central part of its Commencement celebration this year, CNR is
fundraising effort to assist in rebuilding efforts at Xavier University in New Orleans, which sustained extensive damage
from Hurricane Katrina. At its 99th Commencement Exercises on May 25,
at Radio City
CNR will confer an honorary degree on Dr. Norman C. Francis, Xavier’s
who will also give the Commencement Address.
The College of New
with Hurricane Relief Fundraising Effort for
Xavier University in New
Xavier are in many ways sister institutions. Like CNR, Xavier started
small liberal arts college founded by Catholic nuns to provide college
to a population excluded from higher education,” said Dr. Stephen J.
president of CNR.
“There are many
ways for Americans to support individuals affected by Hurricane
Katrina. We cannot personally meet all the needs of
the people of New Orleans,
as much as we might yearn to do so. However,
we can make a real difference in the future of one important part of
hurting city by supporting Xavier in its time of need. We encourage the
community and members of the public to join with the Class of 2006 in
making a generous
financial contribution to the rebuilding efforts of the
DR. NORMAN C. FRANCIS
African-American lay president of Xavier, Dr. Norman C. Francis is
for his unwavering commitment to educational and social freedom and
spiritual enlightenment and community service.
“Dr. Francis has served
as President of Xavier for 38
years, making him the longest serving university president in the U.S.,”
added Dr. Sweeny. “His outstanding accomplishments and leadership to
particularly in dealing with Hurricane Katrina, are truly remarkable.
It is for
these reasons that we will recognize Dr. Francis at our upcoming
with an honorary doctorate.”
Since his appointment as Xavier’s president
in 1968, the university has more than tripled its enrollment, broadened
curriculum, expanded its campus and received national attention for its
award-winning academic initiatives and programs. Its tradition of
excellence has fulfilled the dreams of its original founders, Saint
Drexel and her religious order, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
started his five decade-long association with Xavier when he enrolled
class of 1952. After graduating with his
baccalaureate, he became the first African-American to receive a law
University Law School.
Dr. Francis returned to his alma mater in 1955
to begin an illustrious administrative career which began as dean of
culminated in his current position as university president.
advisor to five U.S. presidents, Dr. Francis has also served as
chairman of the
Member President's Council for the United Negro College Fund, former
of the American Association of Higher Education, former member of the
the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the
the Improvement in Education, former chairman of the board of the
Association of Colleges and Schools, immediate past chairman of the
Educational Testing Service, and past member of the board of the
Assurance Society of the United States. Dr.
Francis has provided leadership for civil rights, educational, civic
religious organizations throughout his career. He is a fellow of
of Arts and Sciences and holds 31 honorary degrees from institutions of
education. In New
Orleans, he serves as chairman of the
board for Liberty Bank and Trust, co-chair of the Committee for a
Orleans, on the Advisory Board of the Times Picayune Publishing Co.,
advisory member of the Business Council of New Orleans, as well as many
ABOUT XAVIER UNIVERSITY
over six months ago, in the country’s worst
natural disaster, levee breaks caused massive flooding in every
building on the
Xavier campus. Despite massive damage, the
University has reopened its doors for the spring 2006 semester,
students, faculty and staff to the campus for what is officially the
of the “fall” semester. More than 70% of
Xavier’s pre-Katrina student body is currently enrolled and attending
surpassing dire post-hurricane estimates that only half of the
4,100 pre-Katrina students would return.
The University still
financial challenges. Xavier has had to
pre-fund substantially all of the expensive reconstruction costs
re-open the campus in January – last estimated at nearly $50 million.
To date, the
University has received no substantial funds from FEMA, and only a
settlement from insurance. While some
additional federal aid is anticipated, the University has had to borrow
to pay for necessary repairs.
University of Louisiana is Catholic and historically Black. The
purpose of the University is the promotion of a more just and humane
To this end, Xavier prepares its students to assume roles of leadership
service in society. This preparation takes place in a pluralistic
learning environment that incorporates all relevant educational means,
including research and community service.
Xavier is #1 in the
nation in the number of Doctor of Pharmacy
degrees awarded to African Americans, #1 in the nation
in placing African-American students into medical
schools, and #1 in the nation
in the number of African-American
undergraduates receiving degrees in Biology
and the life sciences.
MAKE A GIFT TO CNR XAVIER NEW