August 20, 2020

New Orleans, La. – Today the New Orleans City Council approved the renaming of South Jefferson Davis Parkway in honor of President Emeritus Norman C. Francis. This is the first time that a New Orleans street, originally named after a confederate figure, has been changed since protests against white supremacy and police brutality began. The vote was unanimous. 

Originally submitted in January 2018 with the support of the entire Xavier community and Board of Trustees, the university leadership was compelled to resubmit this request this year in honor of Dr. Francis’ work in the field of higher education and the role it plays in creating a just and humane society. 

“Dr. Francis always knew that education is the pathway to social justice,” said Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana. “His unwavering commitment and courage in the face of adversity spanned 50 plus years at Xavier and taught us all many lessons on how we must serve and lead our community.” 

This decision is pivotal and provides a pathway forward to ensure that the entryway to Xavier’s south campus promotes equality and inclusivity as it welcomes generations of future Xavierites and reminds all who traverse it the legacy of those who have come before us.

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