(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans College of Law alum, Dr. Norman Francis, has been chosen to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Francis, 75, is one of ten people to whom President Bush will present the award on December 15, 2006 in a White House ceremony.
Francis was a member of Xavier University’s class of 1952, and he has been the president of Xavier for 39 years, making him the longest-serving university leader in the United States. As a member of the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law class of 1955, he was the first African American to receive a law degree from the university. After Hurricane Katrina, Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed him to lead the Louisiana Recovery Authority to guide the rebuilding process in the state.
Loyola University New Orleans is a Jesuit-Catholic institution with a total student enrollment of 4,724 including 800 law students.