New Officers Elected to Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Trustees


At the summer meeting, the Board also re-elected Mr. Justin Augustine III to serve as chair, and Dr. Derek Robinson and Mr. James Mitchell to serve as vice-chairs. Sister Amelia Bretón, S.B.S., was elected Board Secretary. 

“As a product of Xavier, I understand the transformative power of a Xavier education,” Chair Augustine commented, “Today, more than ever I believe we all understand the value in developing leaders and the importance of fostering their growth. I am committed to ensuring that every Xavier student receives the same quality education and opportunities as I received. My fellow Trustees and I will honor our mission for the next generation of Xavierites.”

Suzanne Malveaux is an award-winning journalist who serves as CNN’s national correspondent, covering politics, national news, international events and culture. Previously, she co-anchored CNN's Around The World and co-anchored the network's Emmy-winning coverage of the revolution in Egypt and the network's Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Arab Spring.

Lyon Polk is currently ranked by Barron’s as the #1 Financial Advisor in the country for the fourth consecutive year. He is the founder of The Polk Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Barron’s #1 ranked Private Wealth Management Team. Polk’s office focuses on select ultra-high net worth families, helping them to manage their investment portfolios, evaluate and seek to enhance processes for their Family Offices, and provide access to certain specialized investment opportunities. Polk also serves on the board of the New York Boys Club and of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. 

David Weill is the former Director of the Center for Advanced Lung Disease and Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program at Stanford University Medical Center. He is currently the Principal of the Weill Consulting Group which focuses on improving the delivery of pulmonary, ICU, and transplant care. Dr. Weill’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Salon, Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, STAT, the Washington Post, The Hill, and the Los Angeles Times. His memoir Exhale: Hope, Healing, and A Life in Transplant was published in May 2021.

Trustees continuing their terms include: Dr. Jennifer Adams, Ms. Alexandra Fell Allen, Dr. Gilda Barabino ’78, Sister Donna Breslin S.B.S., Sister Theresa Chato S.B.S. ’71, Rabbi Edward Cohn, Ms. Nelda Connors, Ms. Christina Francis ’89, Mr. Brandon Garrett, Dr. Richard Gilder, Dr. John Jackson IV ’94, Ms. Claudia Marmolejo, Mr. Meredith Marshall, Mr. Randall McHenry, Fr. Thomas O’Hara, Mr. James Swanson, Ms. Angela Vallot, and Mr. Joseph West. Xavier President Reynold Verret serves as an ex-officio member of the Board.

Rotating off of the Board after having served two three-year terms are The Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle and Mr. Alden McDonald.


About Xavier University of Louisiana

Being America’s only historically Black and Catholic University is only the first among many distinctions that have set Xavier University of Louisiana apart for more than nine decades. Despite its relatively small size, Xavier is a nationally recognized leader in STEM and the health sciences, producing more African American students who graduate from medical schools each year than any other university in the United States. Its College of Pharmacy is among the top producers of African American pharmacists.

Its liberal arts-based programs in such areas as art, business, education, psychology, and political science – as well as recent additions in bioinformatics, data science, neuroscience, crime and social justice, and jazz studies – offer students an unbeatable combination of traditional classroom study, hands-on research, service-learning opportunities, and life experiences. The winning Xavier formula provides students with a well-balanced curriculum and an environment that nurtures their intellect and feeds their souls.

For more information about Xavier University of Louisiana, visit us online at or follow us on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter @XULA1925. To book interviews and/or to speak with our experts in the field of pharmacy, education, premed, public health, science, technology, math, business, English, communications, and the arts, contact Chelsea Cunningham at (504) 520-5425 or