May 11 2019

New Orleans, LA – In its 92nd commencement, Xavier University of Louisiana will honor its alumni -- three internationally recognized physicians, known as the Pulse of P3, and world-renowned opera singer Gail Gilmore for strengthening the pathways to education for black youth on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. in the Xavier University Convocation Center.

The commencement keynote speakers, Pulse of P3 Physicians: Dr. Pierre Johnson ’02, Dr. Maxime Madhere ’02, and Dr. Joseph Semien, ’01 – co-authored the book Pulse of Perseverance and are living testaments of Xavier’s mission. 

These prolific authors are setting the example and paving the way for black male retention and education through their personal stories of adversity faced and overcome as black men. They will share their goal to change the narrative of the Black male in today’s society, leading by example to black youth that athletes and entertainers are not the only examples of achievement and success. The doctors will reveal how they overcame poverty, dysfunction and failing schools to accomplish their dreams of becoming physicians. They are living proof that accomplishing your dreams are possible with courage and conviction, and are actively investing their time and talents into the next generation of students with mentorship and scholarship opportunities.

They are expected to address more than 550 undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional students and their families; over which 54 students – almost 10% of the Xavier University 2019 graduating class – have earned Summa Cum Laude status. The Pulse of Perseverance authors will also receive honorary degrees.

They will be joined on stage by vocalist Gail Gilmore ’72, a celebrated Opera star, who will also be awarded an honorary degree from her alma mater.  

From launching her very distinguished career at the age of 24, Gilmore has been celebrated for her concerts in which she sings Gospel, spirituals, blues, and selections from musicals with only piano accompaniment. As founder of the Oldambster Musikfestival in the Netherlands, she has opened the doors of opportunity for young artists from all over the world through teaching, performances, and mentorship of young artists. Gilmore has served as guest professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg, where she helped to develop children and youth behavior programs as well as a series called ‘Music in Prison.’

Other scheduled commencement-related events include the Graduate Programs hooding ceremony on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom; the College of Pharmacy Hooding Ceremony on Friday, May 10, at noon in the Convocation Center, and the Baccalaureate Mass/Honors Convocation on Friday, May 10 at 5:00 p.m., in the Convocation Center.

The Commencement itself is a ticketed event. All others are open to the public.