Dr. C. Reynold Verret
Dr. C. Reynold Verret grew up first in Haiti and then, after his family fled persecution by the Duvalier regime, in Brooklyn. A biochemist and immunologist, he served as department chair, dean, and provost at several US universities before becoming Xavier's president in 2015.
Dr. Norman C. Francis
Dr. Norman C. Francis enrolled at Xavier in 1948 on a work scholarship. 67 years later, he retired from Xavier as the longest-tenured university president in US history, during which time he was awarded 35 honorary degrees as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Sister Juliana Haynes
Sister Juliana Haynes, director of Xavier’s Junior School of Music, was also the first black president of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Sybil Haydel Morial
Sybil Haydel Morial has been a teacher, a civil rights activist, First Lady of New Orleans, a vice president at Xavier and, most recently, an author.
In 1970, New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu—a longtime friend of Xavier President Norman Francis—made integration a central focus of his administration.
Leah Chase was a chef, restaurateur, and art patron with close ties to Xavier. Her restaurant, Dooky Chase’s, provided a safe haven for civil rights leaders to meet and strategize.
Dr. Deidre Labat
Dr. Deidre Labat served as a Xavier biology professor, dean, provost and vice president before she decided to follow her heart and return to the classroom to teach Xavier students.
Brendolyn McKenna graduated from Xavier in 1967, then taught music and traveled the world as a soprano in the Moses Hogan Choir.
As Dr. Norman Francis’s assistant throughout his presidency, Karen Watkins helped build Xavier University—and then rebuild it again after Hurricane Katrina.
Judge Edwin Lombard
Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Edwin Lombard, younger brother of Rudy Lombard, grew up at the center of the civil rights movement.
As an artist, teacher, and chairman of Xavier’s art department, Ron Bechet is part of a tradition that's unique both to Xavier and to New Orleans.
Dr. Ronald Dorris
As a student in the 1960s and 70s, Dr. Ronald Dorris called for more black representation in Xavier's curriculum. Now he's a professor in its English department.
Dr. Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir
Dr. Sharlene Sinegal-DeCuir is an associate professor at Xavier, where she teaches African American history and civil rights history.
Dr. David Robinson-Morris
Dr. David Robinson-Morris is the director of Xavier’s Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit.