Kien Anh Nguyen, Candace Pettigrew, Dione Rudison, Shannon Seals, Diane Thomas, Mai Linh Tran, Rene Turner, Christopher Whitmore, Keisha Williams and Natalie Younger.

Magna Cum Laudes

Students graduating magna cum laude with bachelor of arts degrees were: Angel Bradford, Yolanda Davis, Cassie Ford, Sara Jacobelli and Stephanie Rodgers.

Earning bachelor of science degrees with magna cum laude honors were: Maria Abasi, Shunte’ Anderson, Reston Bell, Tyne Carrington, Brittany Clark, J.D. Cotton, Dung Dinh, Shakir Emel, Jawauna Faulkner, Kimberly Hodge, Ashleigh Igbokwe, Lisa Johnson, Tamara Johnson, Tricia Lemelle, Holly Loritts, Tameka Noel, Chinwe Obiaga, Patrick Ogidan, Sabrina Powell, April Pritchard, Melodi Reese, Thu Tran, Amber Washington, Jhacova Williams and Minniel Yarbrough.

Cum Laudes

Bobby Hill graduated cum laude with both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts degree.

Other students graduating cum laude with bachelor of arts degrees were: Mary Aregbesola, Melissa Groves, Ronicka Harrison, Ryn Jordan, Nadre’a Reeves, Kathryn Spillman, Lauren Thomas, Yana Thompson, Nicole Washington, Autheius White, Lauren Williams and David Wright.

Earning a bachelor of music degree with cum laude honors was Emanuel Burke.

Other students earning bachelor of science degrees with cum laude honors were: George Adesina, Olayinka Afolabi, Unoma Akamagwuna, Marissa Arnett, Ashlea Barker, Danielle Bourne, Lateela Burns, Ariane Crutchfield, Eldra Daniels, Shameka Darisaw, Melvin Dillard III, Lauren Dimes, Jonathon Dolese, Antonio Funches, Charles Gibson, Rodney Goldsmith, Melissa Groves, Danielle Haney, Christina Henry, Dominique Hill, Tiffany Hill, Bianca Howard, Eberenne Igbokwe, Byron Jasper, Audry Jones, Courtney Kinney, Melanie LeDuff, Rae Lundy, Madisa Macon, Samantha Mason, Regina McCutcheon, Alecia McFarlane, Carla McLain, Jenais Miller, Shenitta Moore, Lucretia Nave, Kalisha Nelson, Roenikya Phillips, Sarah Price, Tequilla Pryor, Valerie Raby, Tenia Rhodes, Aminah Ricks, Mia Robins, Jasmine Robinson, Alexis Russell, Erin Russell, Lindsay Ryans, Kimberly Sanders, Shelley Schmitz, Marla Singleton, Jonathan Smith, Eboni Stephens, Deandra Stewart, Courtney Tafesse, Elisha Talbert, Kera Thompson, Andre Tilton, LeShay Wesson, Frank Williams, Melody Wyche and Byron Young.

Graduate School Honors

Twenty-six Graduate School students graduated with honors.

Earning a Master of Arts degree with honors were: Tiffany Cloud, Nikeita Constantine, Barbara Edwards, Therese Fitzpatrick, Eileen Fraise, Sholian Freeman, Sheila Hebe’rt, Alexandra Howard, LaShawne Long Myles, Lori McCullum, Anaeus Missai, Jeannine Nicol, Tania Porter, Sherna Saul-Lumar, Catherine Spooner, John Vanison, Jr., and Yashica Watson.

Earning a Master of Arts in Teaching degree with honors were: Shakia Moliere, Bradon Trahan, Deborah Veith, Sandra Walker-Parker and Jewdeia Williams-Olmsted.

Earning a Master of Theology with honors were: Caleb Buchanan, Ednarita Canton, Orita Edwards and Sister Jean Martinez, SSF.

DeLisle, long-time music professor, dies

New Orleans, La. - David deLisle, long-time music professor at Xavier University of Louisiana died on Friday July 29 in Atlanta.

DeLisle lived in New Orleans for over forty years. He taught at Xavier since 1965. He was associate professor in applied piano and music theory and coordinator of the applied piano area.  He also taught at NOCCA, the New England Conservatory of Music and Wisconsin University in Madison at the summer music clinic.

He received both a bachelor of music in piano performance and a Master of Music in piano pedagogy from the New England Conservatory of Music.  He also attended the University of Maryland (College Park) and earned thirty hours toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

DeLisle also performed for numerous solo recitals around the country as well as with large ensembles such as the New Hampshire Summer Festival Symphony and New England Conservatory Symphony, as well as some chamber groups.

He was a ready accompanist, for Xavier performers and the New Orleans community. In the 1970’s he toured two seasons with St. Louis Symphony violinist Darwyn Apple; accompanied tenor John Miles on his concert circuit; and was accompanist to the Boston Ballet company. He also regularly accompanied the regional metropolitan opera auditions and the statewide national association of teachers of singing. 

As a Xavier faculty member he received two UNCF grants for doctoral study. He was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, honorary music society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music society, and the Louisiana Music Teachers Association.

“In his own special way he was really dedicated to the department and the students here, said music department chair, Dr. John Ware.  “We had piano majors who came to Xavier especially to study with him. There were also people in the New Orleans community that he was very close to including NOCCA’s Lorraine Alfero, Richard Harrison, the first black flautist for the symphony orchestra and noted composer and arranger, Roger Dickinson.  He will certainly be sorely missed.”

Delisle is survived by his wife D. Elizabeth Render deLisle and two children, Gabrielle and Pierre. The Music Dept. will hold a memorial concert in deLisle’s honor at a later date.

59 Students Receive Sigma Pi Phi Scholarship Assistance

New Orleans, La. - Fifty-nine Xavier University of Louisiana undergraduates have received partial scholarships through the Sigma Pi Fraternity Hurricane Relief Assistance Plan, which was established earlier this year through a generous gift by the organization.

The students, selected on the basis of scholarship and need, are listed below by major:

Biology – Brittany Adolph, Tiarra Clayton, Victoria Dixon, Whitney Hardy, MarTesha Lancaster, Rayanne Lee, Marlon Mazant, Jouce Murthi, Joshua Pichon, Samantha Purnell, LeBrei Simmons, Huy Tran, Julie Tran and Shanika Valcour.

Business – Kandice Keelen and Traylon Williams.

Chemistry – Alexandra Alcorn, Tamara Alexander, Lonzie Beamon, LaQuinta Below, Linh Do, Lyndreion Farria, Christopher Gillard, Jericka James, Enjoli Lewis, John Nguyen, Nhu Nguyen, Danielle Riley and Kashina Simmons.

Computer Science – Wendy Thomas.

Education – Lakiwa Dorsey.

Mass Communcation – Ashley Bailey and Ashley Thomas.

Music – Jeanine Daniels.

Pharmacy – NaEisha Ancalade, Etemali Behnaz, Nneji Benedine, Quentin Chevalier, Abdul Hamide, Ronnika Jackson, Celina Livaccari, Danielle Mercier, Ashleigh Netter, Duy Nguyen, Hieu Nguyen, Jade Santiago, Duston Stacia, Ashley Stevens, China Stewart and Janay Woodard.

Political Science – Emerald Skipper and Aminn Thompson.

Psychology – Brittany Blackwell, Trecee Hutchinson, Tricia Lemelle, Darlonda Reynaud and Jennifer Torregano.

Sociology – Victoria Lee.

Speech Pathology – Ashley Jones.

XU Business Department Inducted into Honor Society
New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana’s Department of Business has been inducted into the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business Administration.

Dr. Kitty Campbell, the Sixth District Head of Delta Mu Delta, conferred the designation at the department’s annual business banquet. The XU chapter will be known as the Kappa Phi chapter.

The focus of XU Department of Business department is on performing at the highest levels of teaching, scholarly research, and commitment to students. Those students can then leave the University with the knowledge, skills and confidence that will enable them to build successful careers in the dynamic world of business. 

The XU Department of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Recognized nationally and internationally as the leading accrediting agency for business education, ACBSP rewards excellence in teaching and learning outcomes.

The department offers degree programs in accounting and business administration with concentrations in finance, management, management science, sales and marketing and entrepreneurship. Xavier’s Department of Business is also home to the Entrepreneurship Institute which conducts seminars for students and the community. Xavier also offers joint MBA and graduate programs for its students. 

Delta Mu Delta was founded by a Dean from Harvard University along with four professors from Yale University and New York University in 1913. Delta Mu Delta is the International Honor Society for business programs accredited by ACBSP at the baccalaureate/graduate level.

Music Department Begins California Tour Aug. 12

New Orleans, La. - The Xavier University Music Department will embark on a Summer 2006  California Tour, August 12-22.  The University’s Concert Choir, University Chorus, and Jazz Lab Band will all perform. 
The highlight of the tour will be a performance at the 15th annual awards banquet for the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce on Saturday August 19 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel. The banquet theme is “Science, Medicine and Inventions,” celebrates the accomplishments of Black scientists, medical professionals and inventors.

Other public performances scheduled include: Aug. 13 – St. Eugene Catholic Church; Aug. 15 – free concert at the San Luis Obispo Mission; and Aug. 20 – San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church in Anaheim Hills.  

In addition, there are several private concerts scheduled.

Xavier University music performance groups have appeared before the Pope in Rome in St. Peter’s Basilica and with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

The department has recorded a CD commemorating the canonization of the University’s founder, St. Katharine Drexel.  It was commissioned by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and includes performances of spirituals, classical choral literature and contemporary gospel as well as new compositions by Xavier faculty John Ware and Malcolm Breda.

The Xavier University Summer 2006 California Tour still has dates open for performances. If any alumni, church or other groups are interested in sponsoring a concert during that time, please contact Music Department Chair, Dr. John E. Ware or Dr. Malcolm Breda at 504-520-7597 or by email at

For tickets or more information on the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce banquet call (714) 637-6132.

Hunter Retires After 32 Years of Service to XU

New Orleans, La. - She's an accomplished science educator who has helped educate many of today's leading doctors and medical researchers. Her colleagues and students describe her as a role model personifying grace and dignity, humility and compassion. She is Dr. Jacqueline Hunter, a professor of Biology at Xavier University of Louisiana for more than three decades, who has decided to retire in August at the end of the University's current semester.

She arrived in New Orleans back in 1974 with her husband, Harold Hunter, one of the first African American players in the NBA, who had been hired as an assistant basketball coach at Xavier. The University also accepted her for a position with the Biology department. She eagerly joined in the efforts of Dr. JW Carmichael and others who were in the beginning stages of developing science curriculum reform initiatives that are now landmark.  Dr. Hunter was instrumental in the development and management of Project SOAR, the initial science academy summer program on Xavier's campus.

Additionally, she is an author of the Basic Principles of Biology workbook that Xavier students have used for 25 years. The combination of those efforts and the countless hours of hard work are the source of the University's current 14-year status as #1 in placing African Americans in Medical School.  She has served as a premed advisor and as the advisor to the Premedical honor society.

Her love for academia was obviously instilled in her as a young girl. One of six children, she grew up in Durham, North Carolina where her father taught mathematics and coached football at North Carolina Central (then called North Carolina College).

She earned her Bachelors degree from N.C. Central. Shortly thereafter she married and she and Harold moved to Tennessee. While there, she continued her education, earning a master's degree from Tennessee State University. They also began their family. Eventually, Harold's coaching career led the family to New Orleans and Jackie to Xavier. At one point, she took a leave of absence from Xavier to complete her doctoral studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. She returned to Xavier and stepped back into the grinding pace that only the most dedicated educator can understand.

She and Harold have two children and three grandchildren, all of who reside in Nashville. Prior to Hurricane Katrina the Hunters lived in a Xavier-owned cottage, right in the middle of campus. On many pleasant days she walked to her office to get her exercise. Hurricane Katrina flooded their home and all possessions were lost. In spite of this, she and her husband returned from their son's home in Nashville when Xavier re-opened in January. At least one generation of post-Katrina Xavierites has experienced the wisdom of Dr. Jacqueline Hunter.

Dr. Michelle Boissiere, chairperson of Xavier's Biology department said, "Her retirement will bring tears to many eyes and her infectious laughter will be truly missed."

Bracy Receives Promotion to Vice President

New Orleans, La. - Marion Bracy has been named vice president of Facility Planning and Management at Xavier University of Louisiana, it was announced by President Norman Francis. The position was approved in June by the Xavier Board of Trustees.

Bracy began his career at Xavier in 1998 as associate director of facility planning and management. Shortly after his arrival, he was promoted to director. He leads a team of 10 managers and 85 employees and is responsible for the overall maintenance and improvement of the University. He also serves as liaison between federal, state, and local agencies, contractors, companies and community members.

His most recent accomplishment was overseeing the reconstruction of Xavier after the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"Marion has played a heroic role since last August – remaining during the hurricane to help protect the campus and our students who stayed behind, then assuming the difficult challenge of overseeing our campus repairs and restoration even though his own home had been destroyed like so many of us,” said Francis "He continues to play a critical role in our dealings with contractors as campus repairs continue, as well as our insurance claims adjusters and FEMA."

Bracey serves as president for the Southeastern Association of Physical Plant Administrators, he is board member-elect with the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. He is also affiliate with the International Facility Management Association and the Louisiana Federal Property Assistance Agency where he serves on the Advisory Board.

Renowned Pianist Serving as XU Artist in Residence 

New Orleans, La. - Internationally renowned pianist Wilfred Delphin is serving as Artist-in-residence at Xavier University of Louisiana for the 2006-2007 school year.

Delphin, a former SIUC School of Music professor and a 1971 graduate of Xavier’s music department.  He holds a master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in performance.

He made his professional debut with orchestra in 1977 in Carnegie Hall as part of the Delphin and Romain duo piano team. They were the first African-American piano team on the professional circuit, according to Delphin.

Their career included tours in the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia.  In 2003 Dr. Delphin was invited to perform the six Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach for the Gateways Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music. He retired from the faculty of Southern Illinois University n 2004 and spent seven months in Senegal, West Africa as Peace Corps volunteer.  Presently, he resides part-time in the Cane River community of Northern Louisiana. 

Delphin joined visiting artists from Southern Illinois University in a benefit concert for the Xavier music department in April.

G.I. Dog Tags Exhibit at Xavier Spurs Interest

New Orleans, La. - A rather personal art exhibit could prove to be the start of bigger things for Xavier University of Louisiana senior Jamie Jones. Earlier this month, the Metairie resident (East Jefferson High) exhibited his artwork – a display consisting of more than 2,400 ceramic dog tags representing the U.S. soldiers who have died in the War in Iraq – in the campus’ Library Resource Center Gallery. 

Each senior art exhibit at Xavier lasted for one week, but this exhibit will have an extended life beyond the campus. Art professors at several other universities with whom Jones has shared photos of the piece have already approached him about bringing the exhibit to their campuses. Jones, who graduates this August, has already agreed to share his artwork and vision during a November 2006 symposium at the California College of the Arts in Oakland.

All of that interest comes as a pleasant surprise for Jones, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, whose personal motivation for the piece was merely to honor fallen American soldiers and to render his own mind at peace -- not to mention completing final requirements for his long sought-after degree in Art Education.

The latter is particularly important to Jones, who is not your typical undergraduate. Age 36, he has served in the army reserve since 1990 while attending school (at Delgado and Xavier) part-time. Originally assigned to a field artillery serve unit, he is now a member of the 1192nd Transportation Company, which sends supplies to comrades serving around the world, including those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although he was deployed on active duty for the first 18 months of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he never served overseas himself. Nevertheless, as the Iraqi conflict dragged on, he found the deaths of so many young people began to cause him emotional distress.  He eventually saw the senior art show as a way to help him deal with the death and destruction of the Iraqi War. But make no mistake, this is no anti-war piece.

“I wanted to dedicate my senior show to the 2,436 soldiers who had lost their lives while serving their country,” he said. “Whether you agree with the war or not – and I do have my own feelings on the subject – is really irrelevant here. What angers me most of all is that these young men and women are dying and their ultimate personal sacrifices are being forgotten by the media and other people who want to politicize what is happening.”

To that end, Jones has been pleased with the reactions the work has invoked, noting that many visitors to the campus exhibit were moved to tears. “I guess you can’t truly appreciate how big a number 2,000 is until you can visualize it as individual pieces of the whole,” he said.

Jones said the actual idea for the piece came to him one night at 3 a.m. and he sketched out the display in just a few hours. In contrast, preparing and building the exhibit was an ordeal, both emotionally and physically. Fighting his own emotions along the way, Jones had to mold each of the 2000+ dog tags (the military identification tag worn around the neck by all U.S. servicemen and women) individually from clay, then fire and paint each one (the various colors representing the home states of each individual. He then had to suspend all the tags to the ceiling and covered the floor in a 6x20 foot sand box to replicate a real formation.

He said the piece – entitled “Formation” – represents the last formation these soldiers would ever be in.

“I had some military friends of mine who helped me with the installation, I think I’ll recommend them for a commendation,” he said, saving a special thanks to his girlfriend’s dad, who vacuumed up the sand with his WetVac once the exhibit closed down. Since the piece will have life elsewhere, it has been carefully packed for its subsequent travels.

Jones said the piece will remain static – he stopped adding dog tags in May – even though more American soldiers have died since then, and, unfortunately, it is more than likely that others will die in the future.

“To make this a real “living” piece it would have to be a permanent exhibit in a gallery or something,” he said. “But the exact number is not what’s important; those 2,000+ tags already give a proper sense of the enormity of it all.”

As for his own future, Jones said he has applied for the Maryland Institute College of Art’s graduate program in community development through the arts. He hopes his senior exhibit – which he documented digitally from start to finish – will help him land a spot. After that, he envisions himself combining a career in free-lance art with teaching elementary school and working with community art programs.

“I’ve always believed that you should find something you like to do and then share it with others,” said Jones. “I think I’m on the right track.”

[Visit the XU Photo Bank for a selection of photos).

'06 Commencement Moved to New Orleans Arena

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana’s has moved its August 2006 commencement for its College of Arts and Sciences to the New Orleans Arena from its originally-announced location (the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center).

More than 500 A&S graduates are expected to receive their degrees at the commencement. The College of Pharmacy previously awarded 121 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees in a separate ceremony earlier on May 20. The event, still scheduled for Saturday, August 12, at 3:00 p.m., will feature keynote speaker Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

“We are pleased to have our graduates hear from such a dynamic and inspiring speaker as Senator Obama,” said Xavier President Norman C. Francis of the speaker, who will be presented an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony. “But we are truly gratified by the prospect of graduating our largest senior class in Xavier’s history less than a year after Hurricane Katrina’s catastrophic damage.”

Obama, who earned a nationwide reputation as a tireless community organizer, civil rights attorney and leader in the Illinois State Senate, was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004. He won the open Senate seat while on leave from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a lecturer on Constitutional Law. He is the only African American currently serving in the U.S. Senate, and only the fifth in U.S. history to ever serve in the Senate.

The University’s Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will precede graduation on Friday evening, August 11, at 7:00 pm in the Xavier Gymnasium on campus.  This will be the second commencement for Xavier this year.

Entrepreneurship Institute Presents “Business of Science” Lecture

New Orleans, La. - The Entrepreneurship Institute is sponsoring a presentation, “The Business of Science – The Story of ReliaGene Technologies, Inc.,” on TUESDAY (July 18) from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the University Center, Room 205C.

The guest speaker is Dr. Sudhir Sinha, president and laboratory director of the company. Founded in 1990, ReliaGene Technologies, Inc. is a leading DNA laboratory and research facility specializing in human genetic identification for forensic and parentage testing applications.

The event is free and the public invited.

Summerfest X-plodes on Campus this Week

New Orleans, La. - Looking for an exciting, safe event to enjoy this summer? Come enjoy Xavier University of Louisiana’s Summerfest Fahrenheit 2006: Over-worked, Over-heated and Ready to X-plode!  

Summerfest events get underway THURSDAY (July 13) with a Kick off and Fashion Show in the Barn. On FRIDAY (July 14) will be the annual Dorm Step Off and the first Block Party in the Faculty Parking Lot, while the celebration concludes SATURDAY (July 15) with a concert featuring up-and-coming Bad Boy artist Cassie.

In keeping with the spirit of rebuilding New Orleans, Xavier would like to invite its surrounding community to join it for these free and safe events. For more information, contact the XU Student Activities office at 520-5450.

Cassiere Named Sports Information Director

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana has hired Ed Cassiere, an award-winning publicist and sportswriter, as its sports information director effective July 10, 2006, according to athletics director Dennis Cousin.

"Ed has considerable talent and experience plus a great passion for his profession, and we're excited to have him at Xavier," Cousin said. "He will be a tremendous addition for our university and play a key part in the growth of Xavier athletics."

Cassiere comes to Xavier after 13 years (1987-2000) as the sports information director at the University of New Orleans. During a 10-year period at UNO, Cassiere publicized Privateer men's basketball teams which appeared in the NCAA Tournament or NIT eight times. He was host SID for NCAA Final Fours in men's basketball (1993) and women's basketball (1991).

"I'm excited to be part of the Xavier family," Cassiere said. "I look forward to telling the continuing story of Xavier athletics and promoting the university, its coaches and student-athletes."

Xavier, a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) and the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), will resume intercollegiate competition this fall after a one-year hiatus due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Returning programs include men's and women's basketball, tennis and cross country.

Cassiere has won more than 50 awards for sports publicity and sportswriting, including "Best in the Nation" in the College Sports Information Directors of America writing contest. In 1979 he received the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's first sportswriting scholarship.

After UNO he spent six years as a freelance sportswriter and publicist. He covered area pro and college events for SportsTicker, directed media relations for Louisiana High School Athletic Association state championships in swimming and volleyball and provided occasional coverage of professional, college and high school games for approximately two dozen newspapers nationwide.

Cassiere was president of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association from 1994-96. He was assistant sports information director at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1986-87 and a sportswriter at the Shreveport (La.) Journal in his hometown from 1981-86. He earned his first bylines as a 10th-grader, covering sports for The (Shreveport) Times in the mid-1970s.

Cassiere received a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 1981. He and his wife, the former Sharon Berken of Jennings, La., have two daughters, Katrina and Amy.

Festival of Scholars Showcases Student Research

New Orleans, La. - The search for the Ark of the Covenant, “Hurricane Katrina, Race, Gender and News Interpretations” as well as “Gender Bias in Hip Hop” are among the research topics and presentations at Xavier University’s Festival of Scholars Thursday and Firday, July 6-7. 

Xavier’s Center for Undergraduate Research is hosting the third annual Festival of Scholars which showcases Xavier students’ research. Students will give oral presentations, poster presentations and performance presentations, and will be available to answer questions about their research.

“This is just another example of the campus returning and engaging our students, said Xavier president, Dr. Norman Francis. “We have some outstanding student researchers who have done research around and about the world.”

Some of them have incorporated the reality of Katrina into their research and there a broad spectrum of research including sociological, archaeological and the sciences.

For more information visit the Xavier University web page at

Open House on Teacher Certification Funding Opportunities

New Orleans, La. - Individuals who want to explore a career change to teaching math or science, or special education, can learn more by attending an open house on "Teacher
Certification Funding Opportunities" at Xavier University of  Louisiana.

The open house will take place Thursday, July 20, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in room 205 of the University Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Xavier’s Division of Education is offering two different specialized education programs for individuals who want to explore a career change to teaching math or science, or special education, including: Project Seek, for undergraduate certification in special education, and Transition to Teaching for graduate alternative certification in math, science, or special education.

“The open house information session will give potential students an opportunity to see that we have to offer and what program best fits their career goals,” said Dr. Nancy Martino, one of the program coordinators. Through these two grants funded by the Federal Office of Special Education Programs and the Federal Office of Innovation and Improvement, Xavier is offering students accepted into the programs tuition assistance at both levels and book stipends at the undergraduate level.

“The Transitions to Teaching program is ideal for people who are looking for a career change and want to take on a teaching career,” said Martino. The program includes
graduate school courses that working students can take online.

The Project Seek program is open to college students who are at the junior level or above, or individuals with at least an associate degree in any field. Project Seek offers certification in mild/moderate special education, which includes working with youngsters with behavioral or learning disabilities.  “There is a shortage of special education professionals and a critical need for them,” said Martino. “We provide specialized
training for urban education. Our program also includes course work related to speech language and development, which can be useful to help teachers identify reading
problems," she said. 

"Within the Project Seek and Transition to Teaching programs, we meet with our students individually, and as a group in at least one formal meeting and through departmental meetings." Potential students will have an interview with education faculty before they are accepted into the program. Students have to keep a 2.5 grade point average at the undergraduate level and a 3.0 grade point average at the graduate level to maintain funding. Individuals interested in the Transition to Teaching program will need to pass PRAXIS I and their appropriate content exam in order to enter the program. Individuals interested in Project SEEK will need to pass PRAXIS I for entry into the program.

Xavier’s Division of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and 100% of its education students pass the PRAXIS exams. The Xavier Division of Education is recognized as an “Exemplary Teacher Education Program” by the Louisiana State Department of Education

For more information on Project Seek or Transition to Teaching, visit the Xavier website at or call the Division of Education at 520-7536.

XU ALLSTARS Summer Camp Holds Registration June 26-30

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University will host the XU ALLSTARS summer camp for elementary age students July 5- August 2.  

ALL STARS (Academic Lessons Leadership Sports Training and Recreation Summit) is a summer enrichment program with both academic enrichment and community sports components for students entering grades pre-K through 6th.  Sports concentrations are in basketball, volleyball and tennis.

 XU Division of Education students have designed the academic curriculum for the camp. The camp will be held Monday through Friday 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Drinks and snacks are provided.

Registration is $50 per students and scholarships are available. Registration will be held Monday, June 26 through Friday, June 30, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in room 316 of the University Center (4980 Dixon Street). The program is sponsored by UNCFSP Learn and Serve, UNICEF and the Xavier Center for Student Leadership and Service. 

Xavier Jazz Ensemble Concert Honors Diversity Theme

New Orleans, La. - The Xavier University Jazz Ensemble will perform its annual semester concert Thursday June 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall.  The concert is free and open to the public.

The Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Tim Turner.  The Music Department’s Jazz Ensemble and Concert Choir performed earlier this month for the closing ceremony of the International Conference on Diversity, hosted by Xavier. The Jazz Ensemble’s concert performance will honor the conference theme, “Human Rights Diversity and Social Justice,”  by performing works from jazz masters Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sammy Nestico, and Jimmy Heath. 

For more information contact Dr. Tim Turner at 504 520 6738.

Student Selected for Baylor Summer Health Professions Program

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University student Matara LuTrise Wright has been selected to participate in the Honors Premedical Academy, sponsored by Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Texas Children’s Hospital and Rice University.

Wright, a sophomore psychology/premed major at Xavier, is a native of Houston, Texas.

Wright and sixty-four other undergraduate students, representing 24 universities across the country will study this summer at BCM, Texas Children’s Hospital and Rice.

The Honors Premedical Academy, funded by the three institutions, was designed to increase the number of physicians from groups that have been historically underrepresented in medicine.

The students will participate in academic and clinical activities, including anatomy and physiology taught by BCM faculty, medical communications taught by Rice faculty and clinical preceptorships with BCM faculty members.

The students will also attend seminars on medical ethics and hear speakers from various medical specialties. Participants are mentored by BCM medical students and receive advice on medical school admissions from faculty and administrators.

"The students get a preview of what going through medical school would be like," says Pamela Ferry, HPA director. "The coursework is rigorous, and the schedule is demanding, but the overall experience is exciting and provides continuous motivation and encouragement to become a doctor."

Since the HPA began in 1989, a total of 1,987 students have participated in the program. More than 73 percent of former HPA students who have applied to medical school have been accepted.

Loyola College (of Maryland) Announces Hurricane Relief Donation

New Orleans, La. - For a university forced to spend millions of dollars in reconstruction costs in the wake of one the nation’s worst natural disasters, the support of fellow institutions is always appreciated. On Wednesday, June 14, the non-profit, student-run radio station WLOY at Loyola College in Maryland announced that it had raised $9,445.83 to benefit hurricane relief and recovery efforts at Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically African-American Roman Catholic university in the country.           

The occasion was a visit by Xavier’s Associate Vice President for University and Media Relations, Warren Bell, Jr., who was attending a Baltimore conference to discuss how Xavier handled its emergency communications during and after last year’s hurricane. Xavier sustained significant damage as a result of Hurricane Katrina, but re-opened just five months later, in January 2006.

A core group of about 11 WLOY student employees devoted their Spring 2006 semester to fundraising activities for Xavier. Most notably, the students planned and hosted a March concert featuring Mississippi-born national recording artist Afroman as well as Baltimore bands Hardheadz plus Fools and Horses. In addition, the students organized raffles, staged t-shirt sales and encouraged donations at campus events throughout the semester.

“Although we are very proud that Xavier resumed classes in January, with about 85% of the campus restored, the University was forced to seek lines of credit to cover construction costs of $45-50 million,” said Bell, as he thanked the students for caring so much about a fellow Catholic institution.  “Only SOME of that money for repairs and replacement of damaged assets will ultimately be covered by the university’s insurance carriers, or through FEMA and other forms of government assistance,” he adds, “that is why donations like these are so important to our long term survival.”

Located in Baltimore, Loyola College in Maryland is a Jesuit, Catholic University enrolling 3,500 undergraduates and nearly 3,000 graduate students. Founded in 1852, the College is committed to the educational and spiritual traditions of the Society of Jesus and to the ideals of liberal education and the development of the whole person.  In the days following Hurricane Katrina, the College offered admission to and waived tuition for nearly 80 students displaced by the disaster, including several from Xavier.

For more information on Xavier University’s remarkable recovery after Hurricane Katrina, and how to donate to the Relief Fund, please visit online at

Obama to speak at 2006 Commencement

New Orleans, La. - U.S. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, will deliver the keynote address at Xavier’s 2006 Commencement on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 3 p.m.

Obama, who earned a nationwide reputation as a tireless community organizer, civil rights attorney, and leader in the Illinois State Senate, was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004. He won the open Senate seat while on leave from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a lecturer on Constitutional Law. He is the only African American currently serving in the U.S. Senate, and only the fifth African-American to serve in the Senate in U.S. history.

He is expected to address some 450 graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School at commencement. The Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will
precede graduation on Friday, August 11, at 7 p.m. in the X.U. Gymnasium.

608 Scholars Make Dean’s List for Fall Semester

New Orleans, La. - A total of 608 student scholars made the Dean's Honor Roll during the fall semester according to records released by the Registrar’s Office.  

Students merited a spot on the honor roll by earning a semester grade point average of 3.3 or above while taking at least 12 semester hours. The complete list is available online HERE.

Gold Nugget Earns Coca-Cola Community All-American Award

New Orleans, La. - Sheronda Nash, a member of the Gold Nuggets basketball team, has been named a recipient of the Coca-Cola Community All American Award.

The All-American awards program recognizes student-athletes who are making a difference in their communities. Generally one recipient is selected in each of the athletic divisions (NCAA, NAIA and Junior/Community College) with Coca-cola making a $5,000 donation to the community/philanthropic cause of each recipient’s choice. This year, however, a recipient was chosen at each of the local New Orleans institutions as well. The company is making a $5,000 donation to each of the institutions' athletics department.

Nash, a native of Montgomery, Alabama,(Booker T. Washington High), is a junior physics/engineering major with a 3.88 grade point average. The 6’0” forward/center was the team’s leading rebounder in 2004-2005. A walk-on, she was Xavier's Most Improved Player that year and will serve as the team's captain when XU resumes intercollegiate play this fall.

An Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar, Nash has been on the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Honor Roll each semester. She has been actively involved in undergraduate research in the Research Fellows Program and has tutored fellow physics majors. She has served as a hostess for the Women's Program on Breast Cancer Awareness, participated in a fund raiser to assist New Orleans schools replace uniforms and equipment lost in Hurricane Katrina and served as a volunteer at the Deuce McAllister benefit for needy children.

International Diversity Conference Hosted by Xavier June 12-15

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana will host the 6th annual international conference on diversity June 12-15, 2006 at the downtown Sheraton Hotel. The theme is “Human Rights, Diversity and Social Justice.”

Representatives from 20 countries submitted proposals and are expected to present at the conference, including Australia, France, England, Ireland, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United States. Several locals are also scheduled to present. Representatives from LSU, Xavier, Tulane and Loyola are scheduled presenters.

Xavier University president Dr. Norman C. Francis will give the welcoming remarks
The Xavier jazz combo will perform at the opening session, and the Xavier Concert Choir will perform at the closing session.

Conference organizers say the concerns of this conference -- Human Rights, Diversity and Social Justice -- loom larger than ever in the light of the terrible events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. In addition to its usual global concern for the dynamics of diversity, the conference will include a specific focus on New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Dr. Joe Melcher, professor of communications at Xavier is one of the local organizers. “Xavier is especially proud to host this conference,” he said. “We are an historically Black institution and part of Xavier’s mission is to create a more just and humane society.”

“This year’s conference theme addresses the need for human rights internationally, the need for diversity in the workplace and in our communities, and the need for social justice both internationally and at home,” said Melcher.

For more information on the Diversity Conference, visit the website at or call Dr. Joe Melcher at 504-520-7982.

Theology at Xavier: It’s Not What You Think

New Orleans, La. - To the average Xavier University of Louisiana student, and perhaps some alumni too, “Theology” probably conjures up memories of those courses that they needed to fulfill their core requirements. But how about theology as a major course of study? Somebody majoring in such a discipline is probably contemplating entering religious life, right? Or, perhaps, they just can’t figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives?

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that Theology at Xavier is an academic discipline examining a cross-section of religions and ideologies. It is a reflection on human history and human experience in light of faith. And to those who embrace it, it  can be a vehicle to enhance their critical reflection – leading to a greater understanding of themselves, their world, and yes, their God.

That certainly has been the case for three senior theology majors at Xavier – Malik Muhammed, Roy DuBose and Justin Ross-Hillard – all of whom seem to have found themselves. All three will be graduating this August, then heading off to some rather prestigious graduate school programs.

Muhammed, a senior from New Orleans (Brother Martin High), is unique in that he came to Xavier specifically to study academic Theology. A constant presence on the Dean’s List and a McNair Scholar, he is headed for graduate studies at the Yale University School of Divinity.

“When I was a freshman, I was actually popular because I was majoring in a “fringe” area – not what Xavier is known for academically,” said Muhammed, whose concentration was in theology fundamentals. “But I really wasn’t seeking the approval of the world; there were questions I had that couldn’t be answered in any other discipline.” 

In contrast, DuBose, also a senior from New Orleans’ Brother Martin High, started down a more familiar Xavier path – biology/premed. However, after being exposed to biblical studies as part of his core requirements, he was hooked and decided to pursue a double major - studying theology in his second year while continuing to pursue the completion of the premed program. Also a McNair scholar, he has already been accepted into a  graduate  theology program at the University of Notre Dame.

“Studying theology helps develop the critical thought process in a way no other discipline can,” said DuBose, pointing out that in some cases just being able to ask the question is more important than finding the answer. “Sometimes there is no answer, but in asking the question – and thinking it out for yourself – you discover something about yourself.”

The study of theology is indeed about asking questions, said long-time faculty member Father Phillip Linden, Ph.D., S.S.J. He said that unlike math and science, however, there are no formulas or rote answers to memorize, and the questions themselves are only valid if they relate to the individual’s own personal understanding.

Professor Michael Homan, who specializes in biblical  studies and archaeology agrees. “There are a lot of students who can think critically when it comes to math and science, but mention the name “Jesus” and their brains shut down.”

Dr. Jerry Farmer, chair of the department, said that this year’s graduating seniors have been active in the area of research – something that is required of all theology majors and minors. All three have presented their work in the Festival of Scholars at Xavier and the Regional Conference of the American Academy of Religion and its academic publication.

Muhammed, who focused on Systematic Theology, has won the prestigious Harcourt Fellowship for his academic excellence. Dubose, focused on Biblical Archeological and Eastern Language studies, spent the summer of 2005 as a research volunteer in Tel Zayit, Israel, where he and Dr. Homan were members of a team that discovered the oldest Hebrew alphabet ever excavated.

The third graduating senior, Ross-Hillard of Flint, Mich. (Southwest Academy), actually finished his degree requirements last semester and is now conducting independent research work. He is headed for the graduate program at Virginia Union this fall.

Put in perspective, three graduates in one year is quite a haul for the Theology Department, which although it services 600-700 students a year through the core, has only graduated 22 majors/minors of its own since the undergraduate degree program was started in  1991.

But then, that’s not unusual, given society’s current emphases on money and prestige, and certain misconceptions that abound about the discipline of theology itself.

“There is a misconception that theology is about drawing people into a specific religion, but theology at Xavier is an academic course -- not a pastoral one,” said Linden. “It’s about fundamentals, it’s about an awareness of social justice and the world in which we live, it’s about looking at things in an historical context, and most importantly, it’s about critical reflection .”

Making more students aware of the benefits of the study of theology is one of the keys to attracting new students into the department, said Linden. He said that since starting the program in 1991, only four of the twenty-two students who have graduated with a major or minor in theology actually entered XU with theology in mind.

Professor Sister Mary Ann Stachow, S.B.S., said that students who study theology generally do so because they recognize it as a rigorous academic discipline with strong research potential. They also tend to speak of their life choices not as choices for success, as most of students do, but as a call from God.

“It is important to understand, however, that a call from God does not necessarily mean a call to ministry,” said Stachow. “We are all called in one fashion or another. Theology is faith seeking understanding. You don’t throw away your faith by asking questions – you gain a deeper understanding of who you are and what you believe.”

Such was the case for senior theology major Blair Johnson of Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington High), and sophomore theology/French major Patrish Lewis of Houston, Texas (Crosby High). Both believe that their studies in theology have provided them with tools that are universal to any field of study.

“There is a great comradery between students and professors,” said Lewis, crediting her professors with helping her to become a more independent thinker. “Here we can engage in free-thinking with a medium through which we can express our ideas.”

Johnson said her studies have given her new insights into the human condition. “It has forced me to challenge my old ways of thinking,” she said. 

Not surprisingly, theology majors/minors have traditionally done well after graduation. Of the twenty-two students, sixteen have either successfully earned a master’s degrees or are currently in pursuing one at such prestigious institutions as Vanderbilt, Fordham, St. Louis University  and George Washington. They have gone on to earn degrees in theology, medicine and law.
Like many other departments, theology was been affected by Katrina. The number of current majors – once as high as 12 – has shrunken considerably, and the faculty is down to just four. Still, going forward, the department is determined to increase the number of theology majors and minors, while still serving the core.

“The theology program at Xavier is a vital part of the Catholic character of the University,” said Linden. “Through it, we can challenge our students to respond to the universal call to actively engage in the transformation of society. These students reflect the strongest image of the Catholic vision of the Xavier University.”

Porter Awarded UNCF Research Fellowship

New Orleans, La. - Dr. Calvin Porter, an assistant professor of biology at Xavier University of Louisiana, has been awarded a Henry C. McBay Research Fellowship by the United Negro College Fund.

The $12, 000 fellowship, awarded through the UNCF’s Faculty Development Program, includes funding for research release time, research supplies and student salaries. Porter’s project, "Concerted Evolution in Unisexual Lizards," examines repetitive DNA sequences in unisexual (all-female) species of lizards.  All research will be conducted on campus, with Xavier students assisting. 

Honoring the memory of a former professor of chemistry at Morehouse College, the Henry C. McBay program is designed to improve teaching effectiveness by providing fellowships to support research in a field of the recipient’s choosing.

New Orleans Arts Council to honor XU Professors' Bechet, White

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana professors Ron Bechet and Dr. Michael White have been named recipients of the Arts Council of New Orleans’ 2006 Mayor’s Arts Awards in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the arts and culture in the community.

Bechet, a professor and chair of the art department at Xavier, and White, a language professor and celebrated jazz performer and historian, will be among six individuals and organizations honored at a luncheon June 9. Other recipients include Louisiana Philharmonic executive Sharon Litwin, ballet and arts patron Betty Wisdom, the New Orleans Musicians Clinic and WYES-TV.

Bechet, a native of New Orleans, is respected as for his efforts as both an educator and artist. He works with KIDsmART and the Gert Town Community Center to bring art to the community, and is also active with the Contemporary Arts Center and many other arts organizations. 

His artwork is also highly sought after. Says gallery curator Janet Hassinger, “The rich colors of Bechet's paintings of woodlands are immediately spiritual as well as sensual – he weaves the trunks, roots and underbrush of the Louisiana bayous in a tapestry of paint and natural forms creating an intimate space, laden with symbolism that sings with the beauty of the earth."

White, the Charles and Rosa Keller endowed chair in the humanities at Xavier, is an international promoter and perpetuator of  New Orleans Music and Culture. 

A bandleader and clarinetist, he has nearly a dozen critically acclaimed albums to his credit including 2001's landmark tribute to clarinet legend George Lewis. He has been featured in Jazz Festivals and individual performances throughout the world including Africa, Asia, Central and South America and in nearly every country in Europe. White has played command performances at the White House and for the royal family of Monaco, and performed at such other storied venues as Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theatre, The Smithsonian, the Hollywood Bowl, Symphony Hall in Boston, Royal Albert Hall in England and the Kennedy Center. 

He has published over 20 essays on the history and culture of New Orleans and Jazz Music and contributed a chapter to a book called "Triumph of the Soul: Social and Psychological Implications of African American Music".

30 Honor Graduates Accent Unique Pharmacy Commencement

New Orleans, La. – It was an event that nine months ago no one was sure could happen, made even more unparalleled as it marked the first time in the University’s 79-history of commencements that pharmacy graduated apart from Arts & Science counterpart. But in the end, the only important point was that 121 members of the XU College of Pharmacy’s Class of ’06 had indeed received their diplomas right on schedule.  

Seven of those students graduated with summa cum laude honors, while another 13 earned magna cum laude honors and 10 others earned cum laude distinction. The honor grads and their classmates heard a keynote address by distinguished pharmacist, educator and civil rights advocate Dr. Robert Gibson, who himself was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree during the ceremony.

Sara Al-Dahir of Metairie, La., headed the list of seven summa cum laude graduates, posting a 4.0 grade point average. Also earning their Pharm.D. degrees with summa cum laude honors were: Shannon Canzoneri of Chalmette, La., Elizabeth Davis of New Orleans, Rebekah Greaves of Covington, La., Kristy Loupe of Thibodaux, La., Lien Nguyen of New Orleans, and Jessica Sandoz of Marrero, La.

Students graduating with magna cum laude honors were: Ayanna Avent, Julie Cacamo, Joseph DiGiovanni, Phuong Huynh, Treslie Lafleur, Johnny Luu, Toni Marcella, Huong Nguyen, Yen Nguyen, Zahra Rahman, Chanel Ransom-Bennett and Anna Vu.

The 10 students graduating with cum laude honors included: Leslie Anderson, Amanda Breaux, Brandi Forjet, Juliette Hotstream, Erin Humbles, Veleka Jones, Vy Nguyen, Mandy Prevost, Lisa Segura and Robin Williams.

Last September – after Hurricane Katrina had flooded the Xavier campus – it was unclear to those students in their final-year of the professional pharmacy program whether they would be able to complete their requirements. Pharmacy students in their final year normally complete a series of rotations, working at various medical and retail outlets throughout the city to gain hands-on experience in a variety of areas. Due to the storm those students were displaced across the country and rotations had to be found in new locations.

Yet all of the students stayed the course, and, with assistance from faculty and administrators and additional help from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, were placed in new rotation sites which enabled them to complete their necessary rotations and permit a normal May graduation. 

The University itself, however, did not open again for regular classes until January – forcing an adjustment of the school’s academic calendar. Thus the College of Arts & Sciences will hold its own, separate 2006 commencement exercises on August 12 following an extended second semester which is currently underway.

Job Fair and Admissions Open House June 3 at Xavier

New Orleans, La. -  At a time when several universities and other institutions in South Louisiana have announced personnel reductions, Xavier University will host a Job Fair and Admissions Open House on Saturday,  June 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m in the University Center Ballroom.  The event is free and open to the public.

The event will feature representatives from Xavier’s Human Resources and other departments to interview prospective job applicants; along with Admissions, Financial Aid, and Upward Bound representatives to answer questions from prospective students. 

“Because many of our employees were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, we still have quite a few job openings on our campus" said Larry Calvin, XU director of Human Resources. “Many people may not know that Xavier has reopened, so we’re having this fair to let the community know about both the excellent employment and educational opportunities at Xavier.”

The Human Resources office will have department heads conducting on site interviews at the fair.  Among the areas with positions currently available are: Fiscal Services, Campus Police, Maintenance and Engineering, Food Service, Housekeeping, and Institutional Advancement.

Some of the positions available include administrative assistants, residence hall director, sports information director, grants manager, software systems programmer and many others. Applicants should bring resumes and come prepared for on-site interviews.

The Human Resources staff will also conduct interviewing workshops at the fair at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  “The workshops will give applicants suggestions on how to interview effectively, and they can use what they learn that very same day,” said Calvin. 

Winston Brown, Dean of Admissions said that admissions staff will be available to discuss the various academic offerings of the University as well as options for financing a Xavier education. Interested students will be able to apply on-site.
“Due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, we wanted to make this information readily available to the public,” said Brown. “We have extended our application deadline to accommodate those students who still want to enjoy the Xavier experience.”

Xavier’s Upward Bound program advisors will also be at the fair accepting applications for the summer program.

Xavier University is one of the largest private employers in South Louisiana. For more information on the Job Fair and Admissions Open House, contact the Human Resources office at 504-520-7537 or visit the Xavier website at

Xavier-Pfizer Renewal Partnership to Boost Xavier’s Recovery

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana and the Pfizer Corporation today announced the formation of the Xavier-Pfizer Renewal Partnership.  The partnership is being inaugurated with a $500,000 commitment by Pfizer to the University, including: 

  • $300,000 cash to help defray costs for revitalization of Xavier's chemistry and pharmacology buildings, scholarships for Xavier students and faculty retention initiatives;
  • More than $200,000 in donated computers and laboratory equipment;
  • A commitment to hire up to three Xavier students for paid summer internships with Pfizer over the next three years;
  • Learning opportunities (externships) for Xavier students to work with Pfizer during the school year for school credit;
  • Summer research opportunities for Xavier faculty at Pfizer’s Research and Development facility in Groton, Connecticut.

“Xavier University is indeed honored to participate in the Xavier – Pfizer Renewal Partnership Initiative, which is providing much needed assistance during our period of recovery and reconstruction,” said Dr. Norman C. Francis, president of Xavier.   “While our students and faculty will be the immediate beneficiaries of this great support, Xavier’s role in educating future pharmacists ensures that this gift will be shared by a nation that is increasingly dependent on the pharmacy industry to continue improving the quality of life that we all cherish,” he added.  “We are grateful to Pfizer Corporation, the world’s largest research based pharmaceutical company, for having the initiative to establish such a wide-ranging and visionary program.” 

Dr. Toni Hoover, Pfizer’s Senior Vice President for Global Research and Development said the Xavier-Pfizer Renewal Partnership was formed because Xavier and Pfizer have similar missions. “Pfizer and Xavier University share the vision for Xavier’s restoration to its full capabilities.”  Dr. Hoover added, “Both Pfizer and Xavier University know and understand that Xavier’s graduates make valuable contributions to the improvement of health care not only in Louisiana, but also nationwide and worldwide. 

“Corporate support for Xavier’s continued recovery efforts is absolutely critical to our success,” said Dr. Wayne Harris, dean of the College of Pharmacy at Xavier.
“We are extremely grateful for Pfizer’s generosity and we look forward to building on the partnership with Pfizer in order to meet the national need to increase the number of minority health professionals and to conduct meaningful biomedical
research in strategic areas such as minority health disparities.”

Leslie Mays, Pfizer’s Vice President for Global Diversity and Inclusion stated that the Xavier-Pfizer Renewal Partnership, “Builds on and enhances the existing, longstanding relationship between Xavier University and Pfizer.”  Ms. Mays stated that, “Diversity is a core value of both Xavier University and Pfizer because it works not only for Pfizer and its world wide customers, but also for Xavier University whose very founding and existence is based on the compelling idea that diversity and inclusion are vitally important components in the success of the societies and economies of the nation and the world.”

Xavier University of Louisiana is a private, co-educational institution offering a comprehensive liberal arts program and professional programs, including 41 undergraduate majors, seven masters degree programs and a doctor of pharmacy program.  Xavier is the only historically Black, Catholic university in the United States and draws students from all fifty states, Washington, D.C., the Virgin Islands and 35 countries.
Pfizer Inc is a pharmaceutical company committed to helping people improve their health by discovering and developing medicines.

Qatar Ambassador Announces Aid to XU, Region

New Orleans, La. - Today, Xavier University of Louisiana received a $17.5 million donation from the State of Qatar, a key U.S. ally in the Arabian Gulf. Dr. Norman C. Francis, president of Xavier, accepted the donation from Qatar's Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Nasser Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, at a press conference held at New Orleans' Children's Hospital.

Qatar established the Qatar Katrina Fund as a direct aid effort to assist Katrina victims by supporting projects that need significant funding in order to be successful. Today's press conference announced the first phase of $100 million donation from Qatar. Five other local organizations are sharing in the donation including Children's Hospital of New Orleans, March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, Tulane University and Louisiana State University.

Xavier's portion of the donation will fund scholarships and an expansion of the College of Pharmacy. Specifically, $12.5 million will be used to expand the Pharmacy facilities to increase the number of students and to enhance the staffing of eight clinics operated by the College of Pharmacy in low-income neighborhoods, all of which were impacted by Katrina. New clinics will be built as well. The remaining $5 million will provide immediate full scholarships solely to students who are Katrina victims over the next four years.

XU SGA Sponsors Candidates Forum and Voting Rally

New Orleans, La. - The Student Government Association at Xavier University will sponsor a run-off election forum between Incumbent Renee Gill Pratt and Stacy Head, candidates for Council member of District B on Monday, May 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The forum is free and open to the public.

The SGA will also host a Voting Rally on THURSDAY (May 18) at 12:15 p.m. on the Yard. There will be music, food, and election info available.

For more information contact SGA President Regina McCutcheon at  (504) 520-7367.

Dead Man Walking Author to Speak at Xavier May 17

New Orleans, La. - Sr. Helen Prejean, author and advocate for the poor, will speak at Xavier University of Louisiana  Wednesday May 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.  The free lecture is sponsored by the Xavier University Endowment for the Humanities.

Sr. Helen Prejean is best known as the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book, “Dead Man Walking”.  The book was turned into a movie of the same name in 1996 starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as the death row inmate. The movie received four Oscar nominations including Tim Robbins for Best Director, Sean Penn for Best Actor, Susan Sarandon for Best Actress and Bruce Springsteen’s “Dead Man Walking” for Best Song. Susan Sarandon won the award for Best Actress.

In 2000 an opera based on the book and with libretto written by Terrance McNally premiered in San Francisco.

She is also the author of a 2004 book “The Death of the Innocents.”

Sr. Helen joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille in 1957 and received a B.A. in English and Education from St. Mary’s Dominican College, New Orleans, in 1962 and an M.A. in Religious Education from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada in 1973. 

Sr. Helen was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize and has received many awards including the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University, the Champion of Liberty Award from the U.S. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Sanctity of Life Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

At Xavier she will lecture followed by a question and answer session and a book signing.

For more information on the lecture, contact the Xavier philosophy department at 504-520-5406.

Upward Bound Accepting Applications: Program starts June 12

New Orleans, La. - The Upward Bound Program at Xavier University of Louisiana is currently accepting applications for its academic and summer components.

Xavier’s Upward Bound program is open to students who are first generation college students, low income or both, attend Eleanor McMain high school, the New Orleans Science & Math high school or the MAX high school, and are either in 9th or 10th grade. Students who are currently in 8th grade may qualify to attend, but must be students at one of the three schools above or live in the Gert Town/Uptown area.

The Xavier University Upward Bound summer program begins June 12. Applicants are encouraged to apply by May 31. For more information call the Xavier Upward bound office 520-5251 or 520-7414, or visit the office Xavier South 909 South Jefferson Davis Parkway, room 565 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Qatar Pledges $17.5 Mil for COP expansion, student scholarships

New Orleans, La. - The nation of Qatar has pledged roughly $60 million in grants to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina – including $17.5 million to Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically black Catholic university in the United States.

Qatar is giving Xavier $12.5 million to add 60,000 square feet to its College of Pharmacy – one of only two pharmacy schools in the Louisiana – so it can increase enrollment. The gift has additional benefits to New Orleans as well, as it will create construction jobs and allow students from the university work in community clinics.

Xavier will also get $5 million for scholarships for students affected by the disaster.

"It's going to allow us to help those students to finish their educations," said Xavier President Norman C. Francis. "That's important because Xavier is the No. 1 producer of African-American graduates in the natural sciences, and those students then go on to get admitted to medical school."

Other beneficiaries  are Tulane University, Children's Hospital in New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity, Louisiana State University and the March of Dimes.

Nasser Bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, Qatar's ambassador to the United States, said the remainder of the $100 million his country had pledged would be assigned in the coming months.

"Hurricane Katrina was so devastating that everyone in Qatar and the rest of the world felt a responsibility to really act," Mr. Khalifa said. More than 50 countries donated money, expertise and materials, according to a tally by Foreign Policy, a magazine published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

For the complete New York Times story, visit HERE.

Pharos Capital Donates $122,000 to New Orleans HBCU’s

New Orleans, La. - Pharos Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Dallas and Nashville, has donated more than $122,000 in Hurricane Katrina relief dollars to be split by Xavier University, Dillard University and Southern University in New Orleans. Contributing to the fund are: The Warburg Pincus Foundation; Systematic Financial Management, LP; Mr. Edmund Thimme; Starwood Capital Group Management, LLC; Mr. Jerome C. Silvey, Jr.; and Pharos Capital Group, LLC.

The organization presented checks totaling more than $40,700 to each university, to assist in post Katrina relief efforts. The money is earmarked for the critical needs of the school, including student needs, to be used at the discretion of each university president.

Pharos co-founders and managing partners Kneeland Youngblood, Michael Devlin and Bob Crants conceived the idea of raising funds for a Louisiana Education Assistance Fund ("LEAF") to help the post-Katrina education effort. They spent the fall soliciting colleagues and friends in the financial community for additional contributions. The final plan on where to donate the funds came together after a conversation with Louisiana congressman Willam Jefferson, who suggested to them that the three historically Black universities hit hardest by Katrina would be the ideal beneficiaries of their generosity.

Xavier University president Norman C. Francis hosted the check presentation on the Xavier campus, which reopened for classes in January after five months of extensive repairs following Hurricane Katrina. "We are deeply grateful to donors such as Pharos Capital and its partners," said Dr. Francis. "Without such gifts, the challenges of paying for nearly $50-million in completed and pending repairs might never be realized."

Pharos' Managing Partner Kneeland Youngblood presented the checks to the three universities on May 1. He has extensive investment experience, and has served on the boards of several corporations including the $100 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and the Texas Growth Fund, a $500-million private equity fund.

"We are gratified that our colleagues in the investment community have responded to the needs of these particular victims of Hurricane Katrina," said Youngblood. "It is in all of our interests to support education, especially following a catastrophe of this magnitude."

Xavier Athletics Will Return for 2006-2007 School Year

New Orleans, La. - The squeaky sound of sneakers on the basketball court, the ping of the tennis ball as it hits the racquet, and the rush of wind generated by long distance runners eating up the miles – all silenced by Katrina last August – will soon resonate on the campus once again.

President Norman Francis has announced that Xavier University of Louisiana ’s storied intercollegiate sports program – cancelled for 2005-2006 after the University’s academic schedule was interrupted and most of its facilities were heavily damaged by flood waters – has been reinstated for the 2006-2007 school year.

“It was always our intention to bring back the athletics program as soon as it was feasible,” said Francis. “We are pleased that the University has progressed far enough in our recovery to be able to bring back this staple of campus life.”

"Classrooms and learning are not all of what we do,” he added. “What goes on outside the classroom is so important to the development of individuals.”

According to Calvin Tregre, senior vice president for administration and chair of the University’s Athletics Committee, all of Xavier’s established, pre-Katrina sports programs will be brought back, including men’s and women’s basketball, tennis and cross country. The future of the newest addition to the athletic program – volleyball – is still being evaluated.

The head coaches for the reinstated programs – Dannton Jackson (men’s basketball), Bo Browder (women’s basketball), Alan Green (tennis) and Joseph Moses, Jr. (cross country) – and several of the assistant coaches will return. All have been serving the University in other capacities during the interim. 1

While it is uncertain how many of the student-athletes – all of whom are still on scholarship – would return for the 2006-2007 season, the coaches have expressed confidence the teams would remain largely intact except for those seniors due to graduate in 2006.

Dennis Cousin will also return as Athletics Director.

The decision was made to suspend the athletic program last October after floodwaters had buckled the University’s brand new wooden gym floor and caused severe damage to all of its locker rooms and offices. The University itself did not re-open its doors until January 2006.

Pending the acquisition of a new permanent floor, the University has secured use of a portable wooden floor loaned to it by Jackson State University. Locker rooms and offices in the gym have been gutted and are currently undergoing repair.

Cross Country, whose season officially begins in late summer, will lead the Univerity’s return to intercollegiate competition. Tregre said Coach Moses has been involved in training and strength conditioning with individual team members – as well as other University students – throughout the interim and he anticipates Xavier will field a competitive team upon their return.

Xavier is a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

May 20 Commencement for XU Pharmacy Majors, Despite Katrina!
New Orleans, La. - Following the ravages of Hurricane Katrina across their mid-town New Orleans campus, final-year students in Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy were unsure whether they would be able to complete their requirements in time to graduate and get started in their careers.

Thanks to dedicated faculty and administrators, and with assistance from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, those Xavier students will receive their coveted Doctor of Pharmacy degrees in May when the College of Pharmacy’s commencement ceremonies are held Saturday, May 20, 2006, beginning 10 a.m. at the Alario Center in Westwego.

Despite being displaced by the hurricane and the relatively sluggish rebound of the city, 99% of the students in Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy returned. Pharmacy students in their final year at Xavier normally complete a series of rotations, working at various medical and retail outlets throughout the city to gain hands-on experience in a variety of areas.  Due to the hurricane, those students were displaced across the country and rotations had to be found in new locations.

With assistance from faculty and administrators in the College of Pharmacy, and help from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to find new rotation sites, all of the students had the opportunity to complete those necessary rotations.  They will happily don their caps and gowns to receive their  Doctor of Pharmacy degrees May 20.

This is the first time the College of Pharmacy will hold a separate commencement ceremony.  Xavier’s College of Arts & Sciences will hold its 2006 commencement exercises on August 12, following an extended second semester.

The commencement speaker will be Dr. Robert Gibson, associate vice chancellor and professor emeritus at the University of San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy. Bishop Terry Steib, SVD, of the Diocese of Memphis will be the speaker for the Baccalaureate Mass, to be held on Friday, May 19, in the University Gym at 7 p.m. 

College of Pharmacy commencement speaker, Dr. Robert Gibson has been awarded the Remington Honor Medal, the pharmacy profession’s highest recognition, which recognizes an individual’s distinguished service and outstanding achievement on behalf of American pharmacy.

Gibson is the only individual to have ever served as president of the American Pharmacists Association and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

An outspoken advocate for increased minority recruitment, Gibson presently serves as a member of the USP Convention and the Board of Directors of the Pharmacy Foundation of California.

Pharmacy Minority Advocate to speak at COP Commencement
New Orleans, La. - Dr. Robert D. Gibson, recipient of the American Pharmacists Association’s highest honor for 2006, will be the keynote speaker at the College of Pharmacy’s commencement exercises May 20, 2006, at 10 a.m. in the Alario Center in Westwego, La.

Gibson, who currently serves as associate vice chancellor and professor emeritus at the University of California-San Francisco School of Pharmacy, was awarded the APhA’s prestigious Remington Honor Medal for his efforts to broaden minority access to pharmacy education and employment opportunities.

A visionary leader and outspoken advocate for increased minority recruitment for nearly fifty years, he has challenged the lack of diversity in the pharmacy profession. He is the only individual ever to serve as president of the both the APhA and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.   

A Fulbright Scholar, Gibson has previously served as assistant vice president, system-wide, University of California, and as associate dean and director of the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory. He has also been a community and hospital practitioner. 

Gibson has lectured worldwide, contributed extensively to professional publications, served as a consultant to both governmental agencies and the private sector, and is active within local/state/national pharmacy association committees.

Xavier Job Fair Being Planned

New Orleans, La. - While other local institutions are still thinning their employee ranks post-Katrina, Xavier University of Louisiana is planning a major Jobs & Admissions Fair on June 3 to attract prospective new employees for a variety of job categories, as well as future students.

Current employees have been encouraged to spread the word that XU is hiring! For more info, interested applicants should contact the Office of Human Resources at 504-520-7537.

New Emergency Telephone Number and Website Readied

It’s not too early to take note of the University’s new toll-free emergency telephone number and website. In the event of an emergency, these should be your first step in retrieving “official” information from the University. Save this number: 1-866-520-XULA and bookmark this address:

Student Postcards Make Katrina Book

New Orleans, La. - Five freshman English majors from Xavier University of Louisiana will have their "Post Katrina Postcards" included in the forthcoming University of Pennsylvania Press Book, Rebuilding Urban Places After Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina.

The five students - Bonita Bernard of Austell, Ga.; Sean Crump of Los Angeles, Calif.; Britney Dooley of Decatur, Ga.; Latisha Fofanah of Beaumont, Texas; and Jacqueline Opara of Jacksonville, Fla. - wrote their respective postcards as an exercise on the opening day of class for Dr. Thomas Bonner's English class in January.

UP Press editors, visiting New Orleans and Bonner's class after viewing his Katrina presentation at an earlier Philadelphia symposium, were impressed enough with the student's work to publish them in the book. An essay by Bonner will also be included.

Francis to Receive Five More Honorary Degrees

New Orleans, La. - President Norman C. Francis of Xavier University of Louisiana has been awarded 30 honorary degrees in his career, as testimony to his leadership and achievements in higher education.  This commencement season, he’ll add five more to the list.

Francis is set to receive honorary degrees from Florida A&M, Centenary College, Loras College, and Notre Dame (for the second time) and the College of New Rochelle. Additionally, Francis will be the commencement speaker at FAMU, Centenary, and New Rochelle.

Francis became Xavier University’s first lay leader in 1968, and he is currently the longest serving college president in the United States.

During his 38-year tenure, Xavier has more than tripled it enrollment, broadened its curriculum, expanded its campus and received national attention for its award winning academic initiatives and programs.   Francis has been an advisor to five U.S. presidents and served in leadership positions with numerous organizations including the United Negro College Fund, the American Association of Higher Education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Board of Education Testing Service, and Liberty Bank and Trust.  He is currently chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, overseeing the state's rebuilding efforts post-Katrina.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina's widespread damage to the campus in August 2005, Francis was insistent that the Xavier campus would re-open in January 2006 to serve its students and the community.  Following five months of extensive repairs totaling more than $40-million -- and a coordinated planning effort by displaced administrators, faculty and staff -- the University reopened in January and will begin its second semester in May.  Graduation for the College of Pharmacy will be held May 20, while commencement exercises for the College of Arts & Sciences will take place August 12.

Below are the scheduled honorary degrees being awarded this year to Norman C. Francis, followed by a complete list of his honorary degrees already received:

Florida A&M University (Tallahasse, FL)  April 30
Centenary College (Shreveport, LA) May 6
College of New Rochelle (New Rochelle, NY) May 25
Loras College (Dubuque, IA) May 14
Notre Dame (South Bend, IN) May 21

Complete list of previous (1969-2005) honorary degrees awarded to Dr. Norman C. Francis, President of Xavier University of Louisiana.

- Villanova University (Pennsylvania), Doctor of Education, 1969

- College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts), Doctor of Laws, 1969

- Seton Hall University (New Jersey), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1969

- St. Michael's College (Vermont), Doctor of Laws, 1972

- Marquette University (Wisconsin), Doctor of Laws, 1977

- St. Peter's College (New Jersey), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1977

- Tulane University (Louisiana), Doctor of Laws, 1980

- Loyola University (Louisiana), Doctor of Laws, 1982

- Hamline University (Minnesota), Doctor of Laws, 1983

- University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania), Doctor of Laws, 1983

- Miami University (Ohio), Doctor of Laws, 1985
- The Catholic University of America (District of Columbia), Doctor of   Laws,1986

- Hunter College (New York), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1988

- St. Vincent College (Pennsylvania), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1988

- University of Notre Dame (Indiana), Doctor of Laws, 1988

- Johns Hopkins University (Maryland), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1988

- Drexel University (Pennsylvania), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1990

- New York Medical College (New York), Doctor of Humane Letters,  1992

- Rutgers University (New Jersey), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1993

- University of Portland (Oregon), Doctor of Laws, 1994

- Wheelock College (Massachusetts), Doctor of Education, 1995

- Notre Dame Seminary (New Orleans), Doctor of Letters, 1995

- Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH), Doctor of Humanities, 1998

- Our Lady of Holy Cross College (New Orleans, LA), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1998

- Felician College (Lodi, New Jersey), Doctor of Humane Letters, 1998

- Rust College (Holly Springs, MS), Doctor of Humane Letters, 2003

- University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis, MN), Doctor of Humane Letters,

- Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Doctor of Laws, 2003

- Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), Doctor of Laws, 2004

-Boston College (Massachusetts), Doctor of Humane Letters, 2005

Southern Illinois Music Faculty Visit the Xavier Campus

New Orleans, La. - Music students at Xavier University of Louisiana not only had the opportunity to hear the faculty of Southern Illinois University perform, but through a ‘master class’ they also received one-on-one instruction from them.

The visiting performers, pianists Wilfred Delphin and Margaret Simmons, tenor Clarence Carter and soprano Jeanine Wagner, have all performed nationally and internationally.  Delphin and Carter are Xavier graduates.

The group was in Louisiana April 3-5 to give two benefit performances for Xavier, one at the University and another at Isle Brevelle (Cane River)at the historic St. Augustine Church.

“We felt that this was something we could do to assist Xavier in rebounding after Hurricane Katrina,” said Delphin. “We’ve received a very good response. Xavier graduates in particular are emotionally attached to the school and want to support it, and people from outside the University are very supportive as well."

“We’re always thrilled when our alumni return to share their experience and expertise with our students,” said Xavier music department chairman John E. Ware. 

Free Tuition and Books For  Mild-Moderate Special Ed Certification

New Orleans, La. - If you have a desire to make a difference in a child’s life, then Project SEEK ("Special Educators Embracing Knowledge") may be for you. Free tuition and a book stipend, plus the opportunity for a bachelor’s degree with mild/moderate special education teacher certification are currently being offered through Xavier University's Project Seek.

Project SEEK is open to undergraduate students or those with an associate’s degree who enroll in the program designed for certification in Special Education. The program is once again offering tuition assistance and a book stipend.  

“This is an opportunity for people with associate’s degrees to advance their education and certification, and for Xavier undergraduates -- or prospective transfer applicants -- who may want to consider a different field,” says program coordinator Dr. Deborah Bordelon.

Interested applicants should contact the project SEEK office at 504-520-7536.  The deadline for applications for the Fall semester is June 30, 2006.

High School Entrepreneurs Compete in Business Plan Competition

New Orleans, La. - For the first time in New Orleans, Xavier's Entrepreneurship Institute has tried to help rebuild the City in the long-term by planting the seeds of the entrepreneurial spirit in high school students.

On Friday, March 24, 2006 the MAX students (St. Mary's Academy, St. Augustine High School, Xavier Prep) presented their business plans to judges at Xavier University. 

The students were exposed to the Ford PAS (Partnership for Advanced Studies) program in business planning. The program is an interactive experiential exercise that was enhanced by Dr. Louis C. Mancuso's Entrepreneurship Class helping the students build their case studies.

Seven MAX teams participated in the program and the top three winners were:

First Place: Elite Cafe Case - Darin James, Monique Gordon, Epiphany Winford, Christina Brown, Marcus Doss and Shaun Flot.

Second Place: Gentilly Lawn - Jeffrey Rugs Jr., David Reed, Deana Powell, Sabrina Rivarde, Victoria Ward.

Third Place: Chocolate City Café - Warren Jones, La'Rencia Patterson, Julian Jordan, Matthew Laurent, Shelita Lawson, Anson Benjamin.

Judges for the presentations were: Mark Gstohl, Grant writer for the United Way in Entrepreneurship and Anil Kukreja, chairman of the Xavier Business department.

Xavier students participating in the entrepreneurship service-learning program are:

Alexandra Ajanaku,  junior, business management, Lagos, Nigeria; Loren Labbe, senior, business, Kenner, La.; Kameron Moore Mitchell, freshman, business management, Oakland, Calif. ; Sharita Farmer,  senior, business management, Chicago, Ill; Tevya D. Reid,  junior, business management, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Damein Jones, senior, sales & marketing, Leesville La.; Joshua Miles, junior, business management, New Orleans; Brenna Cooper, junior, psychology major with a business minor, Pacoina, Calif.; and Kellie Sanchez, junior, marketing, New Orleans.

Willie Humphrey Scholarship "Free" Benefit Concert
New Orleans, La. - Every two years, a traditional jazz band from Germany makes a stop in New Orleans to perform a free concert and accept donations for the Willie Humphrey Endowed Scholarship in Music at Xavier University of Louisiana.

This year the Maryland Jazz Band from Cologne, Germany returns for its bi-annual benefit performance on Tuesday, April 11, 7:00 p.m. at the Palm Court Jazz Café, 1204 Decatur Street.

Willie Humphrey was a member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. At the age of 93, Humphrey was the oldest active jazz musician in New Orleans. The Xavier scholarship honors the talented clarinetist.

Humphrey, who also played and recorded with the Maryland Jazz Band, was the grandson of trumpeter and music teacher Jim Humphrey, the son of clarinetist Willie Humphrey Sr., and the brother of both trumpeter Percy and trombonist Earl Humphrey. Willie Humphrey and his brother Percy came to fame performing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band starting in the 1960s, touring and spreading the joy of New Orleans jazz around the world.

For more information on the concert, or to make a donation to the Willie Humphrey Endowed Music Scholarship fund at Xavier, contact Cathy Smiley at 504-520-7575.

XAB Sponsors Omar Tyree Book Signing

New Orleans, La. - Omar Tyree, celebrated author of the urban classic novel and New York Times bestseller - Flyy Girl - and a 2001 NAACP Image Award winner, will be on campus Thursday, April 6, for a book signing. The event, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom, is sponsored by the Xavier Activities Board (XAB).

Jazz Ensemble to Present Concert on April 6

New Orleans, La. - The Xavier University Jazz Ensemble will perform its annual semester concert on April 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Xavier University Music Building. 

The group will perform large ensemble masterworks in Jazz Literature by composers Toshiko Akiyoshi, Frank Foster, Don Menza and others. The concert is free and open to the public. For further info concerning this event and future events contact the Department of Music at (504)520-7597.

Applications Being Accepted for Summer Science Academy at Xavier

New Orleans, La. - Applications are now being accepted for Xavier University of Louisiana’s popular Summer Science Academy sessions.

The popular educational summer programs for high school students include: MathStar, BioStar, ChemStar and SOAR1 (Stress on Analytical Reasoning).

This year however, Xavier will be in the midst of its second semester for the 2005-2006 academic year, meaning space will be limited on campus.  There will be no on-campus housing available for the summer programs, to be held Monday through Friday 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

MathStar, a program for students who will take their first Algebra course in the fall will be held June 5-16. BioStar, for students who will take their first Biology course in the fall, will be held June 7-27. ChemStar, for students who will take their first Chemistry course in the fall, will be held July 10-28 and SOAR1, for students who will be seniors next fall, will be held July 5-28.

Xavier has established a reputation for the success of its pre-medical program.  In fact, Xavier is number one in the nation when it comes to placing African American into medical school every year, and has also been successful in placing students into related health professions such as osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, and public health/health care administration.

For more information and program applications on Xavier University’s Summer Science Academy, visit and select the link for high school students or contact the Summer Science Academy at 504-520-5418.

Jazz Funeral Tradition & Post Katrina Recovery Forum

New Orleans, La. - The Jazz Funeral and New Orleans are synonymous and Dr. Michael White, the Liberty Jazz Band and a panel of experts will explore this unique New Orleans cultural tradition in a special program. 

The program, “The New Orleans Jazz Funeral: Metaphor for Hope, Transformation and Recovery,” will be held Wednesday, April 5, 2006, at 7:00 pm in the Xavier University Center Ballroom.  The program is free and open to the public.

White believes the presentation can be used as a means to assist the Post-Katrina community to grieve, find hope, unite, celebrate and take an optimistic look toward the future.

Featured panelists will include national radio talk show host  Nick Spitzer of “American Roots”, Alfred Carter of the Young Men’s Olympians, Sylvester Francis, director of the Backstreet Cultural Museum, Joan Rhodes of Rhodes Funeral Homes, Gregory Stafford brass band leader and Benevolent club member, and White, a Xavier University professor and Jazz musician and historian.

“The jazz funeral tradition of New Orleans has a double aspect of the death experience,” White explained. “On one hand it laments the passing of a person and highlights the sadness of event, that they’re no longer here on earth by using the slow, sad dirges. The last part however, has up tempo joyous music and dancing because the person has gone on to a greater reward and hopefully transitioned to better place, in union with the creator.”

“This program is exciting combining our history and traditions as a point of departure for helping us cope with surviving the aftermath of Katrina in a way that only New Orleans can do,” he said.

University Honors 35 Long-Time Employees

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University honored 35 long-time staff and faculty employees at its annual Founder’s Day reception held on March 30.

Topping the list of honorees celebrating anniversaries of employment at XU are David DeLisle with 40 years of service in the music department; Dr. Joe Melcher with 35 years in communications/speech pathology; Clifford Wright with 35 years in business and the credit union; and Dr. JW Carmichael with 35 years in pre-med and chemistry.

Other employees to be honored are:

30 years – Dr. Lester Jones, mathematics; and Deborah Lidy, sponsored programs.

25 years – Dr. Murty Akundi, physics/engineering; Luella Gombako, residential life; Bobbie Gordon, student services; and Dr. Michael White, languages.

20 years – Dr. Kenneth Boutte, assistant dean, College of Arts and Sciences; Joseph Byrd, vice resident, student services; Jacqueline Gavins, chemistry; Dr. Barbara Green, biology; Dr. Shamsul Huda, history; and Dr. Dereck Rovaris, assistant dean, Graduate School.

15 years – Jacqueline Chandler, biology; Dr. Elia Eschenazi, physics/engineering; Dr. Marguerite Giguette, associate vice president, academic affairs; Erica Houston, mathematics; Gennice King, library; Sandy Livings-Veal, financial aid; Paul Pierce, university police; Gina Rachal, financial aid; Patricia Vaultz, fiscal services; and Dr. Jian Zhang, chemistry.

10 years – Sharon Aubert, pharmacy; Dr. Levon Bostanian, pharmacy; Arnold Crump, communications; Dr. Ronald Dorris, African American studies/English; Janice Florent-Young, Center for the Advancement of Teaching; Dr. Maryam Foroozesh, chemistry; William Harris, student center; Dr. Anil Kukreja, business; and Dr. Guangdi Wang, chemistry.

PR Class Helps Recruit Students to N.O. for Alternative Spring Break

New Orleans, La. - Dave Parks’ public relations class at Xavier University of Louisiana is working to rebuild New Orleans.  However, they aren’t taking the traditional route.  While many college students in the area have volunteered to gut out homes, pick up trash and other activities, this group is using what they’ve learned in the classroom to contribute to the city’s comeback.

The students worked in conjunction with the Common Ground Collective, a local non-profit created to provide support for rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.  The students from Parks’ class contacted historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to recruit other student volunteers around the country to help rebuild New Orleans.  

The Xavier students wrote press releases, recorded public service announcements, created flyers and stuffed envelopes.  “We focused on HBCUs, contacting over 300 different groups and organizations at those schools, as well as students groups at other non-HBCU schools, church groups, fraternities and sororities across the country,” said Park.

 The result:  For approximately three weeks in March, more than 1000 students arrived in New Orleans to assist with the rebuilding effort.

“We wanted to do something the help rebuild the city, to contribute something that would help the residents directly,” said Xavier student Courtney Williams a senior from Oakland, Cailfornia.  “When you give monetary donations, you’re not sure if the people who need the help actually get it.  This opportunity to rebuild the community physically got us really excited.”

Park estimates that the students have contributed to over $300,000 in volunteer labor. “Our Xavier students have contributed to bringing in a couple of thousand volunteers, while putting to use everything they’ve learned in the classroom” he said.

“Its important to extend our University resources to the community. We have the knowledge and the background to help which also benefits our students.”

Students who participated in the PR campaign included: Kimberlee Rock, a senior from Richmond CA; Angel Bradford a senior from Folsom, CA; Courtney Williams a senior from Oakland, CA; Mary Katherine Hill, a junior from Lubbock TX ; Alisha Lewis, a junior from Aurora CO; and Charles Donaldson Jr., a senior from Hattiesburg, MS.

Parks students aren’t done with the project yet. In addition to interviewing some of the visiting students for future publications, Williams and her classmates are also scheduled to go out as a group to get their hands dirty working on area homes.

Xavier Sponsors Public Forum on Katrina and the Culture of New Orleans

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana is hosting the first of a series of public forums on the state of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina on March 29, 2006, at 7:00 p.m., in the University Center Ballroom. 

“Katrina and the Culture of New Orleans: A Public Forum” will be a conversation about the hurricane and the future of New Orleans culture – its music, art, festivals, universities, and colleges.  The forum will be moderated by Jarvis DeBerry, a columnist with the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, with panelists to include Tom Piazza, author of Why New Orleans Matters;  Helen Regis, a professor of cultural anthropology at LSU; Jerry Ward, a professor of English at Dillard University and author of “The Katrina Papers”; and Michael White, jazz musician and professor of Spanish at Xavier. 

The forum will be sponsored by the Xavier University Endowment for the Humanities and is free and open to the public.

Students and Faculty Say “Get Well” With 1,000 Japanese Cranes 

New Orleans, La. - When Xavier art students wanted to send a get-well card to long-time professor John Scott, who is on medical leave, they decided to do it in style. True to their artistic styles, they had to do it differently.

Sophomore Art student Takako Uemura, a native of Ibaraki, Japan took an idea from her Japanese culture. “When someone is sick, you fold a thousand cranes to wish them good health,” she explained. The rest of the art students and faculty embraced the idea and joined in. 

Uemura and fellow art student Huey Moss installed the 1,000 cranes in an impressive visual display in the University’s Library Art Gallery on March 13. In addition, Moss, a graphic design student from Marrero, La., created a poster featuring the likeness of Scott made up of a thousand computer generated cranes.

“Our students got together and pulled this off,” said faculty member Patricia Sills. “More than 20 people participated in the folding,” said Sills.

Among those folding artists were department chair Ron Bechet, faculty members Sills and MaPo Kennard and students Kimberly Mitchell, Jessica Fuselier, Lerone Long, and Jamie Jones 

The exhibit will be on display through April 1. Students will plan to have a table set up outside the exhibit with instructions for visitors to create a paper crane of their own to add to the exhibit. The exhibit is free and open to the public. It is located on the first floor of the Xavier University Library.

Enrollment Holds Steady: Registration Underway for Second Term

New Orleans, La. -  Xavier University students who returned to the campus after Hurricane Katrina this spring have begun online registration for their delayed "second term" of 2006.

Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area just as fall classes were underway in August 2005.  When Xavier reopened the campus in mid-January after five months of intensive clean-up and reconstruction, it was decided the school would hold its ‘fall’ semester first (January-May) and following a short break, hold the ‘spring’ semester (May- August), to get students back  on track.

Before Katrina, Xavier's enrollment had exceeded 4,100 students for the second record-breaking year. Approximately 75% of those students (3,089 as of 2/28/06) have now returned to the New Orleans campus and resumed taking classes this semester.

Online registration for those students who are already enrolled began Sunday, March 12.  Students are registering via the following schedule: Seniors, Pharmacy and Graduate School beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 12; Juniors beginning at noon Monday, March 13; Sophomores beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, March 13; and Freshmen beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, March 14.  Pre-Registration ends on March 15, 2006 at 11:59 p.m.

The abbreviated sessions will include two commencement exercises in one year – a first at Xavier.  Xavier’s Commencement for the College of Arts and Sciences will be held August 12.  Commencement for the College of Pharmacy will be held May 20. Pharmacy students spend their final semester in a work ‘rotation’ and not in the classroom.

The hurricane and resulting flood caused more than $46.7 million in building and content damage to the campus - with the first floors of most campus buildings severely damaged after being under water for two weeks.

Administrators were determined to re-open in the spring, but were unsure of how enrollment would pan out.  Happily, most of the students have returned to their school; some because of a strong attachment to the school and its faculty, some because this is their final year and they couldn’t imagine graduating from another institution, and some because that brief time away made them realize and appreciate just what they had before the Katrina disaster.

 Krystal Kofie, a sophomore psychology major from Chicago, is among those who says she came back to the Xavier campus because she missed her friends and her school. “I didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping the school repairs would be finished, but most of my friends are back so it doesn’t matter so much,” she said. “My parents would be happier if I were to transfer, but Xavier is like my second home. I’ve built friendships here and I have a place at Xavier.”  Kofie attended a smaller predominately white school in the Chicago area last semester.

Since her return to New Orleans, Kofie has been involved in the restoration of the community through the campus volunteer organization MAX (Mobilization at Xavier). “Last year I worked with MAX. This year I will be a girl scout leader and participate in a monthly outreach day.” In addition she volunteers with the New Orleans Hurricane Relief Fund.  “Every Saturday we go to fix up a school. We’ve taken everything out, we’ll repaint it and it will be ready for next year.

Mayuri Kurihara, meanwhile, is a junior majoring in music (piano/performance) from Fukuoka, Japan who evacuated to the Memphis area after Katrina. She took classes there at the University of Memphis, but says she couldn’t wait for Xavier to re-open. “I really love it here at Xavier,” said the international student.  “They were really nice in Memphis, the students, the teachers; there was nothing wrong with Memphis, it’s just that I was always missing Xavier and New Orleans.  I decided to come back here right away when I heard we were reopening.”

Sophomore psychology premed major Stephfon Guidry felt the same way.  The Beaumont, Texas native attended Texas Southern University and says he found it an interesting experience.  “The school was different. There were a few Xavier students there. We all went to class regularly, but a lot of their students didn’t.  The campus was bigger and a lot more social. The professors were more impersonal than Xavier professors, probably because they had so many students.”

Guidry notes that there was some tension between the New Orleans students and the Texas students.  “The Xavier students kind of stayed together, and we were in regular contact with one of the Xavier dormitory directors, Mrs. Ballard, who was also in Texas and kept up our spirits."
The one thing TSU had that Xavier didn’t have, says Guidry, was a Theater program. He had the opportunity to become involved in the program at his adopted school, adding “They accepted me and I performed in a few plays. I was even made an honorary University Player!"

Despite that, Guidry says he felt a loyalty to Xavier and wanted to come back and help rebuild the city.  His family left the decision up to him, although some were more supportive than others.  “When my dad brought me back to campus and saw the damage and the neighborhood houses that hadn’t been gutted out, he said ‘This is what you’re coming back to?  We can turn around now if you want.’  But I decided I wanted to give it a chance.  It’s not Xavier so much, but New Orleans that they’re worried about. They saw the city in shambles on the news. We’re not as bad as some, we do still have a campus.”

“Xavier has a family environment that was missing at TSU.  So even with a few inconveniences like stores closing early and few restaurants to be found after 8:00pm, I’m glad I came back,” he said. “I think now we just have to go to next level and show America we can make it.”

Guidry's sentiments are echoed by Krystal Kofie, who says “People should stay in New Orleans to help build it back up. I just want to stay and do my part.”

Concert Choir to Perform Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass

New Orleans, La. - A guest organist and selected student soloists will be featured in the upcoming performance of  Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” by the Xavier University Concert Choir.  The free performance will be on Monday, March 20, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall on the Xavier campus.

The concert will be repeated for the Trinity Episcopal Church’s “Bach Around the Clock” special.   The Concert Choir will perform at Bach Around the Clock on Friday, March 24, at 8:45 p.m. Trinity is located 1329 Jackson Avenue.

Albina Prizgintas of  Trinity Episcopal Church will be the guest organist. Prizgintas is the founder and coordinator of the Trinity Artists Series.  Since 1988 he has directed and presented over 1,000 free concerts for the Sunday afternoon series.  He has also received several awards including the Best of the Beat Heartbeat Award, two Tribute to the Classical Arts nominations, the Mayor's Arts Award  (2001) and  a Tribute to the Classical Arts Awards (1999).
Prizgintas and the Xavier Concert Choir will perform the Haydn “Lord Nelson Mass” with organ and strings.  Student soloists include:  sopranos Krystal Russell, Anisha Santa Cruz, Kirsten Charbonnet, and Shekitha Davis; Candice Smith, mezzo soprano; Michael Hanna, tenor; and Fred Hudnall, and Emmanuel Burke, bass.

“Our students have done an extraordinary job for this performance,” said director John E. Ware.  The choir recently attended a four day retreat to work on the program. Xavier’s Concert Choir is a select group of music students who perform throughout the year. Other performing groups in the department include the University Chorus, the Symphonic Band, the Jazz Band, the Opera Workshop, and the String Ensemble.

Franz Joseph Haydn's Mass in D Minor was written in the summer of 1798. Possibly because of the political instability threatening central Europe at that time, Haydn originally named his work "Missa in Angustiis" (mass in fear). The title "Lord Nelson" Mass was applied by others sometime after 1800.

For more information on the Xavier Concert Choir performances, contact the Xavier University Music Department at 504-520-7597.

XU Students Reach Out to Community Youth

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University of Louisiana students are reaching out to area youth through Outreach Day - a once a month program for children ages 6-11.

The program meets one Saturday a month and gives youth the opportunity to participate in cultural, social and recreational activities with college students serving as mentors. The program runs from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with lunch provided. 

“Outreach Day is a community service project through the Xavier University Volunteer Center and it is a great opportunity for young students to interact with college students and engage in fun and educational activities,” said Mary Hill, a junior communications major, from Lubbock, Texas, who is the program coordinator.

“We’re especially interested in working with an elementary school, but the program is open to both individuals and groups,” she said. Individuals, schools, church groups or other organizations are invited to participate.

Parents who want to register their children, or Xavier students who wish to participate in the program can contact the Xavier University Volunteer Center at 520-5133 or they can sign up at the University Center, Room 316, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 

Xavier receives $350,000 grant from HUD

New Orleans, La. – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson visited the Xavier University of Louisiana campus today to award 16 universities more than over $5 million through the HUD's new Universities Rebuilding America Partnership (URAP) initiative.

Xavier was one of nine schools that received maximum funding - $350,000; the other grants ranged from $266,000 to $349,000. In all, six schools in Louisiana received grants – Xavier, Tulane, Grambling, Southern-New Orleans, Southern-Baton Rouge and LSU-Shreveport.
The URAP initiative is an innovative new program that draws on the expertise of these centers for higher learning to help rebuild communities throughout the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.

Xavier will use its grant to assist low- and moderate-income residents in the Hollygrove, Gert Town and the Treme communities. Xavier will work in partnership with New Orleans City Health Department, McDonogh 35 High School, Earthwalk, Inc., and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs, Inc. to implement the following program activities: 1) Establish the Neighborhood Technology and Health Information Center (NTHIC); 2) Recruit, train and track a cadre of volunteers to include service-learning and community service students, faculty, residents, and health professionals; and 3) Provide technical assistance related to clearance and demolition for residents, especially the elderly.

Jackson, who personally chose Xavier as the site for the announcement in recognition of its determination to rebuild in the post-Hurricane Katrina era, said the funding is designed to tap into young, bright minds to help devastated Gulf Coast communities to rebuild.

"I want to inspire and empower students and faculty to get involved in one of the most important rebuilding efforts in our country's history," said Jackson. "These institutions of higher learning have a unique opportunity to partner with devastated communities and, together, help to breathe new life into these neighborhoods."

HUD's URAP initiative was created through an existing design program that benefited schools of architecture and planning and a grant program that assists Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Nine URAP grants are being awarded to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and seven grants will assist other schools for community design and planning. Working with local, state, and national organizations URAP will provide an opportunity for groups of college and university students, faculty, and staff to develop creative solutions to respond to the disaster.

Online Registration for Second Term ‘06 Begins March 12

New Orleans, La. - Online Registration for the second term '06 (“spring semester”) at Xavier University of Louisiana via BANNER WEB begins Sunday, March 12.

Students can register via the following schedule: Seniors, Pharmacy and Graduate School beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 12; Juniors beginning at noon Monday, March 13; Sophomores beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, March 13; and Freshmen beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, March 14.  Pre-Registration ends on March 15, 2006 at 11:59 p.m. For more information visit here.

HUD Secretary to Visit Campus to Award Grants to HBCUs

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson will be on campus MONDAY (March 6) to present Rebuilding America Grants to 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The press conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the University Center Ballroom, followed by a reception. The Xavier community is invited to attend.

St. Katherine Feast Day / Mass for Sr. Beatrice Jeffries March 3

New Orleans, La. - A special Memorial Mass for Sr. Beatrice Jeffries, SBS, will be held Friday, March 3, 2006, at 6:00pm in the Xavier University Center Ballroom, 3rd Floor.

"Sr. Bea" as she was known on the campus, served as Xavier's vice president for Student Services for several years. Before then, she was director of Campus Ministry at Xavier.  Sr. Bea also served two terms as vice president for the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. In that role she was also a member of the Xavier board of trustees.

Sr. Bea received a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Xavier, and a Master of Arts in teaching with a concentration in Guidance and Counseling from Trinity College.  She also received certification as a master catechist from Xavier's Institute for Black Catholic Studies.

In addition to her time at Xavier, she was director of candidates for the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for six years, taught elementary school for eleven years, and she ministered in the Haitian community teaching English as a second language. She was a wonderful speaker and a much-sought-after revival speaker.

March 3 is also the Feast Day of St. Katharine Drexel, Xavier’s founder and the founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.  All are welcome to attend.

For more information contact the office of Campus Ministry at 504-520-5467 or 7386.

American Jewish Committee visits campus for donation / dialogue

New Orleans, La. - Representatives of the American Jewish Committee will visit the city and the Xavier University of Louisiana campus this weekend (Friday-Monday, Feb 17-20) to donate $100,000 to the University’s rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina and to engage in dialogue with affected students and faculty/staff.

"The fact that the American Jewish Committee would support a black Catholic college is a symbol of how people of different faith and race can come together in the wake of a disaster like Katrina," said Carla Harris, who announced the gift during a benefit concert for Xavier at Lincoln Center in New York on Saturday evening. Harris was chair of the concert, sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York's Office of Black Ministry.

The check presentation and campus visit is part of the AJC's New Orleans Relief project an initiative to support the hurricane-ravaged community which will bring a group of thirty young Jews from across the country to New Orleans to meet with residents and government officials and to help in city clean-up projects.

XU President Norman Francis accept the donation Saturday night at the International House Conference Center on Camp St., while more than a dozen XU faculty/staff members and a variety of students will share their experiences with AJC delegates on Monday. Delegates will also get a tour of the campus.

This is the AJC’s second visit to the city. Last December, AJC Executive Director David A. Harris delivered checks totaling $575,000 from the organization's Katrina fund to Dillard University, St. Clement of Rome Catholic church, and two synagogues, Congregation Gates of Prayer and Congregation Beth Israel.

AJC, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has a proud tradition of responding to humanitarian crises. Over the years, AJC has contributed millions of dollars in relief and reconstruction projects, benefiting people of diverse racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds in the U.S. and around the world.

XU students share entrepreneurship knowledge with prep students

New Orleans, La. - Learning to start a business from the ground up is the goal of a new service-learning project between students at Xavier University of Louisiana and a local high school.  Business students from Xavier University of Louisiana are working with high school students this semester as part of a service-learning project to teach entrepreneurship.

Xavier students are working with students from St. Augustine, St. Mary’s Academy, Xavier Prep and Redeemer-Seton, now all part of the MAX Campus located at the Xavier Prep location on Magazine Street.

Business professor and coordinator of the project, Dr. Louis Mancuso, says the Xavier students want to help the community recover from Hurricane Katrina and they are planting seeds to do so.

The MAX students will work in small groups with a Xavier student leader to create a business plan. The high school students will visit the Xavier campus for a resume seminar where they will also interview with the Xavier Business Advisory Council, and a business plan competition.

The high school class teacher is Curtis Lawrence, a social studies instructor and head basketball coach at Xavier Prep, who is a 1986 Xavier graduate. “I think this is a good experience for our students,” he said.

The groups first met at the high school during a class period and had a working lunch to get started on their projects. They will communicate throughout the semester.

Mancuso, who is Xavier’s Conrad Hilton Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship, is the director of the Entrepreneurship Institute at Xavier.

A minor in entrepreneurship was instituted last year. The Xavier business department recently received a $20,000 grant from Ford PAS (Partnership for Advanced Studies Experiential Learning) Program and a $5,000 Bernstien Grant to support the Entrepreneurship Institute.

Mancuso notes that students from any major can benefit from a minor in entrepreneurship. “Pharmacists, educators, so many different majors can use this minor,” he said.  “Xavier has a rich history in music, pharmacy and the sciences, and with a background in entrepreneurship there’s no stopping them!”

Xavier students participating in this semester’s entrepreneurship service learning program are:

Alexandra Ajanaku,  junior, business management, Lagos, Nigeria; Loren Labbe, senior, business, Kenner, La.; Kameron Moore Mitchell, freshman, business management, Oakland Calif.; Sharita Farmer,  senior, business management, Chicago, Ill.; Tevya D. Reid,  junior, business management, Toronto, Ontario - Canada; Damein Jones, senior, sales & marketing, Leesville La.; Joshua Miles, junior, business management, New Orleans; Brenna Cooper, junior, psychology major with a business minor, Pacoina, Calif.; and Kellie Sanchez, junior, marketing, New Orleans.

Dr. Michael White/Original Liberty Jazz Band offer free concert

New Orleans, La. - Dr. Michael White (languages) and his Original Liberty Jazz Band will perform on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. at the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, 7100 St. Charles Ave.  It is free and open to the public. It is the 12th annual Jazz Service (White & his group perform every year).

Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz faculty perform at Xavier

New Orleans, La. - A faculty combo from the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz will perform in concert at Xavier University of Louisiana Thursday Feb. 23, at 12 noon in the University Center Ballroom.  The concert is free and open to the public.

Performing will be Bobby Watson-sax, Lisa Henry-vocals, Richard Johnson-piano, Derrick Nievergelt-bass, Odis Brown III-drums, and Thelonius Monk, Jr. will be the speaker.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a non-profit education organization, was founded in 1986 by the Monk family along with the late Maria Fisher, an opera singer and lifelong devotee of music. Its mission is to offer the world's most promising young musicians college level training by America's jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world.

The Institute's programs fill the tremendous void in arts education left by severe budget cuts in public school funding. The goal is to expand children's musical knowledge and encourage imaginative thinking, creativity, a positive self-image and respect for their own and others' cultural heritage.

Students to take "community plunge" Saturday

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University students will  launch a major community service initiative called the “XU Community Plunge” on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006. The day-long event is sponsored by the university's Center for Student Leadership and Service.
The XU students will participate in a variety of activities including gutting six elderly citizens' homes in conjunction with Associated Catholic Charities’ Helping Hands program. They will also  volunteer their time at the City's Health Fair at the Zoo (along with students from the College of Pharmacy who will have a station there), packing food boxes at Second Harvest Food Bank, volunteering with the Katrina Clean-Up Krewe, and even making hot sauce with the nonprofit group "God's Vineyard."

The weekend’s events are among a series of events planned for the semester. Other activities scheduled later will include working with the New Orleans Recreation Department to clean and refurbish the Norwood Thompson playground in Gert Town; and on Thursday, Feb. 16, more than 100 Xavier students enrolled in the XU LEADS (Leadership Education And Development Skills) Emerging Leaders Program will gather to discuss initiatives to rebuild New Orleans.  As a result, the students will coordinate a letter writing campaign to their respective US Congressional members, to educate them on the importance of legislation introduced to rebuild New Orleans.

The Xavier Center for Student Leadership and Service will also offer more than $10,000 in grants to K-12 teachers to implement service-learning programs later this semester.  

For more information on this Saturday’s “Community Plunge” by XU students, contact coordinator Typhanie Butler at 520-5735.

Post-Katrina scholarships to 85 XU students

New Orleans, La. - Back in December, at a time when Xavier administrators were looking for an immediate way to provide increased financial assistance to students in the post-Katrina world, an unexpected benefactor stepped forward.

It was a gift of $250,000 in scholarship funds from philanthropist Sidney Frank -- the chairman and CEO of Sidney Frank Importing Co. Inc. -- via Brown University, his alma mater. Mr. Franks provided a total $5-million in support of Brown’s efforts to help students and faculty at colleges and universities that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

After a review of the list of applicants, the University has designated eighty-five returning students as Sidney Frank Scholars and recipients of partial scholarships of either $5,000 or $2,000.

”There was an overwhelming response from students regarding these scholarships,” said Dr. Elizabeth Barron, vice president for academic affairs. “Some students were eliminated from the process because they didn’t fit the eligibility requirements as set by the donor, but some tough decisions had to be made. In the end, the students chosen were the ones most qualified and in the most need of financial assistance.”

The 85 Xavier scholarship recipients are listed below, grouped by majors:

Business – Ashley Davidson,  J’Avanti Gutter, Ashley Johnson, Joshua Miles and Terrell Washington.

Biology – Krystal Arceneaux, Erik Davis, Nicole Guillory, Muhummad Khan, Janae Llopis, Yousef Nazima, Eric Newton, Chandra Riley, LeBrei Simmons, Charles Smith, Ashley Tillison and Shardee Wise.

Chemistry – Rodney Clark, Kia Jones and Gerald Pannell.

Education – Giayana Dorsey.

Mass Communications – Jerrell Cameron.

Pharmacy – Iisha Bailey, Tiffany Barras, Chanel Bennett, Megan Bossier, Cheryln Boutan, Alexia Brown, Jami Cannon, Erica Chavis, Tien Chung, Brittany Cochran, Sheena Farragut, Brandi Forget, Kisha Gant, LaKeisha George, Angel Grady, Leslie Harvey, Heba Hossenally, Meredith Hux, Cherlyn Kates, JaMasha Lacy, Treslie LaFleur, Judy Le, Stephen Le, Arian Lemon, Diana Luu, Jon Malveaux, Odel McKnight, Danielle Mercier, Latasha Miller, Randy Mire, Cherie Naquin, Julie Nguyen, Thien Nguyen, Thuy Nguyen, Leo Nickson, Rachael Nunez, Robin Riley-Vidal, Reine Pema Sanga, Linh Pham, Chad Richard, Harmony Spears, Cedric Torry, My-Ngoc Tran, Blane Williams, Gregory Wilson, Janay Woodard and Kauser Yousuf.

Political Science – Jennifer Jackson.

Pre-Pharmacy – Randy Decuir, Geoffrey Gant, Christopher Gillard, Nicole Gonzales, Jocelyn Hooks, Autumn James, Tiffany Jones, Kimberly Kensey, Logan Perkins, Dante Thomas and Dieu Tran.

Psychology – Melissa Ancar and Amanda Reed.

Speech Pathology – Lentrell Reed.

Xavier campus comes alive; "Fall" classes underway

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University President Norman Francis welcomed back faculty, students, staff and parents with the half-joking observation that his decision to re-open the University in January – a decision made just weeks after Hurricane Katrina had devastated much of the New Orleans area – would be recorded in history as either "crazy and stupid" or "bold and visionary.” The current evidence points to the latter.

Just under five months after levee breaks drove four-to-six feet of floodwaters into virtually every building on the campus, the University has reopened its doors – bringing back students, faculty and staff to the campus for what is officially the resumption of the “Fall” semester.

The most important news is, of course, that the students are back in significant numbers. Preliminary figures indicate that nearly 3,000 students are currently enrolled and attending classes. That is 70 percent of the University’s pre-Katrina high of more than 4,100, but it is pretty much what the Administration had expected following extensive online surveys and the add/drop period held last November. It is a good deal better than dire estimates just after the storm that only half of XU’s 4,100 pre-Katrina students would return. 

The anticipated return of even the latter projection was a source of some preliminary concern to the University, due to the obvious housing shortage in the Greater New Orleans area. However, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Joseph Byrd, at last count there were 1,341 students staying in the University’s Residence Halls. There are more than 1,600 beds available at Xavier – meaning that more than half of the students have been able to locate off-campus housing.

Another location welcomed back with much enthusiasm was the Cafeteria at the University Center, which currently is one of the major sources of meals in the immediate campus area. After being completely replaced with new equipment and furniture, the Sodexho-managed facility is fully functioning and serving three meals a day to resident students as well as commuting students, faculty and staff. Visitors to the cafeteria would be hard-pressed to point out any post-Katrina differences, other than the longer than usual lines at the optimum dining times.

And while it is readily apparent to anyone who visits the campus that much remains to be done to restore the campus and the surrounding community to its pre-Katrina state, one thing is abundantly clear – Xavier University is back!

“As I have said before, every time we open our doors, it's a miracle,” said Francis, addressing returning faculty at the first Academic Assembly since the storm hit in late August. “Well, I can tell you that opening our doors this time was the biggest miracle of all.”

Francis, who along with other faculty, staff and students lost his own house in the flood, said that the University still faces tremendous financial challenges in making all the necessary campus repairs, with at least $25 million needed from FEMA assistance and from Congressional assistance AFTER it finally receives financial settlements from insurance.

To date the University has not received much in the way of government aid to help offset the $22 million that has already been spent to reconstruct the campus. While some federal help is expected at some point, in the meantime Xavier has had to borrow money to pay for repairs.

And the repairs have been extensive. The ground floor of virtually very building on campus has been gutted and cleaned. The Central Plant, which was totally destroyed flood waters, is fully functioning again.

All of the storm debris has been cleared and the campus – sans green grass and landscaping – for the most part looks very much like it did pre-Katrina.

Refurbishing continues at a feverish pace. Many of the facilities – the University Center, the Library/Resource building, the Science Annex and all of the residence halls – are so far along that they are close to their pre-storm condition; while others – the Administration Building, the Barn and Xavier South – still resemble construction zones in some respects.

However, classroom space is plentiful and students are taking most of their classes on the Xavier campus.

Although there were no academic programs cut due to the storm, one area where the University suffered a major setback was in its student and faculty research capabilities. Several research labs received extensive equipment damage and the Center for Undergraduate Research was totally destroyed.

Probably the most visible evidence that things are not normal is the FEMA trailer parks that have sprung up on two of the University’s largest parking lots and the lack of activity in the surrounding residential areas. The trailers are providing temporary housing for faculty and staff whose personal residences were rendered unlivable by the storm. Unfortunately, very few of the neighborhood residents have been able to begin restoring their homes.

Still the ongoing reconstruction and the return of the student and faculty to the campus have brought a new energy to the campus.

“What happened to New Orleans – and Xavier – represents the greatest disaster this country has ever had,” said Francis. “That we were able to come back in such a short period of time is a credit to our staff and faculty, who put aside their personal losses and problems to make this miracle happen.”

Francis, who has been besieged by the news media the past five months both in his role as president of the University and as chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, said that he was asked on numerous occasions if Xavier could come back. His answer: “We’ll not only come back, we’ll be better than before.”

“We recognize that some things are still not exactly the way we want them – but with a little patience, understanding, and sacrifice, we will get through this challenge,” he added. “You have to go through Good Friday to get to Easter Sunday.”

3M Presents $100,000 for Xavier computer lab

New Orleans, La. - Executives from the 3M Corporation visited the Xavier University of Louisiana campus on January 27, 2006, to present a check to assist with its recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Francis E. Loftus, General Manager for 3M's Automotive Innovation Center, and Rich Lightsey,
3M's Director  of Business Development, presented a check for $100,000. The funds will help to rebuild the Library Resource Center computer lab, which was damaged during Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding that covered the campus. While there are other, smaller computer labs on campus that students use, the Library facility is larger and more accessible to all students.

In 2004, Xavier's Department of Business dedicated a new "3M Multimedia Sales Development and Conference Center" that was made possible by a previous grant from 3M. Several Xavier students have also served internships with the company, and Xavier and 3M have hosted the annual Frontline “Customer Contact” Conference.

XU campus leaders make annual student's Who’s Who list

New Orleans, La. - One hundred and two Xavier University of Louisiana student scholars will appear in the 2006 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, an annual chronicle of the nation’s outstanding campus leaders.

Campus nominating committees and editors of the directory have selected the students 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 academic departments:

Art – Rashad Butler, Ne’Ketta Guillory, Nadre’a Reeves and Leslie Spillman.

Biology – Sarah Ann Anderson, Shunte Anderson, Joliette Barnum, Marie-Teresa Colbert, Jawauna Faulkner, Melissa Groves,  Dominique Hill, Brooke Howard, Byron Jasper, Nadja Jones, Holly Loritts, Amanda Martin, Candace Pettigrew, Shannon Seals, Shakir Emel, Amber Washington and Christopher Whitmore.

Business – Kendra Adams, Alexandra Ajanaku, Matthew Alemu, Danielle Bourne, Brandi Eason, J’Avanti Gutter, Ashley Reece, Jasmine Robinson and Klas Sylvander.

Chemistry – Nicole Bell, Jessica Butler, Chika Chukwu, LaToya Clark, Rodney Clark, Gregory Jean-Noel, Madisa Macon, Chinwe Obiaga, Shelley Schmitz, Courtney Tafesse and Natasha Wilson.

Mass Communications – Angel Bradford, Yolanda Davis, Donzell Floyd, Candice Stewart and Ernest Tolden.

Education – Ashley Bridges, Lakeshia Cooper, Terrylceda Dunbar, Alexis Graham, Amani Harlee, Shelia Hebert, Savina Jasper, Leslie Jones, Sherna Lumar, Marion Milton, Marian Moore, Lynesia Preyan and Sherise Ross.

Engineering – Ashley August, Ariane Crutchfield, Julie Dumas, Rodney Goldsmith and April Pritchard.

English – Jessica Harvey and Stephanie Rodgers.

Languages – Joyous Clark, Nordine Sekour and Yana Thompson.

Mathematics – Jhacova Williams.

Music – Emanuel Burke, Michael Hanna and Sharalynn Keju.

Pharmacy – Manuel Albert, Sara Al-Dahir, Fatima Brakta, Wilfred Brown, Christal Ellis, Kissinger Fonbah, Dreama Goldsmith, Rebekah Greaves, Shauna Harvey, Erin Humbles, Shani King, Treslie Lafleur, Shenita Outland, Zahra Rahman, Chanel Ransom-Bennett, Robin Riley-Vidal, Jessica Sandoz, Shannon Vallee and Bobbi Wisekal.

Physics – Jessica Fuselier, Obioma Odionyenma and Marla Singleton.

Political Science – Cassie Ford and Ronicka Harrison.

Psychology – Unoma Akamagwuna, Leah Brock and Andrea Floyd.

Theology – Roy Dubose and Malik Muhammed.

Music Department presents "Festival Concert for Survivors"

New Orleans, La. - The Xavier University Department of Music will present its first post-Katrina music festival, "Festival Concert for Survivors," Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. in the Music Building's Recital Hall.

The festival will include performances by the Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, University Chorus, the Music faculty and students. It will feature a premiere performance of "Be Thou My Vision" arranged by Ralph Simpson for Chorus and Orchestra.

The program is free and the public is invited.

Mason is keynote speaker for annual MLK Jr. Week for Peace

New Orleans, La. - Dr. Ronald Mason, Jr., president of Jackson State University, will be the keynote speaker for the 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace, January 16-21, 2006. Mason will speak at Xavier’s University Center Ballroom, Wednesday, January 18 at 6:30 pm.

The Martin Luther King Week for Peace is presented by Xavier, Tulane, Loyola and Dillard Universities. All activities are free and open to the public. The theme for 2006 is “REBIRTH: Our Lives and Our Community.” 

Mason is the chief executive officer of the only university based in the in the largest metropolitan area and capital city of the state of Mississippi. Prior to his appointment by the University’s Board of Trustees, he was serving as Executive Director of the Tulane-Xavier National Center for the Urban Community in New Orleans, La.

During his 18 years at Tulane, Mason served in several capacities – including senior vice president and general consul, and as vice president for Finance and Operations. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Week for Peace celebration and in bringing the Amistad Research Center, home of the nation’s largest collections of original documents and art on the experience of minorities in the United States, to the University.

Among the other activities for the week include a candlelight vigil and interfaith service at Loyola and a free concert by local Grammy-winning artist Wynton Marsalis at Tulane, both scheduled for Monday, Jan. 16. A student in-service day will be held Saturday, Jan. 21.

A complete calendar follows. All events are free and open to the public.

Xavier/Tulane/Loyola/Dillard - Martin Luther King Week for Peace
Calendar of Events 2006

4:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16
Loyola University-Horseshoe Circle

5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16
Loyola University-Holy Name of Jesus Church

7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16
Tulane University-McAlister Auditorium

5:30 p.m., Wednesday Jan. 18
Xavier University-University Center

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Ronald Mason, Jr.
5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 18
Xavier University-University Center

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21
Day of Service – Register at

9 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday. Jan. 21
Tulane University-McAlister Auditorium

11 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday. Jan. 21
Loyola University-Danna Center

Xavier holds Media Day as prelude to campus reopening

New Orleans, La. - Xavier University President Norman C. Francis will be available to answer reporters' questions about the reopening of the campus during a news conference to be held at 1 p.m. in the University Center (Drexel Drive @ Broadway) Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006.

University administrators and student leaders will also be available for information and interviews. Then, university officials will conduct a walking tour of the Xavier campus and selected building, to showcase progress made in campus recovery efforts since Hurricane Katrina, one day before students begin arriving in large numbers.  

Unless otherwise approved, this will be the ONLY media opportunity to visit the campus during the week of Jan. 8-14 while reconstruction efforts continue before classes resume on Jan. 17.


1 p.m. – Media Check-in (University Center, 3rd Floor, President's Room)

1:15 p.m. – News Conference with President Norman Francis, XU administrators and student leaders

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Campus Tour... the University Center, St. KD Residence Hall, the Administration Building, the College of Pharmacy/Library Resource Center and the NCF Science Building. The tour will conclude at the Xavier Barn, on the North end of campus where athletic facilities – including the school's recently installed basketball court – were destroyed by Katrina's flood waters.

Count winds down to official campus reopening!

New Orleans, La. - The excitement is growing around Xavier University of Louisiana as preparations continue for faculty & staff to return to the midtown New Orleans campus beginning Jan. 9, with students arriving a few days later to prepare for classes to resume on Jan. 17.

Just over four months ago, the University was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floodwaters that engulfed the campus for more than two weeks; causing widespread damage to central plant as well as numerous classrooms, dormitory rooms, meeting areas, and so forth. Even the University’s state-of-the-art Cafeteria, dedicated just two years ago as part of the campus’ new multi-purpose University Center, had to be completely stripped and replaced because of health concerns over possible contamination of food service areas.

Four months later, the campus is looking more and more like it did before the hurricane wreaked havoc in New Orleans and along the entire Gulf Coast. But that didn’t happen easily, and it didn’t happen overnight either. University administrators, staff and an army of outside contractors began the campus clean-up efforts shortly after the flood waters subsided and authorities allowed them back into the city.

That clean-up effort included stripping away mold and mildew infested walls that were contaminated by water exposure across the campus – not to mention discarding thousands of pieces of furniture, equipment and supplies.  Dehumidification systems and remediation teams were deployed to dry out the buildings and eliminate any lingering health hazards before they could be repaired. The University’s heavily damaged Central Plant, which provides electrical power to several of the main buildings on campus, also had to be repaired before normal electrical service could be returned to those buildings.

During the Online Re-registration and Drop/Add period for courses in December 2005, more than 3,100 Xavier students confirmed their intentions to return in mid-January. They will resume what would have been their Fall semester with classes scheduled Jan. 17 until late-April. Then, after a short break, Xavier students will resume their 2005-06 academic year in May 2006 by starting what would have been their Spring 2006 semester.

“The idea is to allow our students to get caught up by September 2006, when the next academic year rolls around,” according to Dr. Elizabeth Ann Barron, the Vice President for Academic Affairs. "The online drop/add allowed students to drop courses they had taken elsewhere and add new courses.  January 13 will provide students an additional opportunity to complete their schedules."

The first scheduled signs of normalcy returning to campus happen on Monday, Jan. 9, when Xavier faculty and staff return to the campus for the first time to move back into their office spaces. Some faculty and staff offices will have to be relocated, because their areas have not yet been repaired.

Then on Tuesday, Jan. 10, members of the Student Government Association will convene with Residence Hall assistants and other student leaders on campus to prepare for the full return of Xavier students later that week. The office of Student Services has been working diligently in that regard, including planning more activities on campus during 2006 to compensate for whatever might still be missing in the surrounding New Orleans community following the hurricane.

On Thursday morning, Jan. 12, the Xavier faculty will convene for its University Academic Affairs Assembly/Spring Institute before classes resume the following week.  That same afternoon, the university has scheduled a “Media Day” providing local and national media with an opportunity to visit the campus and witness the progress made since September to get it physically ready for classes to resume.

Starting on Friday, Jan. 13, and continuing through that weekend, students begin arriving in larger numbers to claim their dormitory beds, complete their registration if necessary and prepare to pick up where they left off.  All students – and their parents – are invited to attend a special Student Orientation program to be held on Sunday, Jan. 15, so they can learn more about what should be expected as they prepare to resume campus life in New Orleans post-Katrina.

Finally, classes themselves will resume at Xavier on Tuesday morning, Jan. 17, since that Monday marks the nation’s annual holiday in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  All courses offered by Xavier will be held on the Xavier campus.  A small number of students are expected to take courses at Loyola or Tulane University, in cases where those courses are not offered at Xavier but needed for the students’ progression.

Hurricane Katrina campus photos available online

The office of University & Media Relations has created a series of photo image banks enabling you to witness Xavier's damages and recovery after Hurricane Katrina.

Scroll through the thumbnails at the bottom of the pages and click on the images you wish to view. A high resolution image will pop up in the top window. You can save the high resolution image for printing.




Philanthropist contributes $250,000 grant for student scholarships

New Orleans, La. - It’s just what the doctor ordered! At a time when Xavier University of Louisiana administrators were looking for a way to provide increased financial assistance to students in the post-Katrina world, a generous benefactor has stepped forward with a $250,000 scholarship grant.

The gift comes from philanthropist Sidney Frank through Brown University in Providence, R.I., to whom he gave a larger grant in order to assist areas and institutions ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. 

The $250,000 grant will provide scholarships for Xavier students returning to school in January – to be distributed as 25 scholarships of $5,000 each and 60 scholarships of $2,000 each. Recipients of the scholarships will be designated Sidney Frank Scholars. The grant includes an additional $5,000 for the University to offset administrative costs for the program.

“Mr. Frank is an extraordinary philanthropist who wishes you the best in your recovery from the hurricane,” said Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University.  “We at Brown join him in wishing you and your courageous colleagues and students the best of luck for the opening of the next semester.”

Dillard University in New Orleans and Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., also received grants through the Brown program.

Frank, chairman and CEO of Sidney Frank Importing Co. Inc., and a 1942 alumnus of Brown, provided $5 million in support of Brown’s efforts to provide relief for students and faculty at colleges and universities that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Last year he donated more than $100 million to Brown to fund undergraduate scholarships for Brown’s neediest students and to construct a new academic building on the campus, making him the largest donor in the University’s history.

For more information on the overall grant and Sidney Frank, visit the Brown University website.

More than 3,100 students register for next semester

New Orleans, La. - Students returning to Xavier University of Louisiana in January will have plenty of company!

According to Dr. Elizabeth Ann Barron, vice president for academic affairs, a total of 3,118 students completed the online survey or participated in online drop/add period – thus officially indicating their intention to return when the University reopens its doors.

That number represents more than 75 percent of the 4,000-plus students who were enrolled pre-Katrina. It’s a number that elates university administrators, who earlier this fall were hoping that as many as 2,000 would return.

“We are of course delighted that so many students appreciate that Xavier is a special place and have made an early commitment to return in January,” said Barron. “Our faculty and staff have worked hard over the past few months to give them the opportunity to do so.”

Of the students who have confirmed their intention to return, 2,416 are enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, 580 in the College of Pharmacy, 116 in the graduate school and another six in special programs.

Barron said students who did not registrar during the earlier online registration and add/drop sessions – but have since decided to return – can still register at the school prior to the start of classes in January. Students in this situation should email Lissette Poche, assistant registrar, at, indicating their intention to return and listing the specific courses they want to take. 

She said that students who do not plan to return next month need to officially withdraw from the University. Those requests should be emailed to the Registrar’s Office at or, which will process the withdrawal and notify Financial Aid and Student Accounts.

2006 International Diversity Conference Coming to New Orleans

New Orleans, La. - As a sign of solidarity for both the city of New Orleans as well as Xavier University of Louisiana, the Sixth Annual Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations has decided to move forward with its plans to hold its annual conference in New Orleans next June.

Originally scheduled to be held on Xavier’s campus, the conference has been relocated to the Sheraton Hotel and will be held June 12-15, 2006.

The conference, organized and supported by an Australian non-profit organization - Common Ground, is designed for anyone who deals with diversity issues in the workplace, community or national arena. Participants include academics, corporate and business professionals, as well as governmental and non-governmental organization representatives.

“The goal is to facilitate dialogues about diversity issues,” said Dr. Joe Melcher, chair of Xavier’s Communication Department and one of the local coordinators of the 2006 conference. “This conference will bring international attention to New Orleans and to Xavier as host institution.”

This is the first time the conference will be primarily hosted by an Historically Black Institution. It was previously held in Australia, the University of Hawaii, and at UCLA.  Melcher and his Xavier colleague Dr. David Silverman attended the 2005 conference, which was held in Beijing, China.  Xavier’s Office of Intercultural Affairs and Common Ground funded the faculty’s trip to Beijing.

The overall theme for the 2006 conference is “Human Rights, Diversity and Social Justice.” Other more specific sub-themes are being developed.  “As an Historically Black and Catholic institution, whose mission is to promote social justice, we feel the conference theme and the University work well together,” said Melcher.  According to Silverman, “Special sessions will be devoted to issues such as poverty and race in relation to hurricane Katrina.” The concerns of this conference loom larger than ever in the light of the terrible events surrounding Hurricane Katrina.  Speakers at the conference will include leading thinkers on the subject of diversity, as well as include numerous papers, colloquia, and workshop presentations," stated Dr. Bill Cope, Director of Common Ground.

The conference will seek to explore the full range of what diversity means and explore modes of diversity in real-life situations of living together as a community. The conference supports a move away from simple affirmations that 'diversity is good' to a much more nuanced account of the effects and uses of diversity on differently situated communities in the context of our current epoch of globalization.

For more information on the conference, to register, or to submit a proposal for a presentation, visit the conference website:

Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund announces help for colleges

New Orleans, La. - It was, just as Dr. Norman Francis described it, an “historic moment” at Xavier University on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005. That’s when former US president William “Bill” Clinton visited the Xavier campus for a firsthand look at recovery and repair operations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina more than three months earlier.

Earlier that same day Clinton and former president George H.W. Bush, whom the Washington Post describes as  “the unlikely duo that has proved to be a fundraising colossus on behalf of disaster victims,” had returned to New Orleans to announce -- on the campus of the University of New Orleans – that they would give $90 million from their Bush-Clinton Hurricane Relief Fund to universities, faith-based groups and other rebuilding efforts along the devastated Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Bush and Clinton, who were tapped in September by President George W. Bush to lead the fundraising effort for hurricane victims, have already raised $100 million in their Relief Fund and they expect to raise even more.
The $30 million grant for universities will be shared by Xavier University and more than 30 universities and colleges along the Gulf Coast, to help them absorb the costs of reconstruction, assisting students displaced by the storm and paying salaries to retain their faculty. The individual grant amounts will be based on a formula that takes into account the extent of damages to each campus.

During a news interview, Xavier’s president Francis indicated that he was expecting the university would receive “more than one-million dollars” from the $30 million grant, based on the extent of damages the midtown campus suffered from Hurricane Katrina’s fierce winds and the massive flooding that followed the storm.

The Xavier president also cheered the Bush-Clinton Relief Fund for partnering with UNCF, the United Negro College Fund, to raise additional money specially earmarked to provide extra assistance to the historically Black colleges and universities that were impacted by the storms. 

UNCF president and CEO, Dr. Michael Lomax, agreed with Dr. Francis.

“The financial and physical impact on Xavier, Dillard and our other HBCU’s was especially painful,” said Lomax, himself a former president at Dillard, adding, “That’s because our schools have not traditionally concentrated on building up their endowments for emergency needs, but rather  on dedicating most of their endowment dollars to scholarships and professorships.”

As far as the Xavier community was concerned, the highlight of the day was the visit by Clinton to the Xavier campus arranged by his former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, herself a Xavier graduate.

Accompanied by a team of Secret Service agents, Clinton arrived first at the Xavier Barn to inspect the damages to the gym flooring inside, then he visited several other campus buildings including the Library, the College of Pharmacy and the University Center. All of those facilities are still being repaired as the Xavier campus prepares to welcome students back in mid-January, when classes resume.

Wherever he went on campus, the former president took time to greet and pose for pictures with university staff members and students selected to meet with him, as well as the construction workers on campus to help in the rebuilding effort. Observers said Clinton seemed genuinely interested in Xavier’s situation, and wanted to ensure that the university receives all off the help it is entitled to in the wake of Katrina, so that it can return to its previous position of excellence among America’s institutions of higher learning.

    Click here to see PHOTOS of the Bush-Clinton announcement and the historic visit by President Clinton to the campus.

75% of Xavier students returning in January 2006

New Orleans, La.  - Despite early predictions of major enrollment decreases in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans colleges and universities, nearly seventy-five per cent of Xavier University of Louisiana students have already confirmed their intentions to return to the New Orleans mid-town campus when it reopens for classes in January 2006. Expected enrollment could grow higher this week, as students drop/add courses online in order to adjust their schedules to reflect any courses they may have taken elsewhere.

The official online registration and housing request period for students to declare their intentions to return and to secure dormitory housing in January, took place November 7 through November 18. A total of 2,779 students confirmed their plans to return to Xavier in mid-January, retaining their registration status, with more than 1,600 of those students requesting campus housing at one of the university dormitories. Enrollment before the hurricane was over 4,000. The university has already confirmed that more than 1,600 beds will be available when the campus reopens.

The online drop/add period is scheduled November 28 through December 2, to allow Xavier students to drop whatever courses they may have taken elsewhere, and select other courses instead. Most of the classes will be held on Xavier’s campus; however, students will have the opportunity to register for courses not offered by Xavier at the Loyola and Tulane University campuses, on a space available basis as part of the partnership arrangement.

Meanwhile, the restoration of the Xavier campus continues, with contractors and university staff racing to repair critical areas damaged by the hurricane and the subsequent flood waters. The campus will reopen in mid-January with classes scheduled to resume on Tuesday, January 17, 2006.

Tulane, XU to address racial disparities in cancer outcomes

New Orleans, La. - The Tulane Cancer Center and Xavier University of Louisiana were recently
awarded a $1.4 million planning grant by the National Cancer Institute to
develop collaborative biomedical research and educational programs focusing on
racial disparities in cancer outcomes.

Approximately $540,000 will go to the Tulane Cancer Center with the remaining $880,000 going to Xavier University.

Cancer incidence rates among African-Americans  are as much as 50 percent
higher for a number of malignancies and the overall cancer mortality rate is
one-third higher among African-Americans than Caucasian Americans, according to
National Cancer Institute data. This four-year grant will attempt to address
these disparities through:

-  the development of collaborative cancer research initiatives between the
faculties of the two universities, culminating in the submission of  a
competitive partnership grant;

-  the recruitment of more African-American students into careers in cancer
research, education and policy development through education regarding racial
and ethnic disparity in cancer and by involvement in Tulane and Xavier cancer
research projects; and

- training of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students regarding racial and
ethnic disparities in cancer through a course on cultural competence and

“There have been inadequate educational programs to produce graduate students,
medical students, scientists and clinicians with sensitivity and expertise in
problems associated with racial disparity,” said Roy S. Weiner, director of the
Tulane Cancer Center and co-principal investigator on the grant with Kathleen
Kennedy, associate dean of the Xavier University College of Pharmacy.  “Tulane
and Xavier are now in a position to focus their complementary strengths to
attack disparity by enhancing our understanding of tumor biology and by
recruiting more students, physicians, teachers and scientists to productive
careers in cancer research and education.”

Playing key roles as joint program managers on this grant are Steven M. Hill,
professor and vice chair of the Department of Structural & Cellular Biology and
the Edmond & Lily Safra Chair for Breast Cancer Research at the Tulane
University School of Medicine, and Thomas Wiese, assistant professor of
biochemistry in the Division of Basic Pharmaceutical  Sciences at the Xavier
University College of Pharmacy. Their responsibilities will  include running
the day to day operations of the program, organizing meetings and integrating
the work of both institutions so that educational and research objectives are

For more info, contact the Tulane Cancer Center at 504-988-6060 or visit
the website at

Electricity returns to XU campus; Online registration underway  

New Orleans, La. - Electricity has been restored to portions of the Xavier University of Louisiana campus, more than two months after Hurricane Katrina and subsequent floodwaters ravaged the university’s midtown campus – and most of New Orleans – in late August.

Meanwhile, online registration is already underway at the university’s website for students to indicate their plans to return in January 2006 – and whether they’ll need housing when the campus reopens for classes to resume in mid-January. Students will be able to drop/add courses online from Nov. 28 until Dec. 2, 2005.


The university’s central plant, which distributes power from the utility company to various campus buildings, was severely damaged when floodwaters swept across the campus on Aug. 30 – the day after the hurricane, when New Orleans’ levees were breached. Contractors worked diligently to restore the central plant, so that the normal delivery of electricity on campus could resume. Those efforts paid off, with power being restored to the Library and the College of Pharmacy buildings as of Nov. 15. The university’s director of facilities planning, Marion Bracy, says more campus buildings will be brought on line after their electrical systems have been verified for safety.

The physical restoration of the campus continues seven days a week, meanwhile, as contractor crews and Xavier staff prepare the campus for its scheduled January reopening. Most of the classroom buildings and dormitories affected by wind damage or floodwaters have already been cleaned, dehumidified and treated for any mildew-mold infestations. Now the task of returning those facilities to their previous state is underway.

Inside the Library, where floodwaters damaged hundreds of reference books as well as furniture, workers started reinstalling and painting new drywall in early November. Likewise, new equipment and furnishings are arriving to replace what had to be removed from the College of Pharmacy and the Norman C. Francis Science complex.  All-new equipment has also been ordered for the Cafeteria and dining hall, inside the University Center, so that Xavier students can expect regular food service when they return in mid-January.

As far as the dormitories are concerned, Vice President Joseph Byrd and his Student Services staff toured the residence halls in early November.   They report that more than 90% of residence hall rooms were undamaged by Hurricane Katrina.  First floor dormitory rooms that did suffer damages due to flooding halls are being restored in St. Katharine Drexel, St. Joseph and St. Martin DePorres halls, and residents' personal belongings have been packed by a Disaster Services Cleaning team.  Byrd says an announcement will soon be forthcoming for those students and parents who wish to visit the campus to retrieve whatever belongings they left behind that were not damaged in the aftermath of the storm.


An online official registration and housing request form for students to declare their intentions to return, and to secure dormitory housing January 2006, began on November 7 and will continue until November 18.  All students who plan to return to Xavier must complete this form in order to hold the classes for which they were registered in August. At least 1,600 dormitory beds are expected to be available on campus by January 2006 when students return.

Online drop/add happens the week after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28 through Dec. 2, to allow Xavier students to drop courses they have taken elsewhere, and add other courses instead.  Drop/add will be staggered with seniors going first, according to Dr. Elizabeth Ann Barron, the Vice President for Academic Affairs. To clear up any confusion, Dr. Barron also emphasized that Xavier classes will be held on Xavier’s campus. Students will, however, have the opportunity to register for Loyola and Tulane courses, on a space available basis as part of the partnership arrangement.

To be sure, more work needs to be done between now and mid-January 2006. But the signs of progress toward that goal can be found everywhere. During a recent visit to the campus that she evacuated more than two months ago, longtime faculty member Sr. Grace Mary Flickinger, S.B.S., was all smiles as she rushed up to greet Dr. Norman C. Francis – Xavier’s president since 1968 – also on hand to survey the progress.

“Thank goodness,” she exclaimed. “The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament have been so worried about Xavier not being able to reopen for January; but now that I’ve seen all the activity on the campus, I can return to the S.B.S. Motherhouse and tell them that our prayers are being answered. We’ll be back in January!”

Pharmacy graduation on schedule as rotations continue

New Orleans, La. - Good news arrived just in time for Thanksgiving for 120 Xavier University students, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, who had hoped to graduate in May 2006 with their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees. The university has confirmed that Commencement exercises for those students will take place on schedule, thanks to the efforts of the university and cooperation among their fellow Pharmacy colleges around the nation.

When Hurricane Katrina scattered all of Xavier’s 4,000 students to the four winds, arguably no one was more affected than the University’s 120 fourth-year pharmacy students, who suddenly found themselves without a place to serve their rotations.

As part of their curriculum requirements, all pharmacy students spend their last three semesters getting hands-on experience in hospitals and community retail outlets in 10 different four-week rotations.

For these students, therefore, it was no simple matter of picking up a few course credits at another University while waiting for the College of Pharmacy to reopen its doors in January. The very outlets for their rotations – the city’s extensive network of hospitals, health clinics and retail pharmacy outlets – were all knocked out of commission. In early September, the short-term situation looked pretty bleak and the long-term situation not all that much better.

But this is one disaster story that has a happy ending. Thanks to the Herculean efforts of Dr. Rondall Allen, director of the professional experience program, as well as a major assist from nation’s other pharmacy colleges and the resiliency of the Xavier students themselves, the rotation program was quickly able to regain its footing.

As a result, all 120 of the University’s P4 pharmacy students are expected to graduate as usual in May 2006.

But getting there wasn’t easy.

“Before the hurricane, we had access to virtually every hospital and retail outlet in the city, “said Allen, who is also an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy. “When Katrina hit we were down to none. We were suddenly looking at the prospect of re-scheduling all 120 students somewhere else.”

Immediately Allen, who himself had to evacuate to Tallahassee (Fla.) before settling in Atlanta (Ga.), began working the telephone lines and e-mail trying to determine where his pharmacy students had evacuated. At the same time, he started looking for outlets in those areas where students might be able to fulfill their rotations.

Allen credits Vicki Voss of ROI Solutions – which maintains the rotation database – and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy – which put together a list of  other pharmacy schools that could help out with scheduling rotations – with big assists. The latter facilitated his efforts to network with his colleagues in other cities.

Locally, several medical centers and retail outlets that survived the hurricane without major damage – East Jefferson General Hospital, Slidell Memorial Hospital, West Jefferson Medical Center, Kenner Regional Medical Center, River Parishes Hospital, Walgreen’s and CVS Pharmacy – also opened their doors to XU students.

The end result was that all 120 senior students were placed into new rotations – half of them to locations in Louisiana and the rest spread out in some 15 other states ranging as far west as California to as far east as New Jersey. A good majority of the latter are in Texas, mostly in Dallas and Houston.

Although every effort was made to place students in an area where they were already located, in some cases this wasn’t possible. Some of the students have spent the fall completing their rotations in unfamiliar areas where they have no family or friends.

“It was quite a devastating experience for some of the students – many had lost everything they had – and all of them were really confused and anxious about their future,” said Allen. “But I must say that they have certainly risen to the occasion. They have been quite resilient.”

Raegan Jett, a P4 student from Alexandria, La. (Peabody High), was one of those lost everything. Her apartment in New Orleans East was ravaged by the same floodwaters that closed the Xavier campus.

Jett is now in staying with relatives in the Dallas-Forth Worth (Texas) area. She is in the midst of her second rotation since the storm, this one at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. She spent her first rotation at a Walgreen’s pharmacy in Dallas.

“I was given the choice of doing my rotations in my hometown or Dallas, and I felt there were a lot more opportunities here in Dallas,” said Jett. “I was very happy with the way Xavier made it possible for me to complete my rotations and graduate on time.”

Because of the housing issue, Jett plans to finish out her rotations in Texas, but said she definitely plans to be back in New Orleans for her graduation.

For Chad Rudolph the transition was a lot less dramatic. A resident of Harvey, La. (Shaw High), he initially evacuated with his family to Lake Charles, La, but has since been able to return to his slightly damaged home on the West Bank.

Chad has been able to get his first two rotations after the storm close to home – he is now at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans after having served his first rotation at Carr Drugs on the West Bank. His third rotation, however, will take him to Natchitoches, La. Still he is happy with the way things have turned out.

“I was really surprised that we were able to pick up the rotations so quickly,” said Chad. “Dr. Allen has done a good job of keeping us informed and responding to our questions. And I am really happy that I’ll be graduating on time."

Allen says he hopes to get even more students back closer to home before the campus reopens in January – increasing the in-state total to perhaps 70.

He said he doesn’t expect the University’s new general academic calendar – which calls for two semesters to be completed in the January through August time-frame – or the destruction caused by Katrina to adversely effect the P3’s, who are scheduled to start their rotations next fall.

“We are hopeful that many of the city’s health care centers will be up and functioning by then,” said Allen.

Wayne Harris, dean of the College of Pharmacy, concurred.

"The significant efforts of our faculty, staff and students have allowed us to make major recovery steps related to this natural disaster," he said. "The contributions of our colleagues in AACP and across the pharmacy profession cannot be overestimated, nor can the reality of God's blessing."

"I am confident that Xavier's College of Pharmacy will not only recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina but it will grow stronger," he added.

Bush Foundation donates $2 million to XU for recovery                                                                                                           
St. Paul, Minn. – Xavier University of Louisiana was among three private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) awarded unrestricted million dollar grants from the Bush Foundation to support their efforts to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. 

Xavier and Dillard University, both in New Orleans, will each receive $2 million each, while Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., will receive $1 million. The institutions will have complete discretionary use of the grant money and may decide to use the funding in their efforts to help retain essential faculty and staff, provide student aid, rebuild damaged facilities and repair equipment.

“Xavier is eternally grateful to the Bush Foundation for its financial support in what is truly our time of greatest need,” said XU President Norman C. Francis. “Over the years we have enjoyed a long standing relationship with the foundation, which has demonstrated its commitment to Xavier’s mission on many previous occasions.

”This additional support will help us to reopen in January 2006 and allow us to hold a commencement of our College of Pharmacy in May,” he added.

Although the Bush Foundation’s service area is primarily Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the foundation has a long-term commitment to supporting the education of African Americans and, in partnership with the Hewlett Foundation has made grants totaling more than $43 million to HBCUs for over 25 years.

 “The Bush Foundation has had long relationships with Xavier, Dillard and Tougaloo,” said Bush Foundation President Anita M. Pampusch. “We believe that it is very important and necessary for them to continue their important work of developing African American leadership through higher education. We hope that our grant at this time will speed their recovery from the hurricane and its aftermath so that they can return to their critical education missions.”

The Bush Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald G. Bush and based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Its fellowship programs for individuals are in the areas of leadership, arts and medicine. The foundation also supports out-of-region projects with historically black colleges and universities and fully-accredited tribally-controlled colleges.

XU announces personnel & program reductions

New Orleans, La. - Reconstructing the campus for resumption of classes on January 17, 2006 continues to be a top priority at Xavier University of Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The university recently announced personnel and program reductions that were prompted by the cost to repair campus damages, combined with fiscal uncertainties, in the aftermath of the storm.

The personnel reductions [see REDUCTIONS data] were necessitated by the anticipated campus reconstruction costs, combined with the loss of tuition and auxiliary revenues for the Fall 2005 semester – plus anticipated financial aid needs to maintain scholarship committments for students returning to the Xavier campus when the University re-opens. That is according to Calvin Tregre, Senior Vice President for Administration, who acknowledges, “This is a devastating action for a close-knit community such as Xavier, but the tremendous financial challenges we face post-Katrina forced us to make difficult decisions.” The overall fiscal impact of those challenges facing Xavier has been estimated at higher than $90-million.

A majority of affected staff personnel have been placed on unpaid leave with continued medical benefits until January 2006, at which time their status will be re-evaluated. A small number of staff positions were eliminated. The faculty reduction decisions were based on the university’s fiscal circumstances and assessment of its ongoing needs to accommodate student enrollment. Xavier administrators hope to be able to rehire additional faculty as enrollment increases.

Undergraduate and College of Pharmacy courses will be offered at the Xavier campus beginning in January, however Graduate School offerings will be limited to online courses only.

Furthermore, the university has suspended conference participation in all intercollegiate athletic programs until the Fall of 2006.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Black Catholic Studies will hold its Summer 2006 institute on the campus of the university of Notre Dame.

The personnel and program reductions will assist in stabilizing the University’s fiscal condition for the 2005-06 academic year. Meanwhile, a special relief fund has been established to receive donations from private, nonprofit and corporate donors to help restore the campus to its preeminence among US colleges and universities:

            Xavier University Hurricane Relief Fund
Xavier University of Louisiana
P.O. Box 580
Grand Coteau, LA 70541

The following is a breakdown of personnel reductions in both faculty and staff categories:

Faculty Reductions at Xavier

Number of faculty positions before Katrina  = 238
Faculty resignations or requested leaves of absence = 6
Number of faculty positions retained = 154

Staff Reductions at Xavier

Number of staff positions before Katrina = 552
Number of staff positions retained = 234
Staff placed on unpaid leave = 295                                                   
Staff positions eliminated = 23

For more information, contact Warren Bell, Jr. at 225-490-1675 or 504-235-8706.

Alumni chapters aid in recovery efforts

The National Alumni Association and alumni chapters throughout the country are playing an important role in the recovery efforts of the university.

According to LaJuana Chenier, alumni leaders have discussed the needs of the university with the alumni office and have begun letter-writing and phone campaigns to help with fundraising efforts, student retainment and recruitment. They have indicated their willingness to assist the Office of Admissions in recruitment efforts across the country.

Many alumni chapters are also helping with the recovery efforts by hosting fundraising initiatives and special events to engage displaced Xavier students. Here are a just few of them:

The Southern California chapter hosted its annual jazz brunch, which attracted more than 700 attendees and raised $20,000 for the Alumni/Friends Hurricane Relief Fund. Additional funds were raised by a few of the pharmacists employed by the state of California, those funds will be directed to the university as well.

The Atlanta Chapter hosted Naturally N'Awlins gathering for XU students who evacuated to the area. The chapter has asked area alumni to adopt a student to assist them with needs of toiletries, books, pens etc., and has scheduled a football party with all proceeds going to the relief fund.

The Birmingham Chapter gave funds raised from a recent brunch to the Xavier University Alumni and Friends Hurricane Relief Fund. Members of the chapter plan to solicit the Birmingham community to support the relief fund as well.

The Washington D.C., and Puget Sound chapters have also hosted events.

Upcoming events include the Houston Chapter's social mixer for displaced area students scheduled for Nov. 4 and the Chicago Chapter's "Trunk Party" for students in its area on Nov. 5. Visit here for more details these and other alumni chapter events.


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