Volume 46 No. 01
January 2015







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Explore Xavier
Open House Jan. 29

Xavier will host its annual Open House for prospective students, parents, and counselors Jan. 29 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

"Explore Xavier" gives students and their parents the opportunity to learn about admissions, majors and fields of study, financial aid and scholarships, and student life. Attendees should go to the University Center (third floor) to begin Open House.

Campus tours will be available throughout the evening.

For more info call 504-520-7388 or email apply@xula.edu



The current issue of XULAneXUS, the university’s online undergraduate student research journal is now available at HERE.

This new issue of the journal, which regularly covers student work from all disciplines, features two research projects from the social sciences, including “The Impact of Parental Support on Hypermasculine Attitudes in Urban Adolescent African American Males” by Kaleb Murry (Psychology) and “'Til Death Do Us Part: Examining Race and Gender Differences in Perceptions of Divorce” by Victoria Caitlyn Jones (Sociology).

All submissions were peer-reviewed by an editorial board of faculty and students. For more info contact Dr. Ross Louis at xulanexus@xula.edu or 520-5103.
rec center TOPSIDE VIEW

A look at the construction site of the new Student Recreation Center as viewed from the roof of Xavier South shows the foundation already in place. Work continues on the two-story, 22,500-square foot building, which sits on the site previously occupied by the former B. Samuels building (corner of Drexel Drive and Jeff Davis Parkway). Estimated completion date for the new facility is Fall 2015.

photo by Irving Johnson III


Xavier students returning to campus later this month for the spring semester will be pleased to know that substantial progress that has been made on the University’s new Student Recreation Center.

The new two-story, 22,500-square foot building, which sits on the site previously occupied by the former B. Samuels building (corner of Drexel Drive and Jeff Davis Parkway), is going up according to schedule. Estimated completion date for the new facility is Fall 2015.

When fully operational, the Center will house a NCAA regulation-sized basketball court, a three-lane running/walking track, exercise rooms, dance studios, office space, weight rooms, workout rooms, and exercise equipment.

The Woodward Design Group is heading up the project. The estimated cost is $3.6 million.


Business executive, entrepreneur, film producer, television personality, news commentator, civil rights activist, and motivational speaker Michael Skolnik will deliver the keynote address during the 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace celebration Jan. 19-23, 2015.

MLK Week – a joint collaboration between Xavier, Tulane, Loyola, and Dillard Universities – kicks off Jan. 19 with a Day of Service at Loyola University (beginning at 8:00 a.m.), followed by a Panel Discussion at Dillard (6:30 p.m.) on Jan. 20, and an Expressions of Unity/Expressions Afterparty at Tulane (7:00 p.m.) on Jan. 23.

The keynote address will take place during the annual MLK Convocation and Symposium Jan. 22, which will be hosted this year by Xavier University at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center. He is expected to comment on the theme “New Faces of the Dream: Moving from Apathy to Activism”. Students from all four universities will be presented community service awards at the signature event.
All events are free and the public is invited to participate.

Skolnik currently serves as  president for Def Jam founder Russell Simmons’ GlobalGrind.com, a Hip-Pop website of popular culture chronicling celebrities, lifestyle content, entertainment news, fashion, music, and politics with an authoritative voice. GlobalGrind reaches over 4.7 million people a month, serving a large multi-racial segment of the 18-34 population.

He also serves as “political director” for Simmons, overseeing his social justice and political activities, including relationships with elected officials. Skolnik appears regularly on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News discussing and analyzing current political topics of the day.
In 2009, after the violent death of Chicago teenager, Derrion Albert, Skolnik began a new media campaign bringing attention to the youth violence epidemic of America. Writing thousands of articles on GlobalGrind.com about the deaths of young people across the country, Skolnik became a leading voice around the issues of violence, in general.

As part of the series, following the death of Trayvon Martin, he published an op-ed, entitled, “White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin.” Following this release, Skolnik appeared on numerous national broadcasts discussing the complicated issues surrounding the death of the teenager. He appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, BBC, and numerous other outlets. He reported on the murder trial of George Zimmerman from within the courtroom and was a regular commentator on the cable news networks during the trial. Skolnik currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

His relationship with Simmons and GlobalGrind followed an 11-year, award-winning career as a film director and producer.

UNCOMMON UNDERGRADS (one in a series)

A small sampling of Xavier's outstanding undergraduate students

Amithyse Moore – In It for the Long Haul

When it came down to choosing a college and a career, Amithyse Moore was – and is – definitely in it for the long haul – literally, both in distance and time, respectively.

See the full story HERE.

Hakeem Frank – Weighing His Options

People keep telling Hakeem Frank that he should be a math teacher. But although he’s open to the suggestion – and admits a certain passion for the subject – he’s not ready to be pinned down just yet.

See the full story HERE.
Jade Crutch – Carpe Diem

Jade Crutch can credit much of her success to date to simply looking out for possible opportunities and then capitalizing on them. And if that includes creating them yourself, then so be it. Carpe Diem!

See the full story HERE.


Xavier has received a three-year $750,000 grant from the Edward G. Schlieder Educational Foundation for capital improvements to the campus.

XU is currently in the second of a four-phase process for transforming its aging six-story building at 989 So, Jeff Davis Parkway – officially designated Xavier South – which houses classrooms, academic departments, faculty offices, and administrative offices.

“We are grateful to the Schlieder Educational Foundation for its generous gift to our Xavier South Transformation Project,” said Xavier President Dr. Norman C. Francis, “By assisting the University with improvements to Xavier South, the Foundation will impact Xavier’s recruitment and retention of its students as well as provide a more conducive learning and work environment for our students, faculty, and staff.

Built in 1950, the six-story, 123,000 square foot structure originally housed the offices of the Humble Oil Company and was later sold to South Central Bell (AT&T). During that time it also housed the Wise Cafeteria for 39 years.

It was vacant for several years before Xavier purchased the building in 1989, providing a much-needed acquisition for an academic community that was running out of classroom space for its growing enrollment. Enrollment peeked at just over 4,100 in 2005.

Since its procurement, repairs and renovations were limited to an “as needed” or “as funds allowed” basis.

Two years ago a major renovation plan was deemed necessary to make the aging building – today a critical component of campus activities – a safe and worthy of the essential functions it houses.

To date, completed and ongoing renovations include an interior moisture mitigation and exterior building renovation, including replacing the windows and waterproofing of the exterior.

It is estimated the total cost of the renovation will reach $6.2 million.



Alayna Robinson, a sophomore chemistry/premed major from Peachtree City GA (McIntosh High) has been awarded an Air Force ROTC Type-2, In-College Scholarship valued at up to $60,000 in recognition of her superb performance in Tulane Air Force ROTC Detachment 320 and academic excellence.

Two cross country standouts –Kwame Jackson, a senior biology major from Kingwood TX (Kingwood High), and Catherine Fakler, a senior English/English Education major from Phoenix AZ (Xavier Prep) – capped respective stellar athletic careers with repeat berths on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s All-Louisiana teams. See story HERE.

Three volleyball standouts – Chinedu Echebelem, a senior chemistry/pre-med major from Dallas TX (Duncanville High); Jodi Hill, a junior political science major from Prairieville LA (Dutchtown High); and Franziska Pirkl, a junior mass communication major from Munich, Germany – have  been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes in women's volleyball. See story HERE.


Terlenda Crawford ’07, who a speech pathologist currently working in the sub-acute rehab setting in the area of mountainous West Virginia, was honored at the American Speech Language Hearing Association 2014 Convention in Orlando FL for five years of outstanding volunteer service to the S.T.E.P. Mentoring Program, which celebrates speech-language pathologists who advance from mentees as students to mentors of other students once they are practicing in their profession.

Tayler Loyd ’04, a marketing associate with the 3M Company in St. Paul MN, was featured in the Black Collegian Online. See it HERE.

Christy Montgomery ’09 is serving as Vice Provost of Student Affairs at Northshore Technical Community College in Hammond LA.

Godwin Ndukwe ’85 has been promoted to International Technical Specialist with the U.S. Treasury Department in the Internal Revenue Service Offshore Compliance Initiative - Large & Midsize Businesses offices in Houston TX.

Derek Robinson ‘98, Vice president of Enterprise, Quality, and Accreditation for the Health Care Service Corp, was named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 List. See it HERE.

The Rev. Starsky Wilson ’99, an ordained minister and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, was named co-chair of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's special Ferguson Commission, a 16-member group charged with studying the underlying issues raised by events in Ferguson and making recommendations for change. He was one of Xavier's outstanding “40 under 40” young alums honored Homecoming 2014.


Irwin Lachoff (Archives) has acquired a $6,000 preservation assistance grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund a project focusing on the care of a collection of 30,000 photographic prints and negatives documenting the history of the university, and a complete run of the university's student newspaper, the Xavier Herald.

Two XU music faculty – Dr. Wilfred Delphin ‘71 and Ivan Griffin – were part of the ensemble OperaCreole which performed at the historic opening of the first slavery museum in the country, The Whitney Plantation in Wallace LA.

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