basketball Gold Rush Streak Ends in Loss to Dakota Wesleyan
basketball Gold Rush 13-0 After Win Over Webber International
1902 Fitch Praise CD Celebrates Life, Benefits New Xavier Chapel
1903 Music Department Hosts Junior Mance Quintet
1902 Pharmacy Students Shine in the ASHP Clinical Skills Competition
basketball Rush Wins 72-58 at Southern, Move to 12-0
basketball Unbeaten Rush Win at William Carey
basketball Unbeaten Owls Rally Late to Defeat Nuggets
basketball Nuggets Build Big Lead, Hold on for 55-49 Victory
basketball Nuggets Open Trip with Win at Webber International
1902 Five XU Players Earn Preseason Rankings from ITA
basketball Rush / Nuggets Climb in NAIA Basketball Polls
1902 XU Star Watts Selected for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
1903 XU's Jones is a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete Again
1902 Xavier Earns SACS Reaffirmation
basketball Rush Climb to 10th in Poll, Then Win at Loyola  
basketball No. 17 Nuggets Defeat No. 9 Lady Flames 59-48
basketball 9-0 Gold Rush Rally Late to Topple Talladega
basketball St. Thomas FL Rallies Late to End Nuggets' Road Streak
basketball Warren, Hall Lead 9-1 Nuggets in Road Victory
1902 Lieteau Selected for Alumnus of Year Honors
1903 Two-Sport Student-Athlete Takes Her Game to Medical School
1902 Campus Leaders Make Annual Who's Who List
basketball Gold Rush, 8-0 for First Time Since '80s, Win at St. Thomas
basketball Kelly's Late Free Throws Give Nuggets Victory
basketball Gold Rush defeat Wiley Again, Remain Unbeaten
basketball Grambling Ends Nuggets' Home Win Streak
basketball Nuggets Stifle Langston in Matchup of Ranked NAIA Teams  
basketball Unbeaten Rush Summon Simmons for 2nd-half Comeback
basketball Gold Rush Use Late Streak to Pull Away from Panthers  
basketball Nuggets Rout Lady Panthers at Homecoming
basketball Grant Ties School Record; Nuggets Win Again
1902 Rush Improve to 4-0 After 96-65 Rout of Jarvis Christian
1903 Seventy-One XU Students Inducted to Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society
1902 University Chorus Presents Christmas Concerts
1903 Images of Haiti: The Young Photographers of La Vallee
1902 NCF Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert
basketball Young Scores Late to Keep Gold Nuggets Unbeaten
basketball Rush Defeats St. Thomas, Improves to 3-0
basketball Warren's Double-double Leads Nuggets Past LeMoyne-Owen
1902 No. 3 Seed XU Opens With Tougaloo in Conference VB Tourney
basketball Hall Scores 17 to Lead Nuggets Past LSUS on Road
1902 Loyola Sweeps Volleyball in Regular-season Finale
1903 XU Runners Win 5th Straight GCAC CC Championships
basketball Simmons, Erves Jump-start Rush for Second-half BB Victory
1903 Speech Path Students Take Project to Nicaragua
1902 Fall Lecture Series Continues
1903 Film Screening: The Sound After the Storm
1902 Haiti Connections Series
1903 XU Music Department Presents Opera Workshop
1902 Books into Film Series
1903 Xavier Alum Tackles Sickle Cell Head On
  OCTOBER 2010
basketball Gold Rush Win Basketball Opener for the 15th Consecutive Season
basketball Gold Nuggets Hold Off Florida Memorial in Basektball Opener
1902 Mobile Sweeps Volleyball, Ends XU Winning Streak
basketball Gold Rush 20th, Gold Nuggets 22nd in NAIA BB Polls
1902 Four Join Xavier University Board of Trustees
1903 Lyons' Late Kills Cap Volleyball Comeback Against Dillard
1902 Runners Drop Times to Close the Regular Season
1903 Volleyball Defeats Tougaloo in Record-Setting Match
1902 CUR Awards Faculty Mini-Grants
1903 Volleyball Defeats Alcorn State to End Road Losing Streak
basketball GCAC Coaches Pick Nuggets to Repeat as Basketball Champions
1903 Mississippi Valley Defeats Volleyball
1902 Volleyball Loses Pair of Matches in Mississippi
1903 Volleyball Serves Up a Victory over Judson, Ends Losing Streak
1902 XU Near Top of NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard
1903 XU Concerts Honor St. Katharine Drexel
1902 Public Health as Social Justice
1903 SUNO Beats Volley in 4 Sets
1902 Pieri, Walston Record Season Bests at CC Meet
1903 Volleyball Loses Twice at Faulkner Invitational  
1902 Badgers Blast Volleyball in Three Sets
basketball Nuggets Announce 2010-11 Basketball Slate
1902 University Honors 66 Long-time Faculty and Staff
1903 Badgers Breeze Past Volleyball
1902 Tennis Eliminated from Tourney by AUM
1903 Tennis Plays Host to USTA/ITA NAIA South Regional  
1902 Acebook: Dillard's Servers Keep Volleyball Offline
1903 Ribbon-cutting For Qatar Pavilion Oct. 15
1902 Freshman Scholars Ahead of Their Class
1903 Remembering St. Katharine Drexel
1902 Tuskegee Selects XU Alum as President
1903 Volleyball Loses to Loyola and Wallace State
1902 Giles-Osborn, Richardson Lose 9-8 in HBCU Tennis Final  
1903 Pieri, Ramirez Set the Pace at LSU CC Invitational
1902 Rahbar Reaches B-flight Singles Championship Match
1903 Volleyball Drops Two Matches at BSC Fall Classic
1902 Rahbar, Nelson Lead Tennis at HBCU Championships
1903 Mobile Sweeps Volleyball
basketball Gold Rush Announce 2010-11 Basketball Schedule
basketball Rush Capture First Place in GCAC Preseason Basketball Poll
1902 Walston, Ramirez Set XU records at Ragin' Cajuns CC Meet
1903 Volleyball Defeats Alcorn State in Four Sets
1902 XU Students Help Fight Diabetes at Lakeside Mall Oct. 23
1903 Volleyball Defeats Alcorn State in Four Sets
1902 Pieri, Walston Finish 1-2, Lead XU CC to Wolfpack Classic Title
1903 XU Celebrates Substance Abuse Recovery Month
1902 SUNO rallies past Gold Nuggets at The Barn
1903 Pieri, D'Souza Lead XU Runners in Season Opener
1902 Nuggets Have Aces Up Their Sleeves in Victory at Judson
1903 Music Department Releases 2010 Performance Schedule
1902 Fall 2010 Enrollment Reaches New Post-Katrina High
1903 MCAN, XU Partner to Manage Childhood Asthma
1902 Obama Wows Xavier Audience
  AUGUST 2010
1903 Fall Lecture Series Announced
1902 Volleyball is Back
1903 Volleyball Moves Up Start Times for Season Openers
1902 Bill Cosby & “Men of Soul” to Perform at 3rd Annual XU Scholarship Benefit Concert
1903 Cross Country Schedule Announced
1902 Six Additional Newcomers Run for XU in 2010 
1903 Xavier Gets Nod in Prestigious "Best Colleges" Guide
1902 New Student Orientation at Xavier August 13-22
1903 Remembering Katrina, Looking Ahead: 5 Years Later
1902 NCF Scholarship Concert Tickets on Sale
  JULY 2010
1903 New XU Summer Program Encourages Young Writers
1902 XU Volleyball Returns in 2010
1903 Six More from XU Receive Ashe Sports-Scholar Awards
1902 Voorhees Changes Direction, Decides Not to Join GCAC
1903 Top Students Designated Rousseve Scholars
1902 XU Included in Fiske Guide to Colleges
1903 Cassiere Receives 5 NAIA-SIDA Awards
  JUNE 2010
1902 Brookover Named XU Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
1903 John Scott Studio Celebration June 24-26
1902 513 Scholars Make Spring 2010 Dean's List
1903 XU Ranks High in Diverse Issues Annual Report
1902 Institute for Black Catholic Studies Opens at Xavier
1903 XU Professor Chosen for 2010 UNCF/Mellon Faculty Seminar
1902 XU Makes Maximum Impact in GCAC All-Sports Standings
1903 Jones Repeats as Arthur Ashe First-team Selection
1902 Abbas is Louisiana Men's Tennis Newcomer of Year  
1903 College of Pharmacy Among Top 20 in NIH Research Funding
  MAY 2010
1902 Kennedy Named Pharmacy Dean
1903 XU Lagniappe Weekend 2010 for Accepted Students May 28-29
1902 Sunbirds Overcome Early Deficit, Eliminate Gold Rush
1903 Defending Champ AUM Ends Gold Nuggets' Season
1902 Rain Suspends Men's Opener at NAIA Tennis Tourney
1903 Women Advance Again to NAIA Tennis 2nd Round
1902 XU to Play Wesleyan Teams at NAIA National Championships
1903 107 Honor Graduates Accent Commencement
1902 Outstanding Faculty Recognized at Graduation
1903 Tennis Men, Women Repeat as GCAC Champions
1902 XU's Opata, Giles-Osborn are GCAC Players of the Year
1903 Committee Approves Six Faculty Promotions
1902 Hoover Joins Xavier Board of Trustees
1903 Eight Xavierites Confirm Their Catholic Faith
1902 XU Student Named Kemper Scholar
1903 NABA Gala Honors Jeffrion, XU Alumni
  APRIL 2010
1902 Tennis Hosts GCAC Tournament at UNO  
1903 XU Pharmacy Students Compete in Target Case Study Competition

Women's Issues Roundtable Discussion at XU April 27

1903 Penn Relays to Honor Metcalfe, XU Champions
1902 XU Music Professor Premieres Opera at New England Conservatory
1903 XU to Award Honorary Degree to Music Legend Bartholomew
1902 Women's Tennis Ends Regular Season with 9-0 Win Against LSUS
1903 XU Students Travel to Grand Isle to Prevent Coastal Erosion
1902 New Issue of XU Undergraduate Research Journal Available Online
1903 XU Student Research to be Showcased at Festival of Scholars 2010
1902 XU Lagniappe Weekend 2010 for Accepted Students May 28-29
1903 XU Opera Presents “The Medium” April 23 & 24
1902 Browder is HBCU Division II National Coach of the Year
1903 XU Hosts Campus Jazz Festival April 20-22
1902 Opata, Callis Appear in ITA's National Rankings Again
1903 XU Picks Alden McDonald Jr. for Hospital Board
1902 The Culture of the Second Line [Dr. Michael White '76]
1903 The Cigar Man Finds His Niche [Billie King '98]
1902 Just Call Him Dr. Kelley [Dr. Algernon Kelley '04]
1903 XU to Host SNphA Regional Conference
  MARCH 2010
1902 XU Makes ITA Men's Rankings in Singles, Doubles
basketball Cumberlands Eliminates Nuggets in OT at NAIA Tourney
1902 Students Selected for Social Entrepreneurship Program
basketball Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Adds Three
1902 Zulu Names XU Alum Historian Emeritus
1903 Tennis Men, Women Lose to Oklahoma Christian
basketball Nuggets to Play Cumberlands in NAIA Tournament's First Round
1903 XU Presents “Ain’t I a Woman!” in Celebration of Women’s History Month
1902 XU Faculty & Students Receive Best of the South Awards at SEJC Convention
basketball Gold Nuggets Rally Late to Beat LSUS, Win GCAC Tourney
basketball Nuggets Seek Comforts of Home in GCAC BB Final
basketball Gold Rush's Harvey selected to All-GCAC team
1902 No. 2 AUM Ends Men's Tennis Winning Streak  
1903 Women's Tennis Wins at LSUS for Sixth Consecutive Victory
basketball Powell, Browder Receive Top Honors on All-GCAC Team
basketball Belhaven Ousts Rush in GCAC Tournament Quarterfinals
basketball Grant Moves Nuggets into GCAC Semifinals
1903 Xavier Offers Full Tuition to Top Catholic, Local Public Scholars
1902 U.S. Secretary of Education to Address Xavier 2010 Graduates
1903 St. Katharine Drexel’s Feast Day to be Celebrated at Xavier
basketball Gold Nuggets Host Belhaven in GCAC Tournament
basketball Gold Rush Travel to Belhaven in GCAC Quarterfinals
basketball Gold Nuggets Defeat SUNO, Finish 18-0 in GCAC
1903 XU Men Hold on to Beat SUNO, Win Fourth Straight

XU Names Alabama State Assistant as Volleyball Coach

1903 Xavier Still #1 in Placing African American Students into Medical Schools
1902 Scholars Make Fall '09 Dean's List
basketball Gold Rush Shoots Past Rams for 3rd Straight Win
basketball Powell Leads Gold Nuggets to 17th Consecutive Victory
1903 Animator Lyndon Barrois to speak at XU's Black History Convocation Feb. 25
basketball Rush Again Wins in Overtime Against Dillard
basketball Nuggets Beat Dillard to Remain Unbeaten in Conference
1902 Men's Tennis Beats Jackson State for 6th Consecutive Victory
1903 Haitian Film Series Begins Feb. 25
basketball Nuggets Win 1st GCAC Regular-season Title Since 2004-05
basketball Gold Rush Gives Wolfpack Seventh Consecutive Loss
basketball XU to Honor Alexander, Joseph-Richard at Crosstown Classic
1903 Tennis Squads Beat William Carey
1902 Haiti Relief Food Drive at Xavier Friday
basketball Belhaven Rallies Past Gold Rush / Gold Nuggets Beat Belhaven, Reach 20 Victories Again
basketball Harvey's 27 Leads Rush past No. 25 Tougaloo / Nuggets Rally Late
basketball Allstate Sugar Bowl Crosstown Classic Moves to The Barn
1902 McNeese Win Tennis Rematches, Sweeps Nuggets
basketball Nuggets Increase GCAC Lead / Fifth-ranked Pilots beat Rush with Second-half Rally
basketball Joseph Leads Rush Over Spring Hill / Nuggets Clinch 9th Straight Winning Season
1903 Applications for Fall 2010 Continue Upward Swing
1902 Black History Month Events Announced 
1903 Xavier LA Campus Responds to Crisis in Haiti
1902 YMTF/BEEP Welcomes Black Professionals to Campus
  JANUARY 2010
basketball Rush Rallies Late to Defeat Dillard in Overtime / Nuggets Throttle Dillard
1902 Women's Tennis Extends GCAC Streak to 54
basketball Rush Upsets NAIA No. 12 Belhaven / Nuggets Rout Belhaven, Remain Unbeaten
1902 LEH Names Dr. Michael White "Humanist of the Year"
1903 Dr. John Ware to Receive Big Easy Lifetime Achievement Award
basketball Nuggets Stay Unbeaten in Conference / Loyola Defeats Gold Rush
1903 Political Science Major Receives MLK Service Award
basketball Nuggets Roll Past Carey, Grab 2-game GCAC Lead / William Carey Rallies Past Rush
basketball Nuggets Shine as Powell Scores 29 / Mobile Holds Off Gold Rush 59-53
1902 Faculty Member in Concert
basketball Harvey Leads XU to Victory at SUNO / Nuggets Take Sole Possession of First in GCAC
basketball Nuggets Blast Lady Badgers / Late 3-pointer Defeats Gold Rush
1903 California Matches a Highlight of 2010 Tennis Schedules
basketball Tougaloo Rallies to Defeat Rush / Powell leads Nuggets to Another GCAC Road Win
1903 Alum Devotes Career to Protecting Women's Health [Dr. Ronald Pattillo '55]
1902 Worming Their Way into the Classroom
basketball Parker's Block Preserves LSU-S Victory over Rush / Nuggets Rally to Beat LSU-S
1902 Roland Martin to Highlight MLK Week Celebration
basketball No. 10 Lady Tigers Beat Nuggets in Final 5 Seconds
basketball Blue Raiders Rally Past Nuggets


Fitch Praise CD Celebrates Life, Benefits New Xavier Chapel

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana music minister Dwight Fitch, along with his wife Connie and their children Sunni, a Xavier graduate, John, Cory and granddaughter Amour, have released a new gospel praise CD “Victory in Jesus,” and they are donating the proceeds from the CD to benefit the building of the St. Katharine Drexel chapel.

Dwight Fitch is a fixture at the daily Mass on the Xavier campus. As the music minister on the Campus Ministry staff at Xavier, he plays piano and leads the worship songs at the daily noon Mass, coordinates the Sunday Student Gospel Choir, and assists on retreats, and with other activities.

The new St. Katharine Drexel Chapel at Xavier (to be named in honor of the university’s founder) will be the first free-standing house of worship built on the Xavier campus and has been designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli.

Fitch, who survived a battle with lung cancer in 2008, says the project was inspired by the outpouring of love and support from the Christian Community’s prayers, and he says “the all-around support that came from the Body of Christ, surely aided in my healing. As a family, we are so grateful to God and to His people for being with us on our journey of faith. We are offering the proceeds from this in appreciation for the many graces received. “

“We felt like we needed to give something back and I felt with my being a part of Campus Ministry (along with Connie who assists regularly!), we needed to contribute something. Being music minister I  had the opportunity to do that through music.  This way we get word of God out, plus we’re able to help with something in the new chapel.

Fitch, who has been with Xavier’s campus ministry for 15 years, is also currently the music minister at St. Raymond/St. Leo and has served as music minister has at other churches.

“I’m really excited about chapel, he said. The choir section is just awesome!  It holds 60 people and is elevated – you know it took years to get our current choir space elevated in the administration building chapel. There will be an organ and piano in the new chapel and space for drums so we continue the culture.

His experience with the students who make up the Campus Ministry Gospel Choir, have been inspiring for him. “In 2006 and 2007 after the storm was a rebuilding time for us and everyone In XU community and the city.

“I was struggling with six to twelve choir members, but we persevered. This year our group is awesome. We have forty students, mostly freshman, and they bring a great spirit to praise. They are sincere and committed – necessary when volunteering for Campus Ministry. They have a sense of commitment and we talk about that. They will take what they learn spiritually back to their communities. Coming here, getting degree and not taking  Jesus  with  you is not a good thing.”

In 2004 under Fitch’s direction, Campus Ministry Gospel Choir created a CD as a fundraiser. “They wrote every song on that CD, said Fitch. We didn’t have a studio at the time. We recorded it in chapel. It was a lot of fun and we had a great time.“

The Fitch’s "Victory in Jesus" CDs are currently on sale for $10 in the Campus ministry office. “We thought it was important that it be affordable,” said Fitch. “We wanted as many people as possible to get it and hear the word of God.”

In addition to benefitting the Xavier chapel, the Fitch’s are also offering the CD through St. Mary’s  Academy,  where Connie Fitch is the alumni director. Proceeds from those sales will go to scholarships at St. Mary’s.

Xavier’s Campus Ministry office is located on the first floor of the Administration building.  For more information contact Campus Ministry at 504-520-7593. The CD is also available on line at

Music Department Hosts Junior Mance Quintet

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will host the Junior Mance Quintet in concert Jan. 7 at 4:00 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.

A  jazz legend with over six decades of experience performing with other jazz greats, pianist Junior Mance fronts a cohesive and compelling jazz ensemble joined by bassist Hidé Tanaka, drummer Kim Garey, and saxophonists Rya1n Anselmi and Andrew Hadro.

The quintet includes bassist Hidé Tanaka, drummer Kim Garey, and saxophonists Rya1n Anselmi and Andrew Hadro. The group performs ballads, blues, and jazz standards.

The performance is part of the 2nd annual Jazz education Network conference being held in New Orleans Jan 5-8, 2011.

For more information contact the Xavier Music Department at 504-520-7597.

Pharmacy Students Shine in the ASHP Clinical Skills Competition

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana pharmacy students  Christopher Gillard of Vacherie, LA and Ifeanyi Onor of Anambra State, Nigeria, were among the 10 teams in the finals in the 15th Annual Clinical Skills Competition held at the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) Mid-Year Clinical Meeting in Anaheim CA.
A record number 109 teams competed this year with Gillard and Onor representing Xavier. This is the first time that Xavier has had students place in the final round of the competition. The students won a $100 ASHP Gift Certificate, an iPOD touch preloaded with Lexi-Complete, a drug database software; and a subscription to ASHP's PharmPrep Online, an online pharmacy board exam preparatory tool.

During the competition, administered by ASHP’s Pharmacy Student Forum and sponsored by the ASHP Research and Education Foundation, students demonstrate their skills by assessing patient information and current therapy, identifying and prioritizing drug therapy problems, identifying treatment goals, and recommending a pharmacist’s care plan.

The Clinical Skills Competition is designed to facilitate an interactive, team-based analysis of clinical scenarios for health-system pharmacists to help patients make the best use of their medications. The goals of the competition include fostering the development of clinical practice skills; reinforcing the pharmacist's responsibility for optimal drug therapy outcomes; facilitating the effective use of a systematic approach to clinical problem-solving; and enhancing written and oral communication skills.

Other activities for pharmacy students included sessions on career planning, pursuing residency training, and opportunities for involvement in ASHP and the ASHP Foundation’s Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative.

Other top ten finalists included: Drake University College of Pharmacy; St. John Fisher College, Wegmans School of Pharmacy; University of California – San Francisco School of Pharmacy;  University of Georgia College of Pharmacy; University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy; University of Maryland School of Pharmacy; University of Southern Nevada College of Pharmacy; University of Utah College of Pharmacy; and Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy.

Xavier Earns SACS Reaffirmation

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana’s regional accreditation has been reaffirmed for another 10 years by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), according to President Dr. Norman C. Francis after receiving the formal news today at the SACS winter meetings in Louisville, Kentucky.

The University was found to be fully compliant with all 86 SACS standards and requirements, including its new campus-wide Quality Enhancement Plan "Read Today, Lead Tomorrow" designed to encourage all members of the Xavier community to become more active and engaged readers.

This announcement follows an exhaustive two-year self-study performed by the University and an external review by an independent site visit team appointed by the Commission. The reaffirmation process and self-study are required at 10-year intervals.

“We are naturally pleased by this notable achievement, which is the result of a collaborative effort from faculty, staff, students, administrators and trustees to showcase Xavier in its very best light,” said Francis, noting that the accreditation required extensive assessment, reporting, documentation, scheduling, interviewing, logistics and hospitality. “This is a great victory for us all and we could not have hoped for a better outcome.”

Francis says today's acknowledgment from the accrediting agency marks the "dawn of a new day for Xavier,” further attesting to its fortitude and tremendous capacity to have come so far in the five years since being nearly devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Xavier’s last university-wide review/reaffirmation by SACS was in 2000.

Lieteau Selected for Alumnus of the Year Honors

New Orleans LA - Halvan Lieteau ’53 of New Orleans, a successful corporate businessman and entrepreneur on the national and international level, was honored as Xavier University of Louisiana's top alumni at the 2010 Alumni Homecoming Gala.

He was presented the Victor H. Labat Alumnus of the Year award by National Alumni president Frederick Carter '69, Dr. Joseph Labat ’59, and XU President Norman Francis '52 during the annual Gala, the traditional highlight of alumni homecoming week.

The annual gala drew a crowd of 447 attendees to the University Center Ballroom this year. Class agents for the 15 special five-year reunion classes presented the University with gifts totaling $253,957. The Class of '60 led the way with 46 members contributing $33,828.

“Tonight we honor a prolific, tireless worker on behalf of Xavier University,” said Carter of this year’s honoree in his introduction. “His efforts on behalf of alumni association chapters have taken him from New York to New Orleans.”

A long-time employee of IBM in New York, Lieteau retired home to New Orleans, where he owned and operated Lieteau’s Shops and was General Manager of Pioneer Services Incorporated, a provider of engineering services to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

While in New York he served as chapter president for that city’s alumni chapter, and recently served in the same capacity for the New Orleans Alumni Chapter #1, where he coined the phrase “the Home Team”.  He also assisted the National Alumni Association as a member of the Fundraising Committee and has assisted the Office of Alumni Relations as a volunteer with the Annual Fund Phone-a-thon. 

Lieteau has been actively engaged as a consultant and speaker in the areas of financial planning, manufacturing management and general business operations.  Presently he serves as a Board Member and Chairman of the Education Committee for the New Orleans Rotary Club.

His dedication to the mission of St. Katharine Drexel also extends to his support of Xavier University Preparatory High School (The Prep) where is service includes hands-on and financial support for The Prep’s annual fundraiser “Remember When”. 

In keeping with his commitment to the University, he is insuring the continued growth of Xavier by making a provision in his will to benefit the University, thus establishing for himself and his wife, Theyon, a perpetual legacy.

Two-Sport Student-Athlete Takes Her Game to Medical School

New Orleans LA - There are student-athletes and then there are student-athletes. Some are average students, excelling in athletics; others excel in academics, but are just average athletes; while still others are those rare individuals who excel in both areas. Danielle Jones is one of the latter.

A senior biology-premed major at Xavier University of Louisiana, Jones is graduating later this month (December). Due to a combination of earned pre-college credits, summer school and internships, she is finishing up her college degree credit requirements in just three-and-a-half years. She has, however, crammed a wide variety of experiences into somewhat abbreviated time-frame.

A member of the Gold Nuggets basketball team for three years, she became a rare two-sport letterwoman for the University by joining Xavier’s fledgling volleyball program this semester. She has participated in two prestigious summer research programs at Ivy League institutions. She has worked as a volunteer with the several local organizations, including the Audubon Zoo and the Jesse Owens Recreational Center, and was involved in various green light and recycling projects.

“I was used to juggling academics and athletics in high school, so that in itself was no big deal,” said Jones, reflecting back over the years. “But college certainly takes it to a higher level and I found I had to push myself even harder.”

“Danielle has impressed me with her ability to merge athletics with academics without neglecting either one,” said biology professor Sister Grace Mary Flickinger S.B.S., Xavier’s Faculty Athletics Representative and Jones’ academic advisee since she arrived as a freshman. “She was always open to advice and willing to act on it. She is a gracious young woman who is respected by both faculty and peers.”

Jones, who prepped at Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge, excelled at both basketball and volleyball at that level. She was awarded a partial basketball scholarship (supplementing a full academic scholarship) to play for Xavier, which she did for three years, averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds a game in 99 appearances.

When she realized last spring she would be completing her academic studies early, she decided to forego her fourth year of eligibility in the sport. As fate would have it, however, the University announced it was reviving its dormant women’s intercollegiate volleyball program for the 2010 fall semester. Although she hadn’t played the sport competitively since high school, Jones tried out for and made the new volleyball squad.

“For me, it was like what they say about riding a bike – once you learn how you never forget – so once practice started volleyball came back to me pretty easily,” said Jones, who professes to have inherited her athletic abilities from her mother (Andrea Jones). “The hard part was joining the team late; the other players had been practicing together while I was away doing summer research, so when I came back home I was like a stranger.”

Still she persevered and scored 47 kills and 23 blocks in 24 matches, mostly in a reserve role.

At the same time she continued to maintain the highest academic standards, earning a spot on the Dean’s List every semester and being named recipient of a Rousseve Academic Scholarship, an honor reserved for the University’s top 10 students in each class. She was also recognized nationally as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete.

“We take pride at Xavier in our student-athletes excelling both in the classroom and out on the court,” said Coach Robert “Bo” Browder, XU’s head women’s basketball coach since 1998. “There is no question that Danielle has exceeded those expectations.”

Jones made sure her summers were equally productive. She has spent the last two years conducting basic research in neurology, ecology and evolutionary biology under the watchful eyes of professor mentors at both Harvard and Yale Universities.

“There is a lot to be said for leaving your comfort zone (e.g. Xavier) and putting what you’ve been learning all these years to the test in an unfamiliar environment,” she said. “I think participating in those programs has helped make me a more complete candidate for medical school.”

Medical schools seem to agree. Jones has already been accepted for fall 2011 into such prestigious institutions as Johns Hopkins University, Emory University and Tulane University. Jones has not yet decided which medical school she will attend, but wherever she eventually matriculates to, she is in it for the long haul. She aspires to become a reconstructive plastic surgeon – a specialty that will add a seven-year residency to the traditional four years of medical school.

Jones’ interest in the area is personal. As a child she had a staph infection that left her with noticeable scarring under her lips. It wasn’t until high school that she was able to have scar vision surgery, and it changed her life.

“I still remember how self-conscious I felt; I didn’t want anyone to see me, to go out in public, or have my picture taken,” she said. “There are a lot of people out there who have more serious physical and emotional problems than I ever had to deal with, and I want to be able to give them a chance to improve their self-perception.”

Jones also credits her interest in the health sciences to her father (Wardell Jones) and maternal grandfather (Eugene Williams), who cultivated her natural curiosity by challenging her with home-based science experiments and infused in her a life-long love of learning.

“I still enjoy watching educational television,” she laughed.

“Over the years of teaching, I have been privileged to teach many wonderful young men and women,” said Flickinger, who has taught at Xavier for more than 40 years. “I refer to the most exceptional ones as being in my ‘Top Ten’ and Danielle is certainly in that number. I expect to hear great things from her in the future.”

Campus Leaders Make Annual Who's Who List

New Orleans LA - One hundred and fifty Xavier University of Louisiana student scholars will appear in the 2011 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, an annual chronicle of the nation’s outstanding campus leaders.

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

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

ART – Nile Lang

ACCOUNTING – Andria Buckner, Christian Joiner and Tyrone Oubre

BUSINESS – Jenese Antoine, Bilesha Autry, Dareion Blackwell, Sierra Hall, Jared Romance, LaKeisha Shields, Mikhail Vaval, Cynthia Wilson, Kelsey Williams and Sondra Willis

BIOLOGY – Leslie Anderson, Allan Augillard, Shaheera Chughtai, Justin Cutrer, Brittany Dent, Anna D’Sousa, Lee Gibbs, Perry Mitchell, Malcolm Moise, Thuylinh Nguyen, Onome Oboh, Chanel Perry, Farah Raza, JaNae’ Richard, Ashley Sankey, Nailah Smith, Justin Spraglin, JoAnn Tran, Khuong Tran, Ashley Walker and Kelly Wright

CHEMISTRY – Talasha Aubert, Alisha Bailey, Angela Burke, Thy Ho-Pham, Janna Hutchinson, Joseph Lee, Ashley Matthew, Asia Matthew, Julian McKnight, Jennifer Olofindayo, Telycia Peters, Jamal Pratt, DaJonitta Richmond, Marleesa Thompson, Kia Williams, Simone Williams and Carita Winn

EDUCATION – (Undergraduate) Amanda Isaacs and Jessica Joseph; (Graduate) Tamieca Key, Jeanne Sabolyk, Erica Sanders, Nicole Smith, Brittney Thomas and Corey Williams

ENGLISH – Meliki Addison, Jillana Cavalier, Kristine Mbadugha, Raphaela Romero, Nia Weber and Courtney Williams

HISTORY – Michael Caldwell Jr.

LANGUAGES – Jeanine Daniels and Tatiana Zague

COMMUNICATIONS – Kourtney Cooke, Kristin Fletcher, Kaitlyn Gaddis, Dudley Grady, Ariel Johnson, Amber McGowan and Hong Nguyen

MATHEMATICS – Kara Keller and Andrew Wilson

PHARMACY – Margaret Alabi, Tammara Allen, Jonn Bailey, Derrick Bradley, Jeremy Branch, Derrick Burnett, Tehmi Chassion, Catherine Chaucer, David Collins, Liliana Cosenza, Cherell Dancy, Brittany Dean, Haley Dufrene, Sabrina Fenceroy, Brittany Franklin, Jasie Gautreaux, Alexandria Goins, Courtney Harrell, Maxwell Haslauer, Kelly Hebert, Destini Hill, Jocelyn Hooks, Mia Incaprera, Britany Jackson, Brooke Johnson, Kyla Leon, Dominique Mano, Charles Mason, Lakia Montegut, Duy Nguyen, Katrina Nguyen, Thao Nguyen, Michael Olaiya, Ifeanyi Onor, Danielle Person, Adrienne Roberts, Casey Robinson, Jakarta Robinson, Akilah Scott, Hannah Ta, Tuyet Tran, Mallory Waguespack, Adrianne Walls, Savannah Washington and Jade Young.

PHILOSOPHY – Zachary Carroll, Joshua Davis and Blake Smith

POLITICAL SCIENCE – Monkia Arceneaux, Jessica Dandridge, Alexis Easterling, Daniel McGee, Shantel Ragland, Ashley Varnado and Natarche Walker

PSYCHOLOGY – Kelly Allison, Shontrell Bailey, Alycia Boutte’, Quiana Carney, Lauren Cooper, Adrienne Glover, Whitney Miller, Chinyelu Onuora, Nelanhta Riley, Chavez Scott, Ashley Taylor, Latasha Tinson, Brittanae Veal, Kristen Vincent and Jasmine Wise

SOCIOLOGY – Kelsey Riley and Ariana Stone

Seventy-One XU Students Inducted to Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society

New Orleans LA - Seventy-one Xavier University of Louisiana students have been inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) National Honor Society for First Year Students according to the group’s advisor and director of the First Year Student Success program, Dr.  Marion Carroll.

ALD is a national honor society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence among first year students. Today, ALD has more than 250 chapters throughout the United States and more than 700,000 students have been initiated into membership.

Membership in Alpha Lambda Delta is open to full-time freshmen students who earn a scholastic average of 3.5 or better at a four-year college or university enrolled in college level coursework.

"In order to be a scholar you need to see a scholar,” said Carroll. “These students come from all backgrounds, experiences and attitudes. I hope that recognizing ALD students will inspire and encourage all of our students and effect in a positive way the culture of learning on campus at Xavier."

The 71 members of the XU Class of 2013 include: Toluwanimi Adebanjo, Brad Alfonso, Sobia Arshad, Mya Baker, Peter Baham, Nailah Banks, Jarred Binney, Endia Blunt, Shrmir Branch, Krista R. Burton, Nnenia Clark, Jessica Cooper, Thanh Dam, Brianna Dekine, Jasmine Dillard, Terrance Edmond, Reniesha Franklin, Jhenelle Fuller, Felice Gaddis, Kaitlyn Gaddis, Racquel Gardner, Tanisha Garrett, Brittany Gorden, Alexis Gosserand, Beunca Graffree, Amanda Grego, Christen Harris, Megan Haynes, LaTasha Henderson, Akia Jackson, Lianne Jang, Robert Jenkins, Deanna Johnson, Maegan Johnson, Terrence Joseph, Thinh Le, Tuan Le, Brittney Lewis, Jasmine Lewis, Kiara S. McKee, Kayla Moses, Laneka Mumphrey, Duong-Thai Nguyen, Thu Nguyen, Thuy Nguyen, Kenechukwu Ojukwu, Christina A. Patterson, Lashaunda Reese, Patrece Roberts, Amber Robinzine, Courtney Royal, Meggan Simien, Bailey Smith, Branford Smith, Jasmine Smith, Jennifer Smith, Marvin Stewart, Lacey Strozier, Christine Tchounwou, Kaylise Trahan, Brynne Vernon, Angelica Vu, Brittney Walton, Mia Ward, Sharonda Washington, Monique Westley, Whitney D. White, Brittany Williams, Schuyler Williams, Keon Wimberly and Chela Woods.

For more information about the ALD honor society, visit For more information on Xavier’s First Year Success program, visit the Xavier website at

Xavier University Chorus Presents Christmas Concerts

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana University Chorus presents two Christmas concerts this holiday season – Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2:00 p.m., both in the Music Building Recital Hall. Both concerts are free and open to the public.

The University Chorus is directed by Dr. John Ware. The students will perform Nazarene by Luigi Zannelli, a retired professor of music at the University of Southern Mississippi. The Christmas cantata features two student soloists Crystal Morris, soprano from Jackson MS and Justin Williams, baritone from Los Angeles CA; and two narrators – Danovan Calhoun-Bettis of New Orleans and Jennifer Smith of Inglewood CA.

The chorus will also give the premiere performance of new music composed by Ware, Songs on the Coming of Christ, a set of four new pieces each dedicated to the memory of persons who served Xavier University and made a lasting impression on Ware’s professional and personal development.

“Christ Reveals Himself to Us” is dedicated to former XU deans Sr. Rosemarie Kleinhaus and Sr. Veronica Drawe;  “We Would Worship, Wonder, Weep” is dedicated to Xavier alumnus and music supporter Arthur Simmons; ”North to East” is dedicated to former public relations director Paul Keith and his wife Maria; and “Star Arising in the East” is dedicated to former Xavier art faculty John Scott.

“The entire program was formed as an artistic, not theological or religious, reflection on the significance of "Christ" and the "stories of Christ" as images that evoke individual and personal meaning,” said Ware. 

The program will close with a rendition of the gospel spiritual “Mary Had a Baby.”

For more information on the University Chorus's Christmas concerts,
contact the Xavier Department of Music at 504-520-7597.

Images of Haiti: The Young Photographers of La Vallee

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana invites the public to view the “Images of Haiti: The Young Photographers of La Vallee” exhibit in the Library Resource Center Gallery on the campus.

The gallery, located on the first floor of the library will be open Tuesdays-Fridays 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The exhibit – co-sponsored by Xavier’s Haiti Cherie and Read Today, Lead Tomorrow program – is on display now through Dec. 17, and will re-open after the holiday break January 4-13, 2011.

Haiti Cherie is the Xavier relief effort formed to support victims of the Haiti Earthquake. Haiti Cherie has solicited donations from students, faculty and staff and has sponsored several activities to raise funds since the disaster including a Rock the Mic Mixer, a Haitian Film series and t-shirts sales.

NCF Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert

New Orleans LA – Excellent seats are still available for Xavier University of Louisiana’s 3rd Annual Dr. Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert Friday (Nov. 19) sponsored by AT&T at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s New Orleans Theater.

The concert features four of America’s finest Rhythm & Blues vocalists – Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, Howard Hewett and Freddie Jackson – as their “Men of Soul” tour makes its way to New Orleans for a very special evening of some of the most popular R&B ballad of the past thirty+ years.  In addition to the “Men of Soul” performers, world-renowned comedian, storyteller and philanthropist William “Bill” Cosby will return once again to perform the opening act for the scholarship benefit concert.

The event began two years ago to celebrate Francis’ 40th Anniversary as president of the nation’s only Historically Black and Roman Catholic institution of higher education, and to raise funds for the special endowed scholarship fund created in his honor.

The University is also pleased to announce that – besides AT&T Louisiana serving as primary sponsor of the 3rd Annual fundraiser – several other corporate sponsors have signed on to support the event including BP, Entergy Corporation, Sodexo Services and numerous others.

Tickets are on sale through the Ticket Master hot line #1-866-448-7849 or online at . 

Additional concert information is available, including a direct link to the Ticket Master online purchase site, at the university’s special concert web page:

Young Scores Late to Keep Gold Nuggets Unbeaten

New Orleans LA - Brandi Young's 3-point play with two seconds remaining lifted NAIA No. 22 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 60-59 women's basketball victory over Lyon. It was the 25th victory in 26 games for the Gold Nuggets (4-0) and their third on the road in six days.

Debbie Onukwube's basket gave Lyon a 59-57 lead, then Young drove the length of the court and was fouled by K.K. Hodges as she scored on a 5-footer. Young made the free throw to break the tie. "We didn't call timeout (after Onukwube's basket)," Xavier Coach Bo Browder said. "I told Brandi to get (the ball) and attack."

Jasmine Grant scored 17 points and Paige Gauthier 13, both season bests, for Xavier. Hodges had 19 points and Jordin Coleman 12 for Lyon (2-2), which sought its second straight home victory against a ranked opponent.

The Gold Nuggets' next game will start at 6 p.m. Friday against Paul Quinn at The Barn.

Rush Defeats St. Thomas, Improves to 3-0

New Orleans LA – Senior guard Michael Harvey scored a season-high 16 points Friday to lead Xavier University of Louisiana to a 79-58 men's basketball victory over St. Thomas (Fla.) at The Barn.

The Gold Rush, 3-0 for the ninth consecutive season, avenged a 79-61 road loss to the Bobcats (0-1) from last season. Anthony Simmons scored 13 points, Denzell Erves 12 and Devin Andrew 11 for Xavier, which led 36-24 at halftime.

Xavier's next game will start at 7 p.m. Thursday against Jarvis Christian at The Barn.

Speech Path Students Take Project to Nicaragua

New Orleans LA - Many college students use their summer breaks to travel and study abroad, but for five Xavier University of Louisiana students their summer trip involved service as well as immersion into a language and culture.

Four speech pathology majors and one recent graduate – seniors Bernice Chaiasson of Ventress LA (Pointe Coupee High) and Trenai Lewis of New Orleans (Mt. Carmel High), juniors Erin Hale of New Orleans (Warren Easton High) and Michelle Johnson of Gretna LA (John Ehret High), and  Kirstin Coleman ’10 of Upper Malboro MD – spent two weeks in the Central American country of Nicaragua this summer, visiting some of the poorest parts of the country and conducting hearing and speech evaluations for children and adults as part of the University’s Buena Lingua program.

Project Buena Lingua, begun in 2008, is working to increase the number of speech pathologists qualified to provide services to native Spanish speakers who are learning English.

“These students are part of a group who will be uniquely qualified to serve both native English speakers and Spanish speakers for whom English is not their first language,” said Dr. Nancy Martino, director of the program.

Each of the Project Buena Lingua students has an academic minor in Spanish and this semester they are currently working with a new program with the New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center, offering treatment programs to Spanish speaking preschoolers who are experience difficulty learning English.

The summer experience in Nicaragua, helped prepare them for this and other future bilingual encounters in their speech pathology careers.

The Xavier group traveled with a group of students from the University of Northern Iowa, with a coordinator who gave them a bit of a scare in his description of the country and its safety as they prepared for the trip. But the students felt it was a slight exaggeration in order to prepare them for the worst and keep them alert in a foreign country.

“We really did appreciate the preparation and were pleasantly surprised when we found it was not as bad as we expected,” said Michelle.

Although two of the students have an ethnic Spanish speaking background – Michelle’s mother is Mexican and Erin’s father is from Belize – none of them are exactly fluent speakers of the language. The trip to Nicaragua gave them a chance to practice their language skills in a more concrete way, and while they reported it was easy to speak the language, they found it harder to understand and hold a conversation.

“Our hardest time was in a restaurant where we tried to order and the waiter just didn’t understand us and we couldn’t understand him,” said Erin. It was hilarious!”

They found it was easier working with the children.

“We learned basic words and phrases for the work we had to do, and the kids were really excited to have us there. The bonds we made with those kids was the best part of the trip,” said Erin.

“Our hearts really go out to that population,” said Trenai. “After that trip, you can really have an appreciation for what we have here. The dire poverty and lack of resources that we came across is more intense than anything you see on television.”

“Overall it really was a good experience and I’m glad we did it,” said Bernice. “It’s helped us to be more confident and in approaching people and working with non-English speakers now.”

“Having the students work with Project Buena Lingua opens them to the fact that here are so many other ethnic groups out there,” said Martino.

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

For more information on Xavier's Project Buena Lingua, contact Martino at

Fall Lecture Series Continues

New Orleans LA -The Fall Speakers Series at Xavier University of Louisiana continues with an appearance by sociologist/author Dr. Bertice Berry Nov.9 at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Berry, who has a Ph.D. in sociology, is a successful author, lecturer, educator, entertainer and comedienne. She was the host and co-executive producer of her own nationally syndicated talk show, The Bertice Berry Show, and the author of a memoir I'm On My Way, But Your Foot Is On My Head, as well as several novels.

Film Screening: The Sound After the Storm

New Orleans LA - Jazz performer and historian Dr. Michael White ’76 (Xavier University of Louisiana Keller Chair in the Humanities) will present a screening of the 2009 Zurich Film Festival Best Documentary Winner "The Sound After The Storm" Nov. 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Xavier University of Louisiana’s Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion, Room 112. Admission is free. 

See for more info.

Haiti Connections Series

New Orleans LA - The Haitian Connections Fall 2010 series at Xavier University of Louisiana continues Nov. 11 with a panel discussion, “Art and Culture: The Making of a Nation,” at 6:30 p.m. in the Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion, Room 112A. The event is free and open to the public.

Also check out the photography exhibit, “Images of Haiti: The Young Photographers of La Vallee,” which runs now through January 13 in the Library Resource Center Gallery. The series is sponsored by XU’s Haiti Cherie and Read Today, Lead Tomorrow.

XU Music Department Presents Opera Workshop

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Music Department will present its annual Opera Workshop Nov. 6 (2:00 p.m.) and Nov. 8 (7:00 p.m.) in the Administration Auditorium. Admission is free and the public invited.

Included in the program is a performance of music faculty Dan Shore’s latest opera, "An Embarrassing Position," which was written at Xavier and which premiered in May at the New England Conservatory to rave reviews.

Books into Film Series

New Orleans LA – The Xavier University of Louisiana Library Resource Center and English Department’s monthly “Books into Film” series – a look at classic films that were adapted from equally classic novels – resumes Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m. in NCF 105 with the 1940 film version of Dashiell Hammett’s mystery classic The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor and Sidney Greenstreet. Presenting the film will be Dr. Jay Todd. Admission is free.

Xavier Alum Tackles Sickle Cell Head On

New Orleans LA - Leading the fight against a devastating disease that afflicts more than 100,000 Americans is no academic exercise for Xavier University of Louisiana alum Trevor Thompson ‘91. It represents his best efforts to provide what he calls “a life worth living” for both himself and the many others who also suffer from this misunderstood and debilitating disease.

Thompson is the founder and CEO of The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee. The Foundation was recently recognized as the 2010 Sickle Cell Community-based Organization of the Year by the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

Thompson and wife, Cherry Whitehead-Thompson, founded the charitable, non-profit organization in 2008 in an effort to increase the education, health awareness and life skills of individuals living with Sickle Cell disease in Tennessee and the mid-south area (West Memphis, Arkansas and North Mississippi).

Sickle Cell disease is an inherited blood disorder causes round red blood cells to become sickle-shaped (crescent shaped), which makes their normal flow through small blood vessels more difficult. When sickle-shaped cells block small blood vessels, less blood can reach that part of the body, causing a host of medical complications that include lung tissue damage (acute chest syndrome), pain episodes (arms, legs, chest and abdomen), and stroke. It also causes damage to most organs including the spleen, kidneys and liver.

Sickle Cell conditions are inherited from parents in much the same way as blood type, hair color and texture, eye color and other physical traits. African Americans are particularly susceptible to the disease.

Thompson said that health maintenance for patients with sickle cell disease starts with early diagnosis, preferably in the newborn period. Treatment of complications often includes antibiotics, pain management, intravenous fluids, blood transfusion and surgery all backed by psychosocial support.

There is currently no universal cure for sickle cell disease. The average life expectancy of persons with Sickle Cell disease is in the mid-40s.

“Sickle cell is very misunderstood disease, because one of its main symptom is pain – and you can’t see pain in a medical test,” said Thompson, who pointed out that his own condition wasn’t diagnosed until he joined the army at 18. “The pain associated with disease is so intense that narcotics are often the only answer, and that lends itself to Sickle Cell patients being wrongly labeled as drug addicts.”

That’s where SCFT comes in. The Foundation provides sickle cell patients with comprehensive social services and a holistic concept to foster interdependence, which ultimately increases education and their quality of health care. It also seeks to educate the general public about the disease.

Recognized as one of the model Sickle Cell community-based organizations in the nation, last year the SCFT provided social services to approximately 270 Sickle Cell consumers and educated more than 100,000 people on Sickle Cell Disease.

Headquartered in Memphis TN, SCFT opened its first satellite office in Chattanooga TN earlier this year, giving it a broader reach throughout the state. SCFT credits its success to a dedicated staff, advisory council, board and the supportive citizens of Tennessee and the Mid-South community.

Noting that “the disease may have my body, but not my spirit", Thompson said that while logging more than 34,000 volunteer hours and leading fundraising efforts that netted more than $500,000 over the past 15 years, he has developed a sincere understanding toward the problems that the consumers face day to day.

However, he does not believe in excuses. And despite his own medical issues, he lives a full life.

In addition his role with the Foundation, Thompson serves Memphis City School System as ESEA Parent Coordinator for the Division of Parental And Community Engagement, where he is on personal mission to help educate, empower, and train parents in the 205 schools that encompass the district. [ESEA (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) is the forerunner of what today is called the “No Child Left Behind” initiative].

He also remains devoted to his alma mater, serving as president of the Memphis Chapter of Xavier Alumni Association and a member of the Association’s Board of Governors. He was the University’s 2008 UNCF Alumnus of the Year.

Thompson, who has one daughter (Alexandria) and one son (Preston), is a strong believer that that parents should “lead by example” – and he follows his own edict. His actions have not gone unnoticed.

The Memphis City Council has twice recognized him outstanding commitment to the community. Thompson has been recognized as an Outstanding Civic Leader in Education by the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. of the Memphis Metropolitan Area and was selected as the 2002 Brother of the Year for the Association of Tennessee Alphamen for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Additionally he was recently named the 2009 Stone Awards Humanitarian.

In addition to his undergraduate degree from Xavier and a master’s the University of Mississippi, he is presently a doctoral candidate at the University of Memphis concentrating in leadership and policy under a 1st Generation Ph.D. Fellowship.

Four Join Xavier University Board of Trustees

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana has added four new members to its governing Board of Trustees.

Joining the Board are investment banker Dwight Bush, managing partner of D. L. Bush & Associates; Sister Stephanie Henry S.B.S. ‘00, director of religious education at St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Philadelphia PA; Dr. Toni Hoover, senior vice president for pharmacy therapeutics research and development with Pfizer, Inc.; and Sister Barbara Specker S.B.S. ‘71, director of parish services at St. Barbara and St. Rose of Lima Parishes in Philadelphia PA.   

Selected to leadership roles on the Board were Mary Keller Zervigon (chair), Sister Patricia Suchalski S.B.S. (vice chair) and Mark Romig (secretary).

Bush, a former Board member, is an investment banker with his financial advisory and business consulting firm based in Washington DC. He was previously president and CEO of Urban Trust Bank and Urban Trust Holdings. From 2002-2006, Bush was principal in an Arlington-based investment firm and prior to that served in various financial and management roles in financial institutions.

Henry, also a former Board member, is director of religious education at St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Philadelphia PA. Prior to this assignment, she held various positions at Xavier Prep in New Orleans, including teacher in the physical sciences and president of development and alumni affairs. She holds a master’s degree in education from Xavier.

Hoover oversees the research and development centers in Groton and New London CT, the major hub of drug discovery, metabolism and development, animal health and drug safety evaluation, and the location where many of the discoveries and innovations that drive the Fortune 500 biopharmaceutical giant’s pipeline are made. During her career at Pfizer she has held various positions of increasing responsibility and scope within the drug development process.

Specker, another former Board member, serves as director of parish services at St. Barbara and St. Rose of Lima Parishes in Philadelphia, PA. She served as part of the SBS leadership team from 1995 to 2000 and was the director of St. Monica's Social Service Center in New Orleans, from 1981 to 1995. She has also taught extensively. She also holds a master’s degree in education from Xavier.

Active carryovers on the 17-member board, who are serving either their first or second terms, include: Sister Doris Blum, S.B.S. '55, Dr. Dale Mason Cochran, James Garner, Carla Harris, Monsignor Paul Lenz, Sister Amedee Maxwell S.B.S., Sister Rita Radloff S.B.S., Romig, Leo Sam, Jr. '52, Suchalski, David Voelker, Janice Wilkins '67 and Zervigon. XU President Dr. Norman Francis '52 (ex-officio) also serves on the board.

Rotating off of the Board after serving two terms were Sister Elizabeth Collins, S.B.S., Michael Rue, Paula Saizan '69 and Sister Juliana Haynes S.B.S., who resigned in August of this year to begin teaching in the Music Department here at Xavier.

CUR Awards Faculty Mini-Grants

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Center for Undergraduate Research has awarded 11 mini-grants to 14 faculty members whose projects provide students with an opportunity for research experience within their respective academic disciplines.

Seven faculty received Title III funding ranging between $6,000 to $10,000 for six projects, including:

  • Dr. Jose Bautista (business) and Mark Quinn (business) – "Microenterprise Market Sizing in Louisiana"
  • Dr. Partha Bhattacharjee (biology) – "A Novel Peptide Therapy for Treatment of Herpetic Stromal Keratitis"
  • Dr. Kristy Brumfield (biology) – "Ergosterol Biosynthesis in Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii"
  • Dr. Maryam Foroozesh (chemistry) – "Synthesis and Bioassays of Coumarin Acetylenes as Potential Cytochrome P450 Inhibitors"
  • Dr. Rachel Davis-Haley (education) – "Book Clubs: Reading to Find US!"
  • Dr. Sarah Weaver (chemistry) – "Mechanism of ethylbenzene dehydrogenation"

Another seven faculty received Mellon Foundation funding ranging between $4,700 to $10,000 for five projects in the humanities, including:

  • Dr. Lisa Flanagan (communications) – "Practicing Performance as Subject and Method (Developing Solo Student Performances)”
  • Dr. Brenda Edgerton-Webster (communications) – "Newspaper Coverage of African American Women at the End of Jim Crow's Noose"
  • Dr. Biljana Obradovic (English) and MaPo Kinnord-Payton (fine arts) – "Ekphrasis: The World of Poetry and Visual Art"
  • Dr. Leslie Richardson (English) – "An Anthology of Feminist Theory"
  • Dr. John Ware (music) and Sr. Juliana Haynes (music) – Music Education in the 21st Century"

Mini-grants are given out three times a year (fall, spring and summer). CUR gives out an average of 30 grants per year. For more info contact Gary Donaldson, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research, at

XU Concerts Honor St. Katharine Drexel

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana Concert Choir has scheduled two performances dedicated to the honor of St. Katharine Drexel on the 10th anniversary of her canonization: Saturday (Oct. 23) at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday (Oct. 24) at 7:30 p.m.

The concerts, which are both free and open to the public, will be held in the Music Building Recital Hall.

The choir will perform the Vivaldi Magnificat and the Brahmns Motet Make Thou in Me God a Pure Heart and Hymn to St. Katharine, composed by Xavier music faculty member Malcolm J. Breda. Albinas Prizgentas of Trinity Episcopal church will be the guest organist.

In addition the choir will offer a special selection of James Quitman Muholland’s “If Love Should Count You worthy,” featuring Xavier faculty member Marc Ballard on saxophone.  The selection is dedicated to the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, the religious order St. Katharine Drexel founded.

The program will close with a selection of Negro Spirituals.

Featured student performers include Crystal Morris, soprano, Gregory Dixon, tenor, Gligoron Agenor, tenor,  Ayana Hampton, mezzo-soprano, Joshua Copper, tenor, Enisha Santa Cruze, soprano, TeAira Davis, mezzo-soprano, Justin Williams, bass.

The Concert Choir, University Chorus and Jazz Ensemble recently performed at the SBS Motherhouse in Bensalem, PA for a program celebrating the 10th anniversary of St. Katharine Drexel’s canonization.

St. Katharine Drexel, who was canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church in 2000. She and her order, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS), served America’s two most neglected groups, Native and African Americans.

Public Health as Social Justice

New Orleans LA - Haiti Cherie and Read Today, Lead Tomorrow will host a panel discussion, “Public Health as Social Justice,” TUESDAY (Oct. 19) at 6:30 p.m. in the Xavier University of Louisiana’s Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion, Room 112B.

Panelists include Dr. Charles Rene of the Haitian Association for Human Development; Dr. Leonard Jack of the XU College of Pharmacy and Jacques Detiege of the XU Office of Academic Affairs.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is the first event in the Haitian Connections Fall 2010 series. Other scheduled events include a photography exhibit, “Images of Haiti: The Young Photographers of La Vallee” Oct. 29-January 13, and another panel discussion, “Art and Culture: The Making of a Nation,” Nov. 11.

University Honors 66 Long-time Faculty and Staff

New Orleans LA - Sixty-six long-time faculty and staff members were honored as part of Xavier University of Louisiana's annual Founder’s Day celebration.

Topping the list of honorees celebrating anniversaries of their employment at XU were Dr. JW Carmichael (pre-med/chemistry), Dr. Joe Melcher (speech pathology) and Clifford Wright (business), all with 40 years of service.

Other employees honored for long-term service included:

35 years – Deborah Lidy (sponsored programs) and Dr. Lester Jones, Jr. (mathematics).

30 years – Dr. Marty Akundi (physics), Luella Gombako (housing), Bobbie Gordon (student services) and Dr. Michael White (languages).

25 years – Dr. Kenneth Boutte (academic enhancement), Joseph Byrd (student services), Janice Florent (Center for the Advancement of Teaching), Jacqueline Gavins (chemistry) and Dr. Shamsul Huda (history).

20 years – Dr. Marguerite Giguette (academic affairs), Erica Houston (mathematics), Delise Hunter (safety), Gennice King (library), Sandy Livings-Veals (financial aid), Gwen Morris (registrar), Paul Pierce (campus police), Gina Rachal (financial aid), Patricia Vaultz (fiscal services) and Dr. Jian Zhang (chemistry).

15 years – Sharon Aubert (pharmacy), Dr. Levon Bostanian (pharmacy), Arnold Crump (communications), Dr. Ronald Dorris (English), Dwight Fitch (campus ministry), Dr. Maryam Foroozesh (chemistry), William Harris (student center), Dr. Anil Kukreja (business), Dr. Guangdi Wang (chemistry) and Mark Whitaker (English).

10 years – Feralyn Ahmed (information technology), Pearl Algere-Lonian (academic affairs), Sr. Joanne Bauer S.B.S. (pre-med), Dr. Amne Borghol (pharmacy), Dr. Betty Brookover (planning and institutional research), Darrilyn Broussard (athletics), Phyllis Calvin (library), Dennis Carr (physical plant), Arthur Collins (physical plant), Dr. Wendy Gaudin (history), Annette Gibson (pharmacy), Richard Graves (pharmacy), Dr. Nicole Greene (English), Dr. Mark Gstohl (theology), Dr. Rosalind Hale (education), Dr. Elliott Hammer (psychology), Dr. Martha Harris (pharmacy), Danitra Hawkins (pharmacy), Elsie King (fiscal services), Michelle Lavigne (fine arts), Dr. Huiming Li (pharmacy), Wanda Martin (campus police), Deborah Nolan (pharmacy), Fred Reed (library), Alice Roy (library), L’Tanya Settle-Charles (information technology), Kendra Tircuit (advancement services), Yamlak Tsega (information technology), Benventra Wandera (information technology), Judy Warren (health services), QuoVadis Webster (pre-med) and Cynthia Williams (pharmacy).

Ribbon-cutting For Qatar Pavilion Oct. 15

New Orleans LA - The official ribbon-cutting for Xavier University of Louisiana’s Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion is scheduled for Oct. 15, to coincide with the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees.

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

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

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

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

Freshman Scholars Ahead of Their Class

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

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

These students are representative of a new breed of high school graduates who started earning degree-credit hours long before they stepped foot on campus. In the case of these scholars, all four entered XU with at least 29 college degree credits already banked toward their respective curriculum requirements, making them sophomores and juniors in academic standing.   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although his 33 hours of advanced credit puts him ahead of the curve vis-à-vis the majority of his freshman classmates in terms of his core curriculum requirements, he said he still spends most of his class time with his peers in courses related to his major.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dupont offers more AP courses than any other school in the state – it’s a pretty rigorous curriculum – so students are more or less expected to take them,” said Stewart.

Since most of his advance credits were electives, Stewart spends most of his class time with his peers in the more core subjects. He has adjusted well to campus life, although he admits learning to manage your time is one of the more difficult transitions from high school.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering St. Katharine Drexel

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

But instead, throughout the 1890’s and the first half of the 20th century – long before taking up the cause of racial equality came into vogue – St. Katharine Drexel was at the forefront of efforts to improve the lives of others. It was during these decades shadowed by the segregation and degradation forced on Blacks as well as the dispossession, relocation and betrayal of Native Americans that the name of St. Katharine Drexel shone out as a beacon of hope.

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

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

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

Despite the many obstacles placed in their path, including strong opposition from whites, by 1942 the Sisters were operating black Catholic schools, convents and mission centers in some 13 states.

So extensive was her influence in the Black, rural areas of New Iberia, St. Martinville and other Acadiana parishes that she is often referred to as the “Patron Saint of South Louisiana.”
St. Katharine’s presence was also felt in urban New Orleans, where the Sisters not only opened a Catholic high school and several elementary schools, but also established Xavier University of Louisiana, which was to become the capstone of her educational system.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuskegee Selects XU Alum as President

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

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

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

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

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

Tuskegee apparently agreed with that assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XU Students Help Fight Diabetes at Lakeside Mall Oct. 23

New Orleans LA - Students from Xavier University of Louisiana’s College of Pharmacy will host the annual Operation Diabetes at Lakeside Mall Oct. 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The annual event offers free screening and educational information on controlling and preventing diabetes. The student members of the Xavier chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) will coordinate the event.

“Diabetes is the leading cause of death by disease in the United States and the 5th leading cause of death by disease in Louisiana”, said APhA-ASP president, Haley Dufrene, a third year pharmacy student from Lockport LA.
“Diabetes can affect any population, but it is particularly prevalent among African Americans and Hispanics. This year we are focusing on those populations at our annual event. We will also have native Spanish speakers who will be available as translators at the event,” said Dufrene.
“Our members and other pharmacy students receive training seminars to expand their knowledge of this disease and the problems associated with it,” added Sang Nguyen, APhA-ASP vice-president and a third year pharmacy student from New Orleans. “By hosting this event, we are better preparing ourselves as knowledgeable future pharmacists who will be able to understand our public’s needs and assist them with medication management and even prevention”.

The Operation Diabetes event will feature Xavier student pharmacists and professional pharmacists providing blood pressure and glucose screenings, as well as information on the symptoms of diabetes and ways to manage the disease. In addition a podiatrist and nutritionist will be a part of the event providing information on diabetic needs in those areas.
Launched nationally in 2001, Operation Diabetes is a promotional campaign designed to increase awareness of diabetes, provide information on the dangers associated with the disease, and identify patients with undiagnosed diabetes. The campaign also promotes public awareness of the pharmacist’s role in diabetes management and care. Operation diabetes began as a statewide screening day in California. Since that time the project has grown into a national Campaign, with 65 student chapters participating.

For more information on Xavier University’s Operation Diabetes event, please call 520-5346.

XU Celebrates Substance Abuse Recovery Month

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will celebrate HBCU Substance Abuse Recovery Month in September with a forum, rally and other activities, and is one of three selected HBCU sites for the first National Substance Abuse Awareness Day webcast.

The Substance Abuse Recovery Week celebration will take place Sept. 20-24 on the Xavier campus. There will be speakers, displays, videos on substance abuse issues and recovery, as well as giveaways and information tables. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer at area substance abuse recovery facilities.

On Tuesday (Sept. 21) at 9:00 a.m., Xavier, along with Clark Atlanta and Coppin State Universities, will collaborate to launch the first National Substance Abuse Awareness Day webcast. Also part of the collaboration are the HBCU-CFE in Substance Abuse and Mental Health at Morehouse School of Medicine, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), and Southeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center (SATC). There will be presentations from faculty and students at all three universities as well as presentations from the other collaborating organizations.

The purpose of the HBCU Substance Abuse Awareness Day is to increase student and public knowledge and awareness about substance abuse issues and call attention to the positive outcomes of treatment and recovery programs. Xavier is one of the 12 grant recipients of a $10,000 HBCU Center for Excellence’s (HBCU-CFE) Substance Abuse Treatment/Workforce Development grant. Xavier has developed the Xavier University Substance Abuse Workforce Experience (XU-SAWE) to increase awareness among its students and the community.

“We are excited to be celebrating recovery during the month of September,” said Shirley Labbe, campus coordinator. “Substance abuse is happening in our communities and we want to make our students aware and vigilant about this danger. In celebrating recovery, we are also showing that there is hope for those who are affected.”

On Friday, guest speakers will include: Tonja Myles from Free Indeed and James Becnel, from the LSU Health Sciences Center.

Tonja Myles is an ordained minister whose life mission is to assist those who are struggling with addiction to be set free. She has two successful substance abuse ministries, Set Free Indeed and the Free Indeed Outpatient Treatment Center, the first licensed faith-based treatment center in Louisiana. Myles’ uses her personal story from sexual abuse and drug addiction to her success today as a motivation to those suffering from addition and destructive behaviors.

James Becnel, MSW is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry with the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and he leads the Jefferson Parish Alliance of Concerned Citizens and facilitates treatment groups with the St. Bernard Parish Drug Court. Becnel has done extensive research and presentations on substance abuse and treatment.

For more information visit the Xavier website at and for more information on National Recovery Month visit

Music Department Releases 2010 Performance Schedule

NEW ORLEANS LA - After a successful year of performances, Xavier University of Louisiana’s music department has decided to begin their series of concerts mid-September. All concerts are free and open to the public.  

The concert season will begin with a Xavier tradition, the Faculty Collage. This performance is a mixture of all faculty singing, playing instruments, choirs, bands and a composition, written by the Director of the Music department, performed by students. Held Thursday, September 16, 2010, it is located in the recital hall, inside of the music building at 7:00 p.m.

The next is a very special event because this performance is a Hurricane Katrina Memorial Concert on Sunday, September 29.2010. It will feature a diverse group of local singers and musicians, starting at 5:00p.m. Organized by Albinas Prizgintas, the director of music at the Trinity Episcopal Church, at 1329 Jackson Avenue, this concert will take place there.

The following concert, held in the recital hall, is scheduled on Thursday October 24, 2010. Beginning at 7:00p.m., this concert will feature a saxophone played by Marc Ballard, a saxophone teacher who also teaching some music history and music theory classes, and a piano played by Wilfred Delphin, an Artist-in-Resident who teaches piano and a handful of music history classes at Xavier.

The next selection will take place at Trinity Episcopal Church. Starting at 5:00p.m., hosted by the Xavier Concert Choir and directed by John Ware, this is an event to attend. However, for those unable to make it, the Xavier Concert Choir will have another performance on Monday, October 25, 2010 at 7:00p.m. in the recital hall. 

Fall 2010 Enrollment Reaches New Post-Katrina High

New Orleans LA - Post-Hurricane Katrina enrollment has hit a new high again this fall at Xavier University of Louisiana, thanks to a solid freshman class that exceeded projected levels and a welcome influx of new transfer students.

Preliminary numbers show 781 new freshmen and 151 new transfers, which pushes the university’s current overall enrollment to 3,394 students, two percent higher than last fall’s figures. Enrollment has grown slowly but steadily in the five years since Katrina had knocked down the student population to around three-quarters of its best pre-storm figures.

Administrators are pleased with the university’s progress.

“It’s very gratifying to see students and parents from across the nation continue to put their faith in Xavier,” said President Norman Francis, attributing the sustained interest in the nation’s only historically Black, Catholic college to its continuing national reputation for academic excellence and leadership in the math and science fields, as well as its a solid liberal arts core curriculum.

“Despite the hardships we have endured following Katrina, Xavier has never wavered from its commitment to provide students with the academic excellence which people have come to expect," said Francis, pointing out that the university has produced nearly 2,800 graduates since re-opening six months after the hurricane in January ’06. "Our students continue to compete and excel.”

Admissions had projected an incoming freshman class of 775, so "getting 781 through the door is a very encouraging sign that the Xavier brand is still strong among those who seek a quality education" according to Winston Brown, Dean of Admissions.

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

The total enrollment breakdown includes 2,551 undergraduates enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, 635 students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy, 204 students enrolled in graduate programs and another four students enrolled via the consortium.

MCAN, XU Partner to Manage Childhood Asthma

New Orleans LA - The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN) has pledged nearly $2 million to Xavier University of Louisiana’s  Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education (CMHDRE) to sustain Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL), a program that has been successfully assisting families manage their children's asthma.

MCAN partnered in the first phase of HEAL with the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) under the auspices of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

The HEAL program partnered 184 children, 4 to 12 years old, with moderate to severe asthma and their families with a team of health education specialists and community health workers who provided education and counseling to caregivers on how to manage their child's asthma in a transformed environment. HEAL interventionists used tailored case management and home visitation to reduce risk factors and triggers in the home. The progress for children in the program was positive and cut children's days with symptoms in half, compelling MCAN to pledge nearly $2 million to continue the successful program.

One of the most significant HEAL Phase I research findings was that nearly 80 percent of children with asthma in post-Katrina New Orleans were sensitive to mold, a figure nearly 30 percent higher than for children involved in a study in seven other U.S. cities. Asthma prevalence rates in New Orleans are three times higher than the national rate and among the highest in the nation and the city has the highest childhood asthma death rate in Louisiana.

The next phase of the HEAL program will be led by Xavier’s CMHDRE. The Center specializes in eliminating disparities for minority and other medically underserved populations who often bear the heaviest burden of asthma and its consequences.

"We are pleased to be partnering with MCAN on this important effort to not only reduce disparities in vulnerable populations in New Orleans, but to improve the lives of our children," said Dr. Leonard Jack, Jr., Director of the CMHDRE and a principal investigator for HEAL Phase II.

"This program has helped breathe new life into our community and will continue to give hope to hundreds of families who were forced to re-adjust everything they knew before the storm and intensify their efforts in managing asthma,” he said. “During the next four years we hope to translate the lessons learned from HEAL Phase I and HEAL II into policy initiatives that will help to institutionalize the successful case management and environmental intervention for children in New Orleans."

“We have heard a lot about how Katrina changed the city of New Orleans, but very little about how the city's post-Katrina environment changed health outcomes," said Dr. Floyd Malveaux, Executive Director of MCAN and former Dean of the College of Medicine at Howard University. "There is an undeniable connection between the environment and the health of children with asthma. Effective asthma management must go beyond traditional medical care and include additional interventions to manage the problem, as well as to reduce exposure to the specific environmental triggers known to exacerbate a child's asthma."

Obama Wows Xavier Audience

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana campus has seen its share of dignitaries over the years (including world leaders and the Pope), but a new milestone was set this past month when President Barrack Obama chose the university as the site to deliver his Hurricane Katrina five-year observance speech.

An enthusiastic group of New Orleanians (including XU staff and students), as well as a host of national media and other White House invited guests, gathered in the University Center Ballroom to witness the historic event. Miss Xavier 2010-11, Jade Young, a junior chemistry/pre-pharmacy major from New Orleans (Ben Franklin High), was accorded the honor of introducing the President.

In his remarks, much of which focused on the effect the storm had on the Gulf Coast region and the progress that has been made since then, Obama praised the university – and in particular XU President Norman C. Francis – for its own recovery efforts.

“And we see that here at Xavier. Less than a month after the storm struck, amidst debris and flood-damaged buildings, President Francis promised that this university would reopen in a matter of months,” said Obama. “Some said he was crazy. Some said it couldn't happen. But they didn't count on what happens when one force of nature meets another.”

“And by January – four months later – class was in session,” he added. “Less than a year after the storm, I had the privilege of delivering a commencement address to the largest graduating class in Xavier's history. That is a symbol of what New Orleans is all about.”

Visit HERE for a complete transcript of his remarks and to see official photos of the event.

Fall Lecture Series Announced

New Orleans LA – An accomplished entertainer, a successful business entrepreneur and sociologist/author will headline the Fall Speakers Series at Xavier University of Louisiana.

The “Dare to Soar” series will feature appearances by Common on Sept. 9 (12:00 p.m.), Dr. Calvin Mackie on Oct. 18 (6:30 p.m.) and Dr. Bertice Berry on Nov. 9 (6:30 p.m.). All three events, which will be held in the University Center Ballroom, are free and open to the public.

Common, a.k.a., Lonnie Rashied Lynn, Jr., is an American rapper and actor. He debuted in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar? and achieved mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians.  A list of popular albums include Like Water for Chocolate (2000), Be (2005), Finding Forever(2007), and Universal Mind Control (2008).  He has won two Grammy Awards. He has also initiated a burgeoning acting career, starring significant roles in such films as American Gangster, Terminator Salvation, and most recently Just Wright with Queen Latifah.

Mackie, a native of New Orleans, is an award-winning mentor, motivational speaker, and successful entrepreneur. Formerly an associate professor of engineering at Tulane University, he is the co-founder of Channel ZerO, an educational and motivational consulting company, and has presented to numerous civic, educational institutions and Fortune 500 corporations. He was a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (the guiding agency to lead the state's rebuilding efforts following the catastrophic Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) and was featured prominently in Spike Lee’s documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts.

Berry, who has a Ph.D. in sociology, is a successful author, lecturer, educator, entertainer and comedienne. She was the host and co-executive producer of her own nationally syndicated talk show, The Bertice Berry Show, from 1993 to 1994. She is the author of a memoir I'm On My Way, But Your Foot Is On My Head, as well as several novels. She is also a community activist who believes that “when you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny”.

Women's Volleyball is Back

New Orleans LA - Women's intercollegiate volleyball is back at Xavier University of Louisiana after a five-year absence.

A startup program in the fall of 2003, the Gold Nuggets completed two seasons before the damage of Hurricane Katrina forced Xavier to suspend all sports during the 2005-06 academic year. XU's men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis resumed competition in 2006-07, but volleyball remained suspended until XU announced its reinstatement in November.

Hired in February to coach the Nuggets was Al'lisa Hale, an assistant the past three seasons at NCAA Division I member Alabama State, and she'll enter the 2010 season with 11 players and plenty of enthusiasm.

"The program has taken off," Hale said of her early months on the job. "The team has come together during the preseason, which is so nice. It's amazing to see how different the girls are, but it's like they were meant to be together."

The roster consists of two seniors, five juniors and four freshmen. Both seniors and three of the juniors were Xavier students in 2009-10. Some have a winning pedigree, beginning with Hale, who as a player at Alabama A&M helped the Bulldogs win Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in 2002 and 2003. Setter Patrice Hightower and outside hitter Danielle Jones, both seniors, each were part of two state-championship teams in high school. Junior defensive specialist Joyy Joseph was a member of a state runner-up team, and freshman outside hitter/middle blocker Sierra Lyons helped Terrebonne reach Louisiana's Division I semifinals this past season.

The Nuggets do not appear to be afraid of challenges. Seven of them are majoring in biology, one of Xavier's most demanding and prestigious academic programs. Six are pre-medical majors.

The only players taller than 5-feet-10 are Lyons, who is 6-1, and freshman middle blocker Allison Dawson, a 6-footer.

The rest of the team consists of junior outside hitter Iva Bobkova, freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Kerris Crier, junior setter/defensive specialist Kia Kaufman, junior defensive specialist Celeste Poe, senior outside hitter Erin Vincent and freshman right-side hitter Shelby Williams.

Bobkova is a transfer from New Mexico Military Institute, and Kaufman transferred from NCAA Division II Colorado State Pueblo. Hightower, Jones, Joseph, Poe and Vincent were XU students in 2009-10. Jones is playing only volleyball this season after helping XU's women's basketball program record 78 victories the past three seasons.

"Our strength will be a strong offense and a lot of heart," said Hale, a collegiate head coach for the first time. "Like most teams, we'll be working to get better on defense. We need to block and dig stronger."

Xavier will play more than 30 regular-season matches, six in a revamped Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. The addition of Edward Waters and Fisk to the conference and the departure of Belhaven, LSU-Shreveport, Loyola, Mobile, Spring Hill and William Carey to other NAIA leagues give the GCAC six members in 2010-11. There will be six GCAC volleyball teams this season, the same number as in 2009, and six is the minimum for the conference to qualify its champion for the NAIA National Championship in November. The GCAC will determine its champion in a tournament Nov. 12-13 in New Orleans at Dillard's Dent Hall.

Xavier's first two volleyball teams were a combined 2-14 in the GCAC, and since the Nuggets' most recent match the other six XU teams have combined to win 23 GCAC championships and qualify for 17 NAIA national tournaments. Hale is confident she can bring her program up to speed.

"Xavier's winning tradition attracted me here," Hale said. "I'm certain that volleyball will be part of that tradition. I love the school. It's such a family-oriented atmosphere. It's great for our girls be able to get a quality education and to learn so much about being respectable young ladies. I've received so much help and support in trying to bring the program back. I'm looking forward to a great season."

Bill Cosby & “Men of Soul” to perform at 3rd Annual XU Scholarship Benefit Concert

New Orleans LA - Tickets are on sale now for the 3rd annual Dr. Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert, Friday November 19, 2010 sponsored by AT&T at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s New Orleans Theater.

The Friday evening concert, which started three years ago to celebrate Francis’ 40th Anniversary as president of the nation’s only Historically Black and Roman Catholic institution of higher education, will showcase performances by four legendary R&B vocalists – Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, Howard Hewitt and Freddie Jackson – performing together this year in the nationwide “Men of Soul” concert tour.

The annual concert serves as a major fundraiser to support the Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship Fund. Special sponsor tables, patron packages and concert tickets are available through the Office of Institutional Advancement’s special concert hot line at #504.520.G-A-L-A (520-4252).  Tickets will also be on sale as of August 21st through the TicketMaster hot line [1-866-448-7849] or online at

Xavier Gets Nod in Prestigious "Best Colleges" Guide

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana has once again received the endorsement of yet another prominent, annual college rating publication.

Xavier has been singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in its annual "2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region" college guide.

The Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company, showcases only about 25 percent of the four-year colleges in the U.S. in its regional guide. The publication includes profiles of its 623 recommended schools organized into four geographical locales:  the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest, and the West. Xavier is one of 133 colleges chosen in the "Best in the Southeast" section.

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

For more info, visit the company website at

New Student Orientation at Xavier August 13-22

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana will welcome some new freshmen,  transfer students and their parents to the New Orleans campus for Freshman Orientation Friday August 13-22.
Xavier President Dr. Norman C. Francis will address the new freshman and the parents at a special reception as part of the orientation activities. Freshmen will also participate in seminars and fun activities that will help them become familiar with the campus, faculty, and administrators.  Parent orientation occurs simultaneously August 13-15.

Xavier classes begin for all students Monday, August 23 with registration August 19-20.

More information and a complete schedule of Orientation activities can be found at: .

Remembering Katrina, Looking Ahead: 5 Years Later

New Orleans LA - There are some anniversaries we celebrate because they conjure up wonderful memories, and there are other anniversaries people commemorate simply because they want to remember what they endured and survived.

August 29 is one of the latter for New Orleans residents, and for institutions such as Xavier. On that fateful date in 2005 – five years ago – Hurricane Katrina came ashore and dramatically changed things not only for New Orleans in general but for the nation’s only Historically Black and Catholic university. 

But five years later, the Xavier campus is fully recovered physically – growing in fact. Enrollment at the highly regarded HBCU powerhouse remains solid. And while many important capital projects around the “Big Easy” continue to languish five years after Katrina, that is hardly the case at Xavier.

The Xavier campus reopens for the Fall 2010 semester with a brand new wing opening at the College of Pharmacy. Meanwhile, pilings are already being driven for a world-class chapel to be erected in honor of the university’s founder Saint Katharine Drexel and, nearby, a previously idle building is being transformed into a new Student Services Center.

Elsewhere, modular housing units – replacing university-owned houses in the neighborhood that were damaged during the hurricane – are going up in several locations, while a new 111-capacity parking lot has been completed near Xavier South on the corner of Howard and So Clark and Dixon Streets.

Across campus, multiple major renovation projects are underway to renovate the university’s Art Village and to upgrade offices housing several academic departments.
And a new Convocation Center is next up and already on the drawing board.

The most visible of these campus improvements is the Qatar Pharmacy Pavilion. Under construction since 2008, it is expected to be ready for partial occupancy in early fall, with the official ribbon-cutting scheduled for October.

Connected to both the Library Resource Building and the existing College of Pharmacy building, the new Pavilion faces the campus’ I-10 boundary to the north. Once completed, the five-story, 60,000-square foot addition will allow the University to sustain its increased enrollment growth while drastically improving the overall quality of the academic programs and research endeavors.

All of the new high-tech teaching labs, as well as two large auditorium-style lecture halls – each capable of seating as many as 200 students – will be housed in the expansion. The building will also hold teaching and research laboratories, a mock pharmacy skills laboratory and a Drug Information Center.

It would be an understatement to suggest that building a free-standing religious chapel on campus has been an elusive dream for most of Xavier's history. A chapel was actually included in (then) Mother Katharine Drexel’s original blueprint plans for the Xavier campus in the late 1920’s and it has been mentioned as an upcoming project in nearly every university strategic plan for the past 80+ years.

That dream, however, is finally about to become reality. Test pilings are already been driven, the close to 200 permanent pilings are expected to be in place with-in the next two weeks.

The 11,000 square foot structure, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, will be situated next to the pharmacy addition right alongside the Interstate-10 Expressway bringing motorists to and from downtown New Orleans.

Like the other buildings on campus, the chapel’s exterior will be made of limestone. Its domed roof will be made of copper with a large cross located strategically at its crest that architect Pelli joked “will be visible from the airport to the river...” adding that “...people will see this cross and know it is the chapel at Xavier University.”

A construction fence has also gone up around the old St. Joseph’s Residence Hall facing Drexel Drive, signaling the beginning of gutting and transformation of the dated 40-year old building into a new energy efficient Student Service Center. When completed, the three-story building will house the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, as well as the reading and writing labs and various other student-oriented offices. It replaces the Old Student Center – yet another victim of Hurricane Katrina.

Construction projects always infuse a certain amount of vitality to the campus – and with enrollment expected to remain consistent and healthy at 3,000+ students as Xavier reopens for another academic year – the university remains confident and focused on the future.

Still when such anniversaries do occur, it is sometimes helpful to look back at where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. You can view the story of Xavier’s recovery in a 6:00-minute You Tube video entitled “After Katrina: Rebuilding Xavier” HERE or check the 2006 view book which is still available ONLINE.

NCF Scholarship Concert Tickets on Sale

New Orleans LA - Tickets for the 3rd Annual Dr. Norman C. Francis Endowed Scholarship Benefit Concert are on sale now.

The concert, scheduled for Nov. 19, 2010, at the New Orleans Convention Center Theater, features the comedy of Bill Cosby and musical performances by four of the most popular male R&B vocalists of the past three decades: Jeffrey Osborne, Grammy Award winner Peabo Bryson, Howard Hewett & Freddie Jackson.

Tickets will go fast. Call the XU ticket hotline at (504) 520-4252 to reserve the best seats in the house today.

New XU Summer Program Encourages Young Writers

New Orleans LA - Watching movies on Picasso and blogging, holding class sessions under a shady tree on campus and observing the water in a nearby canal is not your usual summer camp for teens. But this summer 20 high school and junior high school students are learning to see things differently and write about them as part of Xavier University of Louisiana’s newest summer program – Write Now!

Program coordinator Kathryn Laborde, a Xavier English professor, said the program is a good way to show the creative side of what the University has to offer.

“Of course we’re known for the sciences, in particular our excellent premed and pharmacy programs, but many people don’t realize that Xavier is so much more,” said Laborde, who along with fellow English faculty member Ralph Adamo works with the students to stimulate their creativity and get them thinking in new ways. “It’s not about critiquing their writing so much as putting emphasis on ideas and what they’re coming up with as a result.

The students write in their journals every day and participate in creative exercises. Brainstorming is a regular part of the class day and so is observation.

“Sometimes it’s just important to observe closely in order to create a documentation of what happened,” said Laborde, recalling the day students gathered at the Palmetto Street canal after a heavy rainstorm and used that image as a catalyst for their writing exercise. They returned the next day when the water line had receded, to create a different observational essay.

Students also viewed the work of Picasso and saw a film on how Picasso created. They used prints to figure out story lines and make connections on how fiction is structured.  All of their ideas are good. Things start with an idea said Laborde.

 Adamo runs the afternoon portion of the program which focuses on poetry.  The students excitedly beg to play ‘the game’ from a previous class, where Adamo gives them a starting point and they create poems.

“Getting them engaged and involved in being creative – that’s the goal,” he said.
“It’s not what I expected,” said Ashlie Cain, a 9th grader from Atlanta GA. “But we’re learning about different styles of writing and creating stories. I especially like the poetry class.”

Some of the students do aspire to be writers, ranging from novelists to song writers, and hoped Write Now would give them the push and direction they needed. Even with all unusual vehicles to writing explored during the program, the best advice for these budding authors, agreed upon by both instructors, “Writers write!”

Top Students Designated Rousseve Scholars

New Orleans LA - Thirty-seven upperclassmen have been named Rousseve Scholars at Xavier University of Louisiana for the 2010-11 school year.

Students selected for the University’s Rousseve Scholars Program generally represent the top ten (or more) students in the senior, junior and sophomore classes based on their academic performance the preceding two semesters. Each recipient receives a full tuition scholarship and a book allowance.

This year’s recipients, grouped by their class, are listed below along with their major field of study and high school-hometown.

Seniors – Alycia Boutte, psychology, Northshore High-Slidell LA; Jiliana Cavalier, English, Baton Rouge Magnet-Zachary LA; Breannie Charles, PharmD, Northside High-Lafayette LA; Gabrielle Gordon, PharmD, Ben Franklin High-New Orleans LA; Courtney Jason, PharmD, Opelousas High-Opelousas LA; Daniel Le, biology/pre-med, Destrehan High-Gretna LA; Trisha Le, biology/pre-med, Immaculata High-Harvey LA; Steve Morgan, biology/pre-med, H.L Bourgeois High-Gray LA; Hong Nguyen, mass communication, L.W. Higgins-Westwego LA; Alayne Perkins, PharmD, Ben Franklin-New Orleans LA; Raphaela Romero, English, Helen Cox High-Gretna LA; and Sondra Willis, business-management, Grace King High-Kenner LA.

Juniors – Talasha Aubert, chemistry/pre-med, Donaldsonville High-Donaldsonville LA; Brianna Dekine, chemistry/pre-med, Culver City High-Culver City CA; Truc Dinh, biology/pre-med, L.W. Higgins High-Marrero LA; Chisom Ezenwoye, PharmD, Lakeside High-Seattle WA; Kaitlyn Gaddis, speech pathology, South Gwinnett High-Snellville GA; Mia Holmes, biology/pre-med, Ben Franklin High-New Orleans LA; Ashley Matthew, chemistry/pre-med, North Quincy High-Quincy MA; Asia Matthew, chemistry/pre-med, North Quincy High-Quincy MA; Theresa Nguyen, PharmD, Morgan City High-Amelia LA; Thuylinh Nguyen, biology/pre-med; Edna Karr High-New Orleans LA; Valencia Potter, biology, Murphy High-Mobile AL; and Ashley Varnado, political science, Rich Central High-Matteson IL.

Sophomores – Endia Blunt, biochemistry, Ben Franklin High-New Orleans LA; Krista Burton, engineering, Creekside High-Jonesboro LA; Brittany Gorden, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, St. Mary’s Academy-New Orleans LA; Amanda Grego, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Ecole Classique High-Kenner LA; Megan Haynes, political science, Xavier Prep-New Orleans LA; Lianne Jang, chemistry/pre-med, Destrehan High-Destrehan LA; Kayla Moses, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, St. James High-Vacherie LA; Thuy-Tien Nguyen, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, St. Martin High-Biloxi MS; Marvin Stewart, chemistry/pre-med, West Feliciana High-St. Francisville LA; Brynne Vernon, political science, (home schooled)-Sunset LA; Angelica Vu, chemistry/pre-pharmcy, Acadiana High-Lafayette LA; Mia Ward, biology/pre-med, McKinney North High-McKinney TX; and Faith Webre, chemistry/pre-pharmacy, Riverside Academy-Reserve LA.

XU Included in Fiske Guide to Colleges

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana is among the nation’s “best and most interesting colleges and universities” according to the 2011 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

The annual guide, published by Edward Fiske, education editor for the New York Times newspaper for 17 years, features over 300 of the more than 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States.

Schools are assessed in terms of academics, social life and overall quality of life.

For more info visit HERE.

Brookover Named XU Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment

New Orleans LA - Dr. Cecile Brookover has been named Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment in the Office of Planning and Institutional Research, effective June 1, 2010

Since January of 2000 Brookover has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Xavier and has performed numerous program evaluations for federal and state grants. Most recently she was on the Development Committee for the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, writing the evaluation plan for the Read Today, Lead Tomorrow initiative.
Brookover has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Program Evaluation from the University of New Orleans. All her elective courses in her doctoral work were in statistics, which complement her MBA degree (Tulane University) and earlier work as an auditor in an international accounting firm.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Southern Illinois University.  

John Scott Studio Celebration June 24-26

New Orleans LA - Celebrate the legacy of Xavier University of Louisiana artist John T. Scott at the third annual “Passing It On” studio celebration featuring presentations, workshops and participation.

The three day event begins Thursday (June 24) with a presentation honoring Scott by Mora Beauchamp-Byrd in the Xavier Library room 501, followed by a reception in the Library gallery.

On Friday (June 25) from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. there will be a studio reception with figure drawing starting at 6:00 p.m. and collaborative collage starting at 8:00 p.m. in the Art Village Annex.

The celebration concludes on Saturday (June 26) with a full day of activities from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. including printmaking, figure drawing, face casting, and a pot luck dinner boogie at 5:00 p.m.

The event is open to all who want to celebrate Scott’s legacy, said coordinator MaPo Kinnard. Workshop events are not “classes” and some art experience is best. The workshops are also not for unattended children.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact MaPo Kinnard at the Xavier art department, 520-7556.

XU Ranks High in Diverse Issues Annual Report

New Orleans LA - A special report by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine once again provides documentation of Xavier University of Louisiana's success in a number of academic disciplines.

In its annual "Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers" issue (June 2010), the magazine shows XU once again ranking first in the nation in the number of African American students earning baccalaureate degrees in two areas – the biological and biomedical sciences, as well as the physical sciences.

Xavier was comfortably ahead of the pack in both categories: graduating 120 students in the biological and biomedical sciences during the reporting period (nearly 20 percent more than that of second-place Howard University) and another 41 students in the physical sciences (more than twice that of runner-up Tennessee State University).

Xavier also placed 47th in awarding undergraduate degrees to African Americans in psychology.

The Diverse Issues report is based on a review of the 2008-2009 preliminary data distributed by the U.S. Department of Education. The magazine has reported on degrees conferred since 1992, tracking trends in bachelor degree conferrals to African American and other minority students. The complete report can be viewed at HERE

Institute for Black Catholic Studies Opens at Xavier

New Orleans LA - The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier University of Louisiana begins the first weeks of its Master Degree and Certificate & Enrichment programs June 25 and kicks off the Institute with a Mass of the Holy Spirit June 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the University Chapel.

With the theme “Christ Has Set Us Free: Let us live in the Spirit serving one another through Love,” the Institute not only invites local, national and international participants who are seeking a graduate professional certification in the Master Degree in Theology program to enhance their directorial skills in their local parishes, to attend, but also encourages participation of those Catholic lay people and religious, and non-Catholics in the Certificate & Enrichment program to continue their religious education, to gain personal enrichment and professional certification, and to enable themselves to have more effective  leadership skills to use in their ministry for the betterment of their local black and/or multicultural faith communities.

In the holistic learning environment of the Institute, students are immersed in ongoing education and pastoral ministry formation studies that are “authentically Black and truly Catholic”. Each week consists of three learning components: a morning Core Theology Course (for both Degree and C&E students), an afternoon Ministry Method course (for C&E students  ONLY) or an afternoon Degree Elective/Concentration course (Master Degree students ONLY), and a Black Religious Expression course (for C&E students ONLY).

This summer’s seminars include Catechetical Synthesis, and Leadership and Youth Ministry Methodologies. In addition, there is a one-week pastoral preaching program, Black Preaching, hosted in collaboration with the New Orleans Office of Black Catholics. 

Mass is offered everyday on campus and many events are open to the public. Visit for the schedule of events.

To register for the seminars or to find out more information about The Institute for Black Catholic Studies, visit the website at or call 504-520-7691.

XU Professor Chosen for 2010 UNCF/Mellon Faculty Seminar

New Orleans LA – Xavier University professor Dr. Ronald Dorris has been selected to participate in the 2010 UNCF/Mellon Faculty Seminar, Legacies and Treasures: Exploring the Archival Collections of Black Intellectual Scholar-Activists, July 6-12 in Atlanta GA.

The goal of the seminar is to enhance participant’s research, teaching and perspective as a faculty scholar. In addition, there is the opportunity to build collaboration with other participants. Dorris will share his seminar experience with the Xavier campus in the upcoming semesters.

Dorris is an endowed professor and director of the African-American Studies program at Xavier. A resident of Garyville LA, he received his undergraduate degree from Xavier, a Masters in Afro-American Studies from Boston University, a Masters in Liberal Education from St. John’s College and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Emory University.

He is the author of Race: Jean Toomer’s Swan Song (1987) and has published numerous scholarly and creative works. He currently serves on the editorial board of The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies.

Xavier College of Pharmacy Among Top 20 in NIH Research Funding

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana ranks among the nation’s top 20 colleges of pharmacy when it comes to research funding by NIH, the National Institutes of Health, according to the latest American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy report on such funding. The new ranking reflects a substantial jump from Xavier’s previous ranking at #58 out of 109 total schools included in the annual NIH rankings.

Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, credits expanded outreach and cultivation of research resources over the past decade with the rise in the rankings. “Over the years Xavier has grown from providing quality trained pharmacists across the country, something that we continue to do successfully, to so much more including cancer research, nanoscience, and our continuing focus on minority health disparities.”

In 2002, the College of Pharmacy established a Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education (CMHDRE).  Since that time the CMHDRE has received endowment funds from NIH in two consecutive funding cycles of three years each. In recent years, the CMHDRE has used funding to support faculty salaries, provide educational training opportunities to faculty and staff and to supplement the research-related infrastructure of the College of Pharmacy.  CMHDRE is also dedicated to having a positive impact on the community, working together with local, regional, and national partners to provide services and education to community members on health topics such as diabetes, heart disease, nutrition, men’s and women’s health, and cancer. 

In 2007, Xavier established a Center for Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery where the goal is to enhance the scientific and technological competitiveness of Louisiana in the field of nanomedicine and drug delivery.  During the last few years, the center received over $6 million from state and federal granting agencies to develop numerous novel pharmaceutical formulations. Currently, Xavier’s state-of-the-art drug delivery research laboratory is serving as a pharmaceutical formulation hub for local biotechnology companies and academic research institutions.

This year, Xavier’s College of Pharmacy in collaboration with the College of Arts & Sciences received a 5-year, $10-million award from NIH/National Center for Research Resources to help establish a Center for Cancer Research.  This project provides funds to increase their number and quality of cancer researchers, to support selected pilot projects to assist junior investigators in becoming fully competitive in cancer research; to provide seed funding for developmental projects, and to develop three core laboratories to support cancer research activities in the university.  

The university is a member of the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC) along with Tulane and LSU Health Sciences Centre. The goal of the LCRC, funded by a portion of the State of Louisiana’s tobacco tax revenue, is to be designated as a NIH National Cancer Institute. That designation will provide not only increased funding for cancer research, but also give Louisiana cancer patients access to the highest levels of clinical support.   

Xavier has invested significant resources to enhance its research capacity and to help faculty become more successful in obtaining the highly competitive NIH grants. The increased NIH funding not only promotes research per se but also helps the university better prepare its students by involving them in faculty research projects.  In addition, it contributes to overall economic development in the City.

“This is really remarkable that a relatively small school like Xavier has garnered these grants, especially at the College of Pharmacy, and can help boost the area’s economy,” says the Dean of Pharmacy.

To learn more about research @ Xavier visit:

Kennedy Named Pharmacy Dean

New Orleans LA - Dr. Kathleen Kennedy has been named the new Dean of the College of Pharmacy at Xavier University of Louisiana, according to Dr. Loren Blanchard, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Kennedy has served as Interim Dean of Pharmacy since August 2009 and was Associate Dean for more than seven years prior to that.  Her appointment as Dean is effective immediately.

“Dr. Kennedy has brought to Xavier a strong record of professionalism and scholarship,” said Blanchard in announcing the selection. “She is an administrative and intellectual leader who will help to steer the College of Pharmacy to new heights and maintain Xavier’s exceptional role in the health professions.”

Kennedy served as the founding director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education at Xavier. She is the recipient of the Malcolm Ellington Professor of Health Disparities Research Endowed Professorship, and provides leadership in the development of the research infrastructure necessary to support health disparities research, education and training. She has been appointed to several local and state committees including the Louisiana Region I Healthcare Consortium, the LA Campaign for Tobacco Free Living Steering Committee and the Louisiana Diabetes Initiative Council.

Kennedy holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of California- San Francisco and completed an American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists accredited residency in Pharmacy Practice at the University of California Hospitals and Clinics in 1979. She completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 2004, and the Leadership Fellows Program with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in 2006.

Xavier’s College of Pharmacy, one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana, is among the nation’s top three producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients. The 169 members of the Class of 2010 graduated earlier this month.

Expansion of the college is currently underway, with construction of the Qatar Pavilion expected to be completed in late summer.

Sunbirds Overcome Early Deficit, Eliminate Gold Rush

Mobile AL – The Xavier University of New Orleans men's tennis team knew it would have to approach perfection Wednesday to defeat defending champion and top-ranked Fresno Pacific in the second round of the NAIA National Championship.

But instead the Sunbirds extended some perfect records — one doubles team and two singles players — and beat the 16th-ranked Gold Rush 5-1.

Xavier (13-14) scored first when Sean Richardson and Cameron Knowles defeated Kevin Lott and Aaron Frantz 8-1 at No. 3 doubles, but Fresno Pacific (19-1) didn't lose another set. The Sunbirds tied the dual when Xavier Smith and Alex Gonzalez, ranked second by the ITA, improved to 17-0 this season.with an 8-4 victory against Steffen Giles-Osborn and Mikhail Vaval. Then Fresno Pacific went ahead to stay when 18th-ranked Denny Fafek and Jose Hilla outlasted Hassan Abbas and Mario Myles 9-8 (7-5) at No. 2.

"That was a heartbreaker," Xavier Coach Alan Green said of the Fafek-Hilla victory. "We were so close to going into the singles up 2-1. We knew we would need every bit of momentum we could get against Fresno."

Smith, also ranked second in singles, beat Giles-Osborn 6-1, 6-0 to extend the Firebirds' lead to 3-1. Then Martin Vaisse (20-0) and Maxime Adam (17-0) closed the dual. Vaisse, ranked 24th, defeated Mario Myles 6-3, 6-0, and Adam beat Richardson 6-0, 6-1.

Fresno Pacific extended its winning streak to nine and will play Westmont or Graceland in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Thursday.

It was the final collegiate dual for Myles and Knowles, both seniors. But Xavier's top two singles players — Giles-Osborn (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year) and Abbas (GCAC Newcomer of the Year) — will return next season.

Defending Champ AUM Ends Gold Nuggets' Season

Mobile AL – Auburn Auburn Montgomery, the six-time defending NAIA women's tennis champion, eliminated Xavier University of Louisiana 5-0 Wednesday in the second round of the NAIA National Championship.

The top-seeded Lady Senators (19-3) lost a combined five games in five completed matches. The closest completed match was Ana Veselinovic and Morgane Zowczak's 8-4 doubles victory over Anastesia Opata and Angelina Callis. Veselinovic and Zowczak are No. 2 in the ITA's NAIA doubles rankings, and Opata and Callis are 25th.

AUM's other two doubles teams also are ranked in the top 20.

The Lady Senators advanced to the quarterfinals for the 11th straight year and will play eighth-ranked Oklahoma Christian at 9 a.m. Thursday. Xavier, in the tournament for the third straight year and fifth time in six seasons, finished 17-14. The Gold Nuggets are 0-5 in second-round matches at nationals.
It was the final collegiate dual for XU seniors Opata, Callis and Colleen McArthur. Opata and Callis were All-Americans in 2009 and won a combined 76 percent of their singles and doubles matches their final two seasons.

XU to play Wesleyan teams at NAIA National Championships

men's update / women's update

New Orleans LA – The Xavier University of Louisiana tennis teams will play first-round matches next Tuesday (May 18) in the NAIA National Championships at Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile AL. The NAIA announced the pairings Tuesday.

The XU women (16-13), ranked 19th, will play No. 17 Indiana Wesleyan (21-1) at 9 a.m. XU's men (12-13), ranked 16th, will play 17th-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan (11-4) at 1 p.m.

Top-ranked teams and defending champions – Fresno Pacific's men and Auburn Montgomery's women – have first-round byes and will await the winners of both matches the following day. AUM seeks its seventh consecutive championship and 10th in 12 years.

This is the second consecutive year that both Xavier teams qualified for nationals. The Gold Rush never qualified before 2009. The Gold Nuggets are in the tournament for the third straight year and the fifth time in six seasons. Neither Xavier team has lost a first-round match at nationals.

Twenty-four men's teams and 24 women's teams will compete. Both Xavier teams earned automatic bids after winning the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on May 1.

107 Honor Graduates Accent Commencement

New Orleans LA - One hundred seven of 509 graduates received their degrees with honors from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and graduate programs during Xavier’s 83rd annual commencement.

Twenty-six students graduated with summa cum laude honors, while another 23 earned magna cum laude honors and 46 others earned cum laude distinction. An additional 12 students earned graduate honors.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered the keynote address, while legendary musician-producer David Bartholomew was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Two College of Pharmacy students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages – John Andry of Destrehan LA and Hong-Anh Hoang of New Orleans – headed this year’s group of summa cum laude graduates.
Also earning degrees with summa cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Jalisa Mathis.

Bachelor of Music – Danielle Edinburgh-Wilson.

Bachelor of Science – Okell Dames, April Harry, Rebekah Sadaiappen and Ayronada Smith.

Pharm.D. – Rola Abdelmuhsen, Lyla Alihamad, Nicole Comeaux, Laurent Gagnon, Nicole Gonzales, James Helou, Nicole Hery, Phil Linh Ho, Elizabeth Hoang, Haley Lee, Savrina Moragne, Linda Nguyen, Donielle Schneider, Ellie Usey, Tenesha Waits, Renee Watts, Alona Williams and Erika Wilson.

Earning their degrees with magna cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Sarah Francis.

Bachelor of Science – Nana-Aisha Adamu, Rita Aregbesola, Rachel Clark, Emily Gray, Jenna Hill, LaShanna Johnson, Anita Madison, Ugochi Obih, Minh Pham, Amber Robins and Kendrick Williams.

Pharm.D. – Andrew Fitzgerald, Kristen Gonzales, Gary Grau, Ozioma Iheagwam, Rachel Kay, Jaquada Keys, Stacy Lowery, Jessica Phan, Jill Shamburger, Nikita Taylor and Huong Vu.

Earning their degrees with cum laude honors were:

Bachelor of Arts – Troy Baham, Akia Nevills, Cassandra Shepard and Val Williams.

Bachelor of Science – Syed Ahmed, Michaela Allen, Merije Chukumerije, Kha Do, Kyra Gautier, Averine Hamb, Ninma Idowu-Fearon, Kennedy Iheanacho, Jessica Isom, La’Kandice Johnson, Jarnelle Jones, Phillip Luu, Kyle Martin, Jessica Martinez, Mai Nguyen, Thien Nguyen, Julia Peters, Lynez Preyan, Hau Tram, John Tran, Brittany Warren and Amanda Williams.

Pharm.D. – Courtney Chavis, Honesty Cockrell, Ebony Cook, Jonathan Dolese, Aarielle Gentry, Geoffrey Gros, Thao Hoang, Aneela Jatala, Ashley Kirkwood, Erica Leslie, Courtney Meggs, Hoa Nguyen, Huyen Nguyen, Jimmy Phan, Whitney Ponseti, Melissa Sanchez, Shelley Schmitz, Amanda Soza, Wondwossen Teka and Dominique Tomlinson.

Receiving Graduate School degrees with honors were: (Master of Arts) Leslie Lewis, Benjamin Ploeger and QuoVadis Webster; and (Master of Arts in Teaching) Rima Bensrieti, Kyla Debarbieri, Alex DeLarge, Edie Drake, Sharonda Freeman, Darren Lewis, LeNeshia Markey, Dana Minor and Dana Tyson.  

Outstanding Faculty Recognized at Graduation

New Orleans LA - Five faculty members were honored during commencement for their extraordinary performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service.

The winners of the 2010 Norman C. Francis Faculty Excellence Awards were:

In recognition of exhibiting the highest qualities of instruction and pedagogy, the NCF Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching – (junior faculty) Dr. Farrah Gafford in sociology and (senior faculty) Dr. Bonnie Noonan in English).

In recognition of a consistent record of service to various institutional efforts and for exemplifying a spirit of volunteerism, the NCF Faculty Excellence Award in Service – (senior faculty) Dr. Michael Adams in chemistry. 

In recognition of scholarship and research that distinguish the University and for substantial contributions to their respective disciplines, the NCF Faculty Excellence Award in Scholarship – (junior faculty) Dr. Kun (Karen) Zhang in computer science and (senior faculty) Dr. Gary Donaldson in history.

Initiated in 2009, the faculty excellence awards are designed to honor both "junior" faculty (those who have worked at the University for seven years or less) and "senior" faculty members (more than seven years of service.) The awards of $5,000 each will be split evenly between the award recipient and his/her academic area.

The winners were also presented specially designed medallions minted to convey this distinctive honor. The medal was created by art department faculty member Ron Bechet.

XU Student Named Kemper Scholar

New Orleans LA - Freshman Leon Vaughn, a business major from Detroit MI (Renaissance High), has been named to the Kemper Scholars Program’s Class of 2013.

Designed to prepare students for leadership and service, promotes education in the liberal arts while providing opportunities for career exploration and practical experience through internships, the prestigeous program has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago since 1948.

Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships of up to $10,000 a year (based on need) as well as stipends while serving internships at major nonprofit organizations in the Chicago IL area and at major for-profit corporations in the summer following their sophomore and junior years, respectively.

In Chicago, scholars live in the same apartment residence hall and are placed in full-time administrative positions, where they can learn about financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising, and organizational administration.

NABA Gala Honors Jeffrion, XU Alumni

New Orleans LA - XU Associate Vice President for Auxiliary and Support Services William Jeffrion was among those honored at a gala paying tribute to Louisiana’s First 100 African American Certified Public Accountants.

Jeffrion, who is No. 8 on the list, was joined by 14 Xavier alums, including: Antoinette Antoine '80, Wilbert Antoine Jr. '75, the late Melvin Bergeron '49, Irvin Blackburn '73, Wanda Blackburn '73, Brian Burns '78. Julie Chenier '78, Adrian Dobard '77, Curtis Moret Jr. '77, Joseph Perriatt Jr. '78, Lionel Roche '78, Kenneth Sabathia '76, Terence Sims '83, Alcide Tervalon Jr. '75.

The event was sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the Harrison-Rochon CPAs Education Foundation.

XU Pharmacy Students Compete in Target Case Study Competition

New Orleans LA - Teams of students from Xavier University of Louisiana’s College of
Pharmacy competed and presented their ideas to company executives as part of the Target Case Study Competition.

The contest, sponsored by Target Corporation, was open to any third year pharmacy student. Target challenged the teams to develop a business plan to deal with the pending FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for Narcotic Analgesics. This particular REMS, which is currently still under discussion, may include special training certifications for pharmacists and require special documentation of patient education and follow-up.

The competing teams had one month to develop a strategy, write up the business plan and create a presentation for Target Corporation Managers. There are currently several REMS in place for a variety of drugs, many of which have relatively small groups of patients taking the drug at any one time. This would be the first REMS that involved more than a patient information sheet that will impact a significant percentage of the population.

The competition was part of The Pharmacy Law and Practice Management Class. The winners – Liliana Cosenza, Ifeanyi Onor, Elizabeth Barthelemy and Tammara Taylor – all third-year pharmacy students, received $4,000 in scholarships to split among the group. The winning group’s proposal describes how Target can have an in-house implementation of REMS for opioids. The newly proposed REMS modification will require more proactive and extensive involvement of major participants in health care.

Cosenza said the case study and experience has prepared her to see the vital importance of enhanced communication between pharmacist and Target store guest.

Target executives said they were impressed by the creativity exhibited by each of the groups. Lien Nguyen, a Target executive, said the work of the students had a direct relation to Target’s business strategy to be innovative.

Target supports programs and activities that educate students through experience in their fields of study. The Case Study Competition helps students apply classroom learning to real life business challenges and explore retail as a career option. The Target Campus Grant program provides financial support to schools for programs that develop and influence future influence future business and community leaders.

Target is a regular presence at Xavier, recruiting promising students for internships as well as full-time career opportunities. With its strong values, dynamic culture and commitment to team member development, Target continues to seek, attract, and retain the best talent.

Women's Issues Roundtable Discussion at XU April 27

New Orleans LA - Students from Xavier University of Louisiana’s Honors Public Speaking class will present a roundtable discussion on “Women’s Issues Around the World” Tuesday, April 27, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the University Center ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

The roundtable will feature Bridget Kimbell of the New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council; Jennifer Glick from the Institute for Women's Ethnic Studies; Taslim van Hattum, an activist, social worker, and public health professional; and Anna Franchou from LatiNola.

“Each of the community partners will give a brief presentation and be available to answer questions. In addition there will be information tables at the event,” said student coordinator Paris White.

The event is being sponsored by XU communications department’s Honors Public Speaking Scholars, led by faculty member Dr. Kimberly Chandler. For more information visit or contact Chandler at 504-520-5091.

XU Music Professor Premieres Opera at New England Conservatory

New Orleans, LA – A  New Orleans based composer and professor of music at Xavier University of Louisiana, will see the premiere of his latest opera at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Dr. Dan Shore’s latest work, entitled “An Embarrassing Position,” will be performed at the Conservatory May 3-4. The opera, based on a sketch by Kate Chopin, is set in New Orleans in the 1890s, and takes its musical inspiration from 19th-century Creole composers like Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Basile Barès.

“It’s a direct result of my experiences here in the city,” Shore explains. “I wrote the entire score in my office at Xavier, and we tested out a scene last semester with our campus opera workshop.”

There is an additional tribute to Xavier in the opera: featured prominently in the libretto are the names of all of his colleagues in the music department.

“I needed a few extra names, and all of a sudden they just popped into my head: Wilfred [Delphin], Malcolm [Breda], and Dara [Rahming]. Then I knew I had to work all of them into the text, including our honorary music faculty from the theology department, Father Phillip Linden.”

The one-act comedy deals with the troubles of a young bachelor running for office.  Late one night after a so-called “political meeting,” the lovely and naïve daughter of a family friend unexpectedly announces herself. Before he can figure out what to do with her, there is another knock at the door: June Jinkins, the gossip columnist for the New Orleans Times-Democrat!

“I wanted to write something bright, funny, and a little zany. And I wanted to explore that period of time when women were becoming freer and more assertive, but were still at least lightly bound by earlier conventions of behavior.

In Kate Chopin’s version the reporter is a man, but when I read about the history of New Orleans newspapers and ran across people like Eliza Nicholson and Martha Fields, I knew I wanted her to be a woman.”

Xavier’s opera workshop will produce the entire opera in the fall of 2010.

“I’m tremendously proud of the work our students have done,” said Shore. “On April 23 and 24 we are putting on Menotti’s ‘The Medium,’ which will be the first full opera performed at Xavier since Hurricane Katrina. Xavier has a tremendous history of opera theater, and I’m thrilled to be here as we begin renewing that tradition.”

Shore, who holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, moved to New Orleans from Boston in 2008 to join his wife Meredeth Rouse, who was playing English horn with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

His 2007 opera “The Beautiful Bridegroom,” hailed as “a little masterpiece” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David del Tredici, recently won the National Opera Association’s Chamber Opera Composition Competition. It has been produced eleven times throughout the country.

For more information, please contact Dan Shore at (617) 947-6282 or, or visit or contact the Xavier Department of Music at 504-520-7597.

XU to Award Honorary Degree to Music Legend Bartholomew

New Orleans LA – Local music giant Dave Bartholomew is slated to receive an honorary degree at the 2010 Xavier University commencement May 8 at 10:00 a.m. at the Keifer Lakefront Arena.

Bartholomew, a trumpet player, composer, arranger and producer, helped develop and define the New Orleans sound which was so influential in the 1950s. He was key in the transformation from jump blues and big-band swing to rhythm and blues and rock and roll.

He partnered with fellow New Orleanian Fats Domino and created hits such as the "Fat Man," "Blueberry Hill" and "I'm Walkin."

In addition to his work with Domino, Bartholomew also wrote hits for other singers including “I hear you knocking,” a hit for Gale Storm in the 1950's, and again for Dave Edmunds  in the 70's; “ One Night” and Witchcraft” which were both hits for Elvis Presley. Pat Boone’s cover of "Ain’t That a Shame," and Rick Nelson’s version of "I'm Walkin'" were top twenty hits in the late '50s and early '60s.

Bartholomew is the recipient of the Rhythm and Blues Pioneer Award (1996), was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998 and most recently, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

He is probably best known by members of the Xavier alumni community for his many years of performing with his band for the New Orleans Alumni Chapter’s annual Jazz Roundup event.

In addition to Bartholomew's honorary degree, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address the 600 expected Xavier seniors, including 170 College of Pharmacy students. This will be Duncan's first opportunity to launch his nationwide campaign designed to encourage more African American college students – especially male students – to consider teaching in the nation’s public schools.

For more information on the 2010 Xavier University Commencement visit the website at:

XU Students Travel to Grand Isle to Prevent Coastal Erosion

New Orleans LA - A costal restoration project on Fifi Island near Grand Isle is the destination for fifteen Xavier University students on Saturday, April 17.

Members of the XU chapter of the Tri Beta (Beta Beta Beta) biology honor society will plant about 1,000 plants on Fifi Island to assist in controlling coastal erosion, and give protection from future storms.

The students have already grown about 800 of the plants on the mid city campus.

“We have about five different species of plants that we’ve grown and will be planting to help with erosion,” said Steve Morgan, president of Tri Beta, a junior biology major from Gray, LA who began doing research at Nicholls State University while still a student in high school.

Fifi Island runs parallel to Grand Isle (Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island) and protects the bayside of the developed island from wave action during strong northerly winds. Barrier islands are the first line of defense when storm surge from hurricanes threaten inland areas.

Sister Grace Mary Flickinger, S.B.S. is the faculty advisor. XU faculty members Kristal Huggins and Harris McFerrin will accompany the students.

For more information on the project and Saturday's trip, contact Steve Morgan at 985-637-8600 or Flickinger at 504-520-7526.

New Issue of XU Undergraduate Research Journal Available Online

New Orleans LA - The Center for Undergraduate Research at Xavier University of Louisiana has announced publication of the new issue (Volume 7.2) of XULAneXUS, the University’s online undergraduate student research journal.

The current issue, which is available at, offers peer-reviewed scholarship from a wide range of disciplines, including: Rent-A-Dreads, Romanticism, and Rastafarianism: Sexual Tourism and Identity Politics in Jamaica by Cassandra Shepard, history; An Attributional Analysis of Personality Traits: An Assessment of Actor Conscientiousness on Internality, and The Social Barbie by Xavier Readus, biology; Anomie by Niles Clyde Lang, art; The Impact of Globalization on Post World War II Japan by Phillip Luu, psychology; Observing the Elderly through the Eyes of a Developmental Theorist by Chinyelu Onuora, psychology; Can Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom Coexist? by Lauren Pertuis, chemistry; and Assessing, Organizing, and Indexing Digitized Historical Documents: Constructing a Digital Library and a New Approach to Historical Research by Benjamin Moore & Catherin Morales, physics/psychology.
The articles can be viewed online and downloaded as printable versions. XULAneXUS publishes the outstanding scholarship of undergraduates in every academic discipline at Xavier through annual or bi-annual online volumes.

For more information contact Dr. Ross Louis at

XU Student Research to be Showcased at Festival of Scholars 2010

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana students get to showcase their own research projects at the annual Festival of Scholars April 15-16 in the University Center.

The Festival of Scholars is a celebration of Xavier’s undergraduate research and includes presentations of art, photography, creative writing, and performances. In the past the campus has hosted 125 presentations over two days. This year the Festival will run from noon to 5:00 p.m. Thursday (April 15) and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday (April 16).

In addition to the usual poster presentations and demonstrations, one of the research projects will be a live performance examining New Orleans issues related to housing, masculine identity, citizenship and Mardi Gras.

Three student scholars will investigate issues related to New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina through the lens of performance. The students portray themselves as researchers who examine the issues. The students also perform characters developed from their archival, oral history, and participant-observe research process. The performance is organized as a montage of brief scenes repeatedly alternating
between projects and performers.

The performance is the culmination of a three-semester research process, funded by the XU Center for Undergraduate Research and the Mellon Foundation. Student researchers/performers are Winston Boyd, an English Major from New Orleans (McDonogh 35 High School); Kaitlyn Gaddis, a communications major from Snellville GA (South Gwinnett High); and Val Williams, an English major from New Orleans (Xavier Prep).

For more information on Xavier’s annual Festival of Scholars, call 520-7543.

XU Lagniappe Weekend 2010 for accepted Students May 28-29

New Orleans LA - An opportunity to talk with faculty and upperclassmen in their prospective academic departments, and “take care of a little business” at the same time, awaits pre-freshmen at Xavier University of Louisiana’s special Lagniappe Weekend May 28-29.

All first-time freshmen students admitted to Xavier for the Fall 2010 semester are invited to participate in this orientation preview called XU Lagniappe Weekend. Regional students who intend to enroll at Xavier in the fall are required to attend. This includes students from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee.

Lagniappe participants, both out-of-towners and locals, are invited to stay in the residence halls on campus to get a taste of student life at Xavier.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet current Xavier students and speak with faculty in their prospective academic departments. Advance Placement tests will be offered in reading and mathematics and those students who require developmental courses will learn about summer sessions for these at Xavier (the most affordable college summer tuition in the city!).

Parents will meet with representatives from administrative areas like financial aid, student health services, and student accounts. In addition to all the business matters, campus and city tours are available for parents. Lagniappe participants who pay their acceptance deposits and verify health clearance will receive a copy of their Fall course schedule too.

For more information on XU’s Lagniappe Weekend 2010 or to register, visit the site at:  or call 504-520-5133.

XU Opera Presents “The Medium” April 23 & 24

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University Music Department will present Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera “The Medium” on Friday, April 23, at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 24, at 2:00 p.m., both in the Administration Building Auditorium.

Both performances are free and open to the public.

The Opera is directed by XU music professors Dan Shore and Dara Rahming ‘95. Dr. Wilfred Delphin ‘71 will accompany on piano, while Dr. John Ware ‘77 will conduct. The student cast includes Danielle Edinburgh-Wilson of New Orleans, Crystal Morris of Jackson MS, Kapria Joseph of Brooklyn NY, Dedrian Hogan of Baton Rouge LA, Ayanna Hampton of Memphis TN, Lesley Smith of New Orleans, and Louis Moore of
Algiers LA.

Edinburgh-Wilson received glowing reviews last year when she starred in “Mahalia! A Gospel Musical” at the Jefferson Performing Arts Society.

“Although it is a relatively short opera (one hour), this is the first complete, two-act opera presented by Xavier since Hurricane Katrina,” said Shore.

For more information on the Xavier Opera production, contact the XU Music Department at 504-520-7597.

XU Picks Alden McDonald Jr. for Hospital Board
New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana has selected New Orleans banker and community leader Alden J. McDonald, Jr. as its representative on the board that will govern the proposed University Medical Center (UMC), formerly Charity Hospital.

In a letter to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal dated March 29, Xavier President Dr. Norman C. Francis officially submitted McDonald’s name for inclusion on the hospital governing board.

“Alden McDonald is the ideal candidate to serve on this critical and vitally important board,” stated Dr. Francis. “I am confident in his abilities and firmly believe that his commitment to the New Orleans community as well as his extensive experience serving on a multitude of local, regional and national boards uniquely qualifies him for this appointment."

As the founding President and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust Company, one of the five largest African-American owned financial institutions in the United States, McDonald, a New Orleans native, is nationally recognized as a catalyst in the movement of minority businesses into the mainstream economy. 

Serving as both a business leader and a community leader, he has devoted his life to community development, supporting civic organizations, and empowering businesses and individuals. In 2001, he received The Times Picayune Loving Cup Award.

Widely recognized both locally and nationally for his endeavors, McDonald was one of Fortune magazine’s 2006 Portraits of Power. He also received the A. G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award from Black Enterprise magazine.

The memorandum outlining the governance structure calls for the new hospital to be operated by a non-profit organization run by an eleven-member board of directors. Governor Bobby Jindal has appointed four non-permanent, independent board members while Tulane and Xavier universities are allowed to appoint one permanent member, and LSU is allowed four permanent members. Southern University at New Orleans, Dillard University and Delgado Community College have one permanent member on a rotating basis. 

The Culture of the Second Line

New Orleans, LA – The Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Xavier University of Louisiana will present a program – Buckjump: The Culture of the Second Line – April 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom, third floor.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will focus on the origin, uses and forms of the term “second line” in New Orleans culture. Included will be a panel discussion, authentic second line dancing, audience participation and musical examples from the Rebirth Brass Band and Dr. Michael White’s Liberty Brass Band.

For more info contact Lasana Cambrice at 520-7543.

XU to Host SNphA Regional Conference

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana will host the annual regional conference of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) April 23–25 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

This year’s theme is: “Rebirth, Renew, Revive: Rebuilding New Orleans and Its Healthcare System for the 21st Century.” The event will feature nationally known scientist Dr. Leonard Jack, the Associate Dean for Minority Research at Xavier.

All pharmaceutical students and professionals are invited to attend and engage in discussions about escalating health issues from Diabetes in Black America to the various roles pharmacists have in addressing health disparities among minority groups.

“It is very important that we get the message out to all health professionals to be a part of this vital dialogue that can change the course of an entire community.” said Mike Acheampong, president-elect of the XU chapter of the organization and an XU pharmacy student. “This forum will be an opportunity to address issues that are dramatically impacting our society.”

The Student National Pharmaceutical Association was founded in 1974 at the campus of Florida A&M University. The organization is a student-led educational service association of pharmacy students who are concerned about the poor minority representation in pharmacy and health-related issues. The purpose of SNPhA is to plan, organize, coordinate and execute programs geared toward the improvement for the health, educational and social environment of the community.

For more information about the conference and registration, visit or contact Dr. Cori Brock at (504) 520-5677.

Students Selected for Social Entrepreneurship Program

New Orleans LA - Three juniors have been selected for the initial class of Xavier/United Negro College Fund’s Social Entrepreneurship Fellow program.

Social entrepreneurship refers to the employment of business principles to address a social mission or problem. The UNCF grant allows the University to encourage and mentor African-American students to become more involved in social entrepreneurship.

The students – Sierra Hall, a business-management major from New Orleans (McMain High); Andrea Hodge, an art education major from Mason MI (Okemos High); and Nile Lang, an art major from El Sobrante CA (Pinolde Valley High) – will receive assistance and training in leadership and business skills, participate in an eight-week summer internship, and be eligible for a two-year, $10,000 grant if they commit to working in some type of social entrepreneurship organization or business.

“So often we think of non-profits as the sole areas of social entrepreneurship,” said grant coordinator Dr. Pamela Franco. “However, corporate or other for-profit businesses can also foster social entrepreneurship. The goal of this program is to encourage African-American students to consider social entrepreneurship as a viable career objective.”    

The new program is funded through a $92,000 grant from the United Negro College Fund for social entrepreneurship.

Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Adds Three

Hattiesburg MS - The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference announced today the addition of three new members for the 2010-2011 athletic season.

The three new members are Voorhees College, Fisk University and Edward Waters College. They join Xavier University, Dillard University, Southern University at New Orleans and Tougaloo College for the 2010-2011 season.
"This is great day for the GCAC. I am thrilled about the new schools that are joining us,” said Kiki Baker Barnes, conference president. “I am looking forward to the new rivalries and increased spirit that it will bring to all of our schools. We hope to expand the conference even further in the years to come."

Voorhees College is located in Denmark SC, Fisk University is in Nashville TN and Edward Waters College is located in Jacksonville FL.

Zulu Names XU Alum Historian Emeritus

New Orleans LA - Clarence Becknell ’75, MA ’81, has been designated “Historian Emeritus” by the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

Becknell has worked tirelessly over the past two decades as the public face of Zulu to educate the public about the history, significance and contributions of the organization to the Mardi Gras celebration and to the City of New Orleans.

He wrote and produced Zulu’s first documentary in 1991, arranged for historical displays, appeared on countless television and radio shows, and served as a panelist on numerous Mardi Gras Symposiums. He has also written the official book on the history of Zulu, which is nearing publication.

Earlier the organization inducted him into the Zulu Hall of Fame and granted him a life-time membership.

Becknell’s crowning achievement came in 2009 when his 100th Anniversary Exhibit “From Tramps to Kings” was displayed at the Louisiana State Museum in Jackson Square for the entire year. The impressive display covered the history of Zulu from 1909 via a vast collection of photos, artifacts and costumes - many of which were on display to the public for the first time ever.

You can read more about his efforts to promote Zulu HERE.

XU Presents “Ain’t I a Woman!” in Celebration of Women’s History Month

New Orleans LA - The Springtime at Xavier series events continue with “Ain’t I a Woman!” Thursday, March 18, 7:00 pm in the Music Building Recital Hall.

The performance by the Core Ensemble is a new chamber music theatre work that celebrates the life and times of four powerful African American women: Sojourner Truth, Zora Neale Hurston, Clementine Hunter, and Fannie Lou Hamer. The musical score includes spirituals, blues, Jazz, and contemporary concert music.

The Core Ensemble, includes Tahirah Whittington, cello, Hugh Hinton, piano, and Michael Parola, percussion, with actress Shinnerie Jackson.

“Ain’t I A Woman!” is the latest in a series of multicultural and feminist performance pieces produced by the ensemble over the past ten years. The Core Ensemble has toured in Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine, the Caribbean, and in every region of the U.S. The Core Ensemble receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The show tours
throughout the U.S. during Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

The Xavier performance is free and open to the public.

XU Faculty & Students Receive Best of the South Awards at SEJC Convention

New Orleans LA - The Southeast Journalism Conference named Xavier University of Louisiana faculty member Melinda Shelton, as its Journalism Educator of the Year 
one of the conference’s two top honors.

Shelton, who is the advisor for the Xavier Herald student newspaper was nominated
by fellow faculty in the conference and chosen by a selection committee comprised of former recipients of the award.

Xavier student Maya A. Jones of Plano TX, a sophomore mass communications major and Herald sports editor, was ranked in the top ten sports writers. Derek Reed of Long Beach CA, a senior broadcast major from and manager of the Herald website, was ranked in the top ten in that category.

The SEJC competition is open to the organization's member schools from the states recognized in its constitution as eligible for entry. This year's competition included 330 eligible entries from 32 member schools. The purpose of the SEJC Contest is to function as a journalism teaching tool as well as a competition.

The Xavier Herald student newspaper's website is

Xavier Offers Full Tuition to Top Catholic, Local Public Scholars

New Orleans LA – Top performing high school students from Catholic high schools across the nation, as well as those from public high schools in two Louisiana parishes, will be eligible for full tuition scholarships at Xavier University of Louisiana beginning with the Fall 2010 semester.

The newly-established Katharine Drexel Scholarships, named for Xavier’s founder, offer full tuition to all valedictorians and salutatorians from any Catholic high school in the United States who are admitted as first-time freshmen. The equally new Norman C. Francis Scholarships, named for Xavier’s current president, provides the same benefits to valedictorians or salutatorians from public schools in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes

Both scholarships honor the vision of Xavier’s founder St. Katharine Drexel by retaining and reinforcing the University’s Catholic foundation and values, and by increasing access and opportunity to higher education for some of the region’s most underrepresented and disadvantaged students.

“High school valedictorians and salutatorians have many choices when it comes to attending college, and although Xavier is already a popular choice for many, we want all of them to be aware that there are NO financial barriers to attend Xavier because of their outstanding academic performance," said Dr. Loren Blanchard, senior vice president for academic affairs. “And as far as we know, Xavier is the first university to offer such a far-reaching scholarship opportunity to Catholic high school graduates.”

Xavier, the nation’s only Historically Black and Catholic university, offers preparation in 47 major areas through its undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, its graduate division in Education and Black Catholic Studies, and its College of Pharmacy.

The University has established itself as the leader in science education. Xavier continues to rank first nationally in the number of African American students earning undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry and physics. It also ranks first in the nation in placing African American students into medical schools and has held that rank for the past 17 years. In addition, the College of Pharmacy, one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana, is among the nation’s top three producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients.

The new scholarships add to the variety of financial options available to qualified students. High school juniors or seniors who wish to learn more information about scholarships and applying to Xavier University may visit the website at

U.S. Secretary of Education to Address Xavier 2010 Graduates

New Orleans LA - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be the keynote speaker when Xavier University of Louisiana holds its 83rd annual commencement Saturday, May 8, at 10:00 a.m. in the Lakefront Arena.

Duncan, who was appointed by then President-elect Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Inauguration Day 2009, is expected to address nearly 500 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional students and their families at the commencement ceremony.

The annual Baccalaureate Mass and Honors Convocation will be held the preceding evening, Friday (May 7), at 7:00 p.m. in the Gymnasium.

Duncan has called education "the most pressing issue facing America," adding that "preparing young people for success in life is not just a moral obligation of society" but also an "economic imperative." Over the past year he has worked under the leadership of President Obama and with all those involved in education to enhance education in America. See related story HERE.

Prior to his appointment as secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools from 2001-2008.

As CEO, Duncan united education reformers, teachers, principals and business stake holders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening over 100 new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down under performing schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives.

During his tenure an all-time high of 66.7 percent of the district's elementary school students met or exceeded state reading standards, and 70.6 percent met or exceeded the state's math standards. Chicago Public High School students posted gains on the ACT at three times the national rate.

The Illinois Education Research Council lauded the Chicago Public Schools for its efforts to bring top teaching talent into the city's classrooms. The number of teachers achieving National Board Certification – the highest education credential available to teachers – increased from 11 in 1999 to 1,191 in 2008.

Prior to joining the Chicago Public Schools, Duncan ran the non-profit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative (1992-1998), which helped fund a college education for a class of inner-city children under the I Have A Dream program. He was part of a team that later started a new public elementary school built around a financial literacy curriculum, the Ariel Community Academy, which today ranks among the top elementary schools in Chicago.

In 2008 he was honored by the Civic Federation of Chicago and the Anti-Defamation League and in 2007 he received the Niagara Foundation's Education Award, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Enterprising Educator Award and the University High School Distinguished Alumni Award.

Duncan graduated from Harvard University. He was co-captain of Harvard's basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. He is married to Karen Duncan and they have two children, daughter Clare (8) and son Ryan (5).

St. Katharine Drexel’s Feast Day to be Celebrated at Xavier  

New Orleans LA - Alumni and students at Xavier University of Louisiana will celebrate the feast day of the University’s Founder, St. Katharine Drexel, on Sunday, March 7, 2009 in the University Chapel.

The New Orleans Alumni Club and the Office of Campus Ministry will host the celebration of St. Katharine Drexel’s feast day at the 12:30 p.m. mass in the Chapel, located on the first floor of the Administration building.

 The New Orleans Alumni Chapter will host a luncheon following the Mass. For tickets to the luncheon contact XU Alumni Relations at 504-520-6782.

The Office of Campus Ministry will also dedicate a Mass on St. Katharine Drexel’s actual feast day, which is Wednesday, March 3, at the daily noon Mass in the Chapel.

XU Names Alabama State Assistant as Volleyball Coach

New Orleans LA – Al’lisa Hale is the new women's volleyball coach at Xavier University of Louisiana, Athletics Director Dennis Cousin announced Wednesday.

Hale, 28 and a native of Mobile, Ala., comes to Xavier from NCAA Division I member Alabama State, where she was assistant volleyball coach the past three seasons and the athletics department's CHAMPS/Life Skills Program coordinator.

"Al'lisa has a tremendous amount of volleyball knowledge, both as a player and as a recruiting coach," Cousin said. "We think she'll do an excellent job at building this program from the ground up."

Xavier started a women's volleyball program in 2003 but suspended it after two seasons in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Gold Nuggets, a member of the NAIA, will resume competition this fall.

Hale is familiar with New Orleans after playing two seasons at the University of New Orleans. She then transferred to Alabama A&M and helped the Bulldogs win Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships in 2002 and 2003. She was first-team All-SWAC as a senior and made the second team as a junior.

Hale, who was known in college as Kneckie Stallsworth, received her bachelor's degree from Alabama A&M in 2005. Before going to Alabama State she was the girls volleyball coach and girls assistant track coach at Mobile's C.F. Vigor High School.

“Xavier's prestigious reputation attracted me to apply for the job," Hale said. "I love the city. It has a great culture. There's a great excitement that surrounds you there. It's a place that feels like home to me."

Xavier Still #1 in Placing African American Students into Medical Schools

New Orleans, LA — Xavier University of Louisiana continues its track record of successfully placing more African American students into medical schools each year than any other higher education institution in the country, a distinction that it has maintained since 1993.

A total of sixty-nine (69) Xavier graduates were accepted into medical and dental schools during the 2008-2009 academic year. The University is off to a good start for the 2009-10 academic year as evidenced by the more than a dozen seniors who have already been accepted into medical schools.

“The distinction of leading the nation in placing so many deserving and talented young people into medical school is a clear indication of our commitment to academic success,” said Dr. Norman C. Francis, Xavier’s president. “There’s something special about Xavier."

"Our faculty and staff take great pride in working with all students from the moment they enter as freshmen until the day when they graduate and enter their chosen professions,” he added. “I’m convinced that the nurturing and academically challenging environment that we offer is a key factor in our continued leadership in not only the health professions, but in the wide range of academic disciplines that we offer.”

Xavier, the nation’s only Black & Catholic university has long enjoyed a solid reputation for its excellence in the biological and physical sciences. XU Pre-Med advisor JW Carmichael was individually recognized by Meharry Medical College with an honorary degree in 2008 for his role in helping to make Xavier the leader in African American medical school acceptances. Xavier University, founded in 1925 by St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, maintains the distinction of being the only college or University in the United States that was founded by an American born saint of the Catholic Church.

High school students interested in receiving more information on Xavier University are encouraged to visit or call 504-520-7388 or 1-877-XAVIERU..

Animator Lyndon Barrois to speak at XU's Black History Convocation Feb. 23

New Orleans, LA- Well known Hollywood animator and New Orleans native Lyndon Barrois will be the guest speaker for Xavier University’s Black History Convocation on Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 12:15 p.m. at the Xavier gym.

A 1990 Xavier graphic arts graduate, Barrois first made news with his unusual hobby of sculpting figures from gum wrappers, something he began at 12 years old. He was featured in the Xavier Gold magazine and the works were exhibited at the 1990 Super Bowl held in New Orleans.

He received a MFA in animation at CalArts where he created sports films including They Were the First to Ride - an animated documentary portrayal of 11 African American jockeys who won the Kentucky Derby between 1875 and 1902.

Barrois has been animation supervisor on films such Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Matrix revolution, the Matrix Reloaded, Happy Feet, Elektra, and the Chronicles of Narnia. Other screen credits include digital effects artist on Speed Racer, CGI artist on the Out of Towners, and animator on Babe, Pig in the City.  He also directed an episode of the animated television series, The PJ’s featuring Eddie Murphy.

Barrois has been interviewed and profiled in Black Film and Black Enterprise magazines.

The Xavier University Chorus and Symphonic Band will also perform at the convocation, held each year as part of the university's observance of Black History Month.

Gold Rush again wins in overtime against Dillard

New Orleans LA - Ryan DeRousselle scored 15 of his career-high 19 points after halftime Saturday, and Devin Andrew's 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining in overtime lifted Xavier University of Louisiana to a 77-74 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory over Dillard in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crosstown Classic at The Barn.

The Gold Rush (16-12 overall, 7-9 GCAC) defeated the Bleu Devils (4-20, 1-15) for the second time in overtime this season.

Andrew, who finished with 14 points, made his 3-pointer from the left corner to give Xavier a 75-72 lead and cap an 8-1 run. Kevin Miller, a freshman from Baton Rouge and Catholic High, made two free throws for the Rush with 7.9 seconds remaining for the final points. James Burkes missed a 3-pointer for Dillard on the final possession.

Jamaan Kenner and Dannie Woods scored 12 points apiece for Xavier. Woods reached double figures for the second straight game after missing 12 consecutive games due to injury. Mico Sjekloca scored 24 points for the Bleu Devils, and Burkes had 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Sjekloca's 3-point play with 5.8 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 64, then Andrew missed from 30 feet as the period expired.

Xavier leads the series with Dillard, its city, conference and HBCU rival, 72-47. The Rush won 10 of the last 11 meetings and 13 of the last 15. Xavier is 4-0 in overtime against Dillard in the last five seasons..

Haitian Film Series Begins Feb. 25

New Orleans LA - The Haiti Cherie Earthquake Relief campaign at Xavier University  
of Louisiana will host a series of films and discussions about Haiti on the Xavier campus during the next three months. All films are free and open to the public.

The complete schedule of movies is:

Feb. 25 - Egalite for All: Touissaint L’Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution with discussant Dr. Elizabeth Manley (History). 6:00 p.m. in the XU University Center, Room 205.

March 17 - Road To Fondwa with discussant Dr. Monique Guillory (Administration), noon in the XU University Center, Room 205.  

April 22 - The Agronomist with discussant Dr. Robin Vander (English), 6:00 p.m. in the XU University Center, Room 205.

For more information on the Xavier Haitian Film Series, contact Dr. Pamela R. Franco at (504) 520-7462 or see the flyer HERE.

Haiti Relief Food Drive at Xavier Friday

New Orleans LA - Xavier University of Louisiana students, faculty and staff will be collecting badly-needed food supplies on campus to assist the victims of the January earthquake in Haiti on Friday, Feb. 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The food drive is part of the university's Haiti Cherie (Dearest Haiti) Relief Drive launched
after the disaster.

There will be three manned collection sites on campus: The University Center
lobby, the College of Pharmacy lobby and the Xavier South building lobby.

Students, faculty and staff have been asked to bring un-opened packages of
non-perishable foods such as rice, beans, oil, salt, bottled water and canned
goods – including canned meats like tuna, chicken, sardines, salmon and corned beef. 

The food donations will be transferred by barge next week to Haiti, under the
auspices of the Haitian Association for Humanitarian Development (AHDH) one
of the university's designated relief agencies.

The campus has been actively involved in efforts to benefit the victims of the Haiti
earthquake since the disaster struck. Cash donations are collected twice a week
in the University Center, and employees have the option of making donations
through payroll deduction.  The students have organized a blood drive, encouraged
text donations, and the University community has already raised nearly $12,000 in
donations and pledges since launching the campaign.  Activities are expected to
continue throughout the Spring 2010 semester.

Xavier’s fundraising efforts will benefit three nonprofit entities engaged directly in
earthquake relief including the Haitian Association for Humanitarian Development
(AHDH) , the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS) Haiti Mission, and
Yele Haiti Earthquake Relief.

Harvey Scores 27 to Lead Gold Rush Past No. 25 Tougaloo

New Orleans LA - Michael Harvey scored a career-high 27 points Monday to lead Xavier University of Louisiana to a 79-68 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory over NAIA No. 25 Tougaloo.

It was the third victory of the season for the Gold Rush (14-10 overall, 5-7 GCAC) against a ranked opponent.

Harvey scored 17 points in the first half and put Xavier ahead to stay, 32-30, with a 3-pointer with 1:26 remaining in the period. He then made three free throws with nine seconds remaining to give Xavier a 35-31 halftime lead. Xavier's biggest lead was 75-56 in the final 90 seconds.

Ryan DeRousselle had 13 points and a career-best nine assists for Xavier. Keith Fisher scored 22 points and Deshun Carter 15 for Tougaloo (16-6, 7-5), and Sylvester Collins had 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Bulldogs have lost three in a row and five of seven since a 14-1 start.

Gold Nuggets Rally Late for 12th Consecutive Victory

New Orleans LA - Brittany Powell scored 12 points Monday and started a late rally which lifted NAIA No. 21 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 51-44 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball victory over Tougaloo.

The victory was the 12th in a row for the Gold Nuggets (19-5, 12-0), who snapped the three-game winning streak of the Lady Bulldogs (11-12, 7-5).

Tougaloo didn't score again after Jerrica Williams made the first of two free throws with 2:48 remaining to give the Lady Bulldogs a 44-43 lead. Xavier scored the final eight points and went ahead to stay on Powell's three-point play at 1:56. Tougaloo committed six turnovers during its late drought.

Jasmine Grant and Christina Warren added 10 points apiece for Xavier, which has won 54 of its last 56 GCAC games at The Barn. Xavier set a school record by allowing less than 50 points for the fifth consecutive game. The previous record was four consecutive games during the 1995-96 season.

Applications for Fall 2010 Continue Upward Swing

New Orleans LA - As the University's priority deadline of March 1 fast approaches, the Xavier University of Louisiana Office of Admissions reports that applications for the fall 2010 semester are running 15 percent higher than last year.

That’s music to the ears of XU Dean of Admissions Winston Brown, who attributes much of the increase to a growing national interest in the University’s varied offerings.

“Applications from local students remain steady, but we are seeing additional interest from prospects from throughout our region and across the country,” said Brown. “That makes it more important than ever for high school students who are serious about attending Xavier to apply as early as possible.”

Some of the increase can also be directly credited to Xavier’s enhanced marketing strategies, including a refined website that offers complete admissions information to prospective students and allows them to take advantage of the University’s preferred online application process.

Brown said the Office of Admissions has also been aggressive in distributing marketing materials and making personal visits to traditionally-strong recruiting areas throughout the country, as well expanding into other areas.

Meanwhile, enrollment at the University continues to hold steady in the present academic year with a total enrollment of 3,190 attending classes in Spring 2010 semester. This represents an increase over last spring’s enrollment.

Brown said this is evidence that enrollment is expanding in spite of the uncertain economic times. “A Xavier education remains an excellent value,” he said.

Black History Month Events Announced 

New Orleans LA – A number of activities have been scheduled for students during the February 2010 Black History Month celebration at Xavier University of Louisiana.  

The University will present the annual Black History Convocation for all students on Feb. 23. That same week the Youth Motivational Task Force/Black Executive Exchange Program will be on campus giving presentations to classes and meeting one on one with students.

Other events include a panel discussion for “Journey for Justice: The A.P. Tureaud Story on Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the University Ballroom; a performance by the Casa Samba Dance company on Feb. 11, the Thinkfast Black History game on Feb 22 and Black History movie night on Feb. 25.

For more information on Black History Month activities, visit

Xavier LA Campus Responds to Crisis in Haiti

New Orleans LA - The Xavier University of Louisiana campus community continues its fundraising efforts for the “HAITI CHERIE” campaign to benefit the victims of the Haitian earthquake with regular donation collections, payroll deduction options for faculty and staff and a “Help Haiti” campus blood drive.  

In response to the devastation caused by the massive January earthquake in Haiti, the XU community launched its HAITI CHERIE ("Dearest Haiti") campaign encouraging all students, faculty and staff to donate toward ongoing relief efforts.

A special university fund has been established for donations from the campus community, with all funds raised being distributed equally to three separate relief organizations. [visit HERE for details]

The XU community's relief efforts have been ongoing since the disaster with campus donations being collected every Tuesday & Friday at the University Center lobby.

As of Jan. 29 the campaign had already collected $10,893 in donations and pledges. Dr. Pamela Franco, executive assistant for Academic Affairs and the university’s Haiti Cherie committee chair, says more will be done to help the Haitian people throughout the Spring 2010 semester.

“Our campus student organizations are busy planning special fund raising activities," she said. " A tee-shirt sale and a benefit concert are some of those planned events. Students have also inquired about visiting Haiti to help with recovery and rebuilding of the capital city.”

Franco adds that faculty and staff members have begun exploring ways to make Xavier students more engaged, adding that, “We hope to see the introduction of new courses and service learning projects that focus on Haiti and the rebuilding efforts.”

A special "Help for Haiti" campus blood drive, sponsored by the Resident Assistants of XU, was held with all donors that day receiving a free N.O. Saints T-shirt identifying them as a "Who Dat for Life."

In addition, the Office of Human Resources has established a special employee payroll deduction option for staff and faculty members who wish to use that option to donate to the campus Haitian earthquake relief fund. [see HERE for details]

For more information on the Xavier University community's response to the Haiti earthquake disaster visit HERE.

YMTF/BEEP Welcomes Black Professionals to Campus

New Orleans LA - Accomplished professionals from the public and private sectors will visit the Xavier University of Louisiana campus Feb. 21-23 to participate in the Office of Career Service’s annual Youth Motivation Task Force/Black Executive Exchange Program (YMTF/BEEP).

A team of 55 African American professionals from fields including government, business, education, law, medicine, insurance, social work, military and entrepreneurship will be visiting classes to discuss with students the realities of life after college. The team will include 23 alumni.

Other activities scheduled include lunch with faculty from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on Feb. 21 and a networking mixer with students at 4:00 p.m. on that same day.

XU alumni participating in this year’s program are Ambassador Charles Baquet III ‘63, Chad Broussard ‘99, Dr. Lynette Smith Causey ‘72, Clover Davis ‘76, Charles Donaldson Jr. ’06, Danyale Ellis ‘97, Dr. Pamela Payne Foster, Dr. Raquel Harris ‘92, Keith Hill ‘75, Kristi Hubbard ‘78, Dr. Adrienne Johnson ‘95, Frank Joshua Sr. ‘84, Todd Keller ’85, Kenneth Loyd ‘86, Dr. Ambrose Martin III ‘76, Vernon Martin Jr. ‘73, Willie J. McKinney ‘90, Giovanni Morris ‘90, Donald Naylor Jr. ‘96, Shondra Patterson ‘97, Randall Schexnayder ‘80, Tamara Thomas ‘98, Dr. Kyshun Webster ’99, and Vernon Williams ‘85.

Carolyn Thomas ’71, XU Director of Career Services, serves as Program Chair.

LEH Names Dr. Michael White "Humanist of the Year"

New Orleans LA - Dr. Michael White ’76, celebrated jazz musician/historian and professor music and Spanish at Xavier University of Louisiana, has been named "2010 Humanist of the Year" by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Each year, the LEH honors Louisianians who have made outstanding contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities. White, a renowned jazz clarinetist, bandleader, composer, jazz historian and Xavier University music and Spanish educator, will receive the organization’s top honor at the 2010 awards ceremony March 6 at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow LA.
When nominating White for the award, Nick Spitzer, producer and host of the American Routes syndicated radio broadcast and Tulane University professor of American studies and anthropology, described White as the “foremost player of traditional New Orleans jazz clarinet alive today.”

In addition to having revived, performed and recorded important original repertoire and arrangements by Jelly Roll Morton and the late clarinetist George Lewis, White has created, performed and recorded new songs in traditional style.

“White is also known in the community as a great artist and humanist, always ready to lend his clarinet to a second-line parade, jazz funeral or other occasion; always ready to speak out on the meaning of traditional New Orleans jazz music in our lives and in the recovery of New Orleans culture post-catastrophe,” said Spitzer.

The LEH is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It’s a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities. For more info contact Brian Boyles at the LEH 504-620-2632.

Dr. John Ware to Receive Big Easy Lifetime Achievement Award

New Orleans LA - Dr. John Ware ’77, a professor of music at Xavier University of Louisiana and conductor/music director of the New Orleans Black Chorale, has been selected to receive the Big Easy Entertainment Award’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.

He will be honored at the organization’s 16th annual Tribute to the Classical Arts benefit gala March 9 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. The benefit supports the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education.

The designated Rosa Keller Endowed Chair in Music at Xavier, Ware teaches voice, conducting, vocal diction, vocal literature and pedagogy as well as serving as conductor of the XU Concert Choir and Opera Theater. He has served as the department chairman since 1995. 

His major commitment to the Greater New Orleans community has been through his work with the New Orleans Black Chorale, which is dedicated to preserving and performing the American Negro Spiritual and the art music of African American composers. In addition to its annual season of concerts, The Black Chorale has performed for New Orleans Mayoral inaugurations, several state and national conventions, Habitat for Humanity, a national meeting of the Red Cross and the 1984 World’s Fair.

Ware has been honored for his community work by the Friends of the Amistad Research Center, the local Links Chapter and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Ware has composed a number of choral works for his group at Xavier and for the New Orleans Black Chorale. In March of 2009, Ware premiered “Virtue on the Mountain Top,” music and text written by him in honor of the newly elected President, Barack Obama.

Political Science Major Receives MLK Service Award

New Orleans LA - Edward Jenkins III, a Xavier University of Louisiana senior political science major from New Orleans (De La Salle High School), was honored for his community service during the 24th annual Martin Luther Ling, Jr., Week for Peace Celebration.

He was recognized for embodying the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a community leader and a spirit for change in various efforts to restore, rebuild and renew the New Orleans community.

A member of the student-led organization Mobilization at Xavier (M.A.X), Jenkins is a project coordinator for Outreach Day, a program designed to enhance the educational, cultural and social enrichment of young students. He is also active in the Student Government Association (SGA) and numerous other campus organizations. He has served as vice president of Phi Alpha Delta Pre Law Fraternity and vice president of the Xavier Activity Board, as well as on the SGA Election Board. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a mentor in the XU LOVE mentoring program. 

Jenkins was one of the four students from the MLK Week-sponsoring local institutions (XU, Tulane, Dillard and Loyola) to receive a community service award during the convocation. Civic leader and businessman, Charles Teamer, a nationally-recognized expert in the field of higher education and financial management, was presented the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award during the same event.

Author, TV commentator and syndicated columnist Roland Martin delivered the keynote address at the convocation. Other MLK Week for Peace events included a community service day and expressions of unity celebration.

Faculty Member in Concert

New Orleans LA – Xavier University of Louisiana faculty member and pianist Dr. Wilfred Delphin ‘71 joins soprano Valerie Anne Jones-Francis and baritone David Dillard for a free concert Jan. 31 at 2:00 p.m. at the UNO Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The concert, presented by the University of New Orleans Musical Excursions Series, will feature arias, art songs, opera duets and spirituals by Barber, Brahms, Boatner, Carter, Copland, Duparc, Hogan, Johnson, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner.

Delphin, an emeritus professor of Southern Illinois University and currently Artist-in-Residence at Xavier, is a musician of international renown. Jones-Francis, who has a master's from UNO, a bachelor's degree from Dillard University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, performs locally, nationally and internationally; while Dillard, professor of voice at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, has sung operatic roles with such companies as the Austin Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, DiCapo Opera Theater, Union Avenue Opera Theatre and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Roland Martin to Highlight MLK Week Celebration

New Orleans, LA - Author and syndicated columnist Roland Martin will be the keynote speaker for the 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace, Jan. 18-22, 2010.

The Martin Luther King Week for Peace is presented by Xavier, Tulane, Loyola and Dillard Universities. This year’s theme is “Change: from Rhetoric to Action.”

In addition to the featured Wednesday night lecture – at which Lifetime Achievement and Student Community Service awards will be presented – other MLK week activities include a community day of service and the Expressions of Unity celebration. All events are free.

A nationally syndicated columnist and sought-after political analyst, Martin hosts his own one-hour Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin," and serves as a commentator for the TV One Cable Network and an analyst for CNN, appearing on a variety of shows. He has authored two books, Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith and Speak, Brother! A Black Man's View of America.

He was named one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans by Ebony Magazine in both 2008 and 2009.

A graduate of Texas A&M and Louisiana Baptist University, Martin got his start in print journalism, serving as executive editor/general manager of the Chicago Defender, the nation's most historic Black newspaper, and as owner/publisher of Dallas-Fort Worth Heritage, a Christian monthly newspaper. He has won more than 30 professional awards for journalistic excellence, including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.

The complete calendar of MLK events follows: 

Monday, Jan. 18
- Community Service Day, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
     Staging at Xavier University Center

Wednesday, Jan. 20

- MLK Convocation: Reception 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.; Convocation 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    Presentation of Lifetime Achievement Award, Student Community Service Awards
    and speaker Roland Martin
       Tulane McAlister Auditorium

Friday, Jan. 22
- Expressions of Unity, 7:00 p.m.
     Dillard University

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