As president of the nation's only historically Black and Catholic university, Francis has guided Xavier's growth both in size and dimension. During his tenure, the University has more than doubled its enrollment, broadened its curriculum, expanded its campus, and strengthened its financial base. Its tradition of academic excellence has been further enhanced.
Francis, the longest-sitting university president in the U.S. (since 1968) and himself an alumnus, has been at Xavier for more than five decades as an administrator. According to the US Department of Education, Xavier continues to rank first nationally in the number of African American students earning undergraduate degrees in the biology and the life sciences, chemistry, physics and pharmacy. Xavier is one of only six schools chosen to participate in the National Science Foundation’s Model Institutions for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Mathematics program.
Xavier has been especially successful in educating health professionals. In pre-medical education, Xavier is first in the nation in placing African American students into medical schools, where it has been ranked #1 since 1993. 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.
Francis enjoys a prestigious national reputation, of which Xavier is a primary beneficiary. He has served in an advisory role to eight U.S. presidential administrations – not only on education issues, but civil rights as well – in addition to serving on 54 boards and commissions. In 2006 then-President George W. Bush presented him with the nation’s highest civil award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2009 he was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News Media Group and the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy's School of Government.
He has received 40 honorary degrees from other universities, and at least 20 major awards in recognition of his leadership in higher education as well as his unselfish service to New Orleans and to the nation.
Congratulations From Entergy
Congratulations From Gauthier, Houghtaling and Williams