Xavier University in Louisiana



Established in 1915 initially as a co-ed secondary school, Xavier University in Louisiana is a private liberal arts college–distinct in being the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education in the United States. Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament founded the school in an effort to quell the lack of Catholic-oriented education available to Blacks in the south. During the Civil Rights Movement, the school aided the civil rights activist group the Freedom Riders after city locals refused to accommodate them, through the permission of the then Men’s Dean, Norman C. Francis and University President Sister Mary Josephina.

Notable Alumni Include: Ernest Nathan Morial- First African-American Mayor of New Orleans, Candice Steward- First African American Miss Louisiana USA; Alexis Herman- First African American U.S. Secretary of Labor; Annie Easley- Mathematician/Computer & Rocket Scientist for NASA