Back to Top

Biography of Xavier Cole

Xavier A. Cole, Ed.D., with his commitment to the tenets of Jesuit education, his dedication to empowering his campus community, and his love of jazz is Loyola’s 18th president.

Dr. Cole is the first person of color, and the second layperson, to serve as president since Loyola’s founding in 1912. He is committed to strengthening the university by seeking mission-aligned partnerships, improving the school’s financial health and stability, and investing in those who work and learn here.

Prior to Loyola, Dr. Cole was the Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs at Marquette University, beginning in 2016. He brought particular passion to access and engagement initiatives for first-generation students and students of color, including enhancing support for African American and Hispanic students, as well as expanding services for LGBTQ+ students. He also won praise for chairing Marquette’s COVID-19 Response Team, starting in the demanding days of March 2020.

A product of Biloxi, Mississippi, he holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of Mississippi, and a master’s degree in history from Miami University (Ohio). He discovered his passion for student affairs as a Resident Advisor at Ole Miss and then as a graduate hall director at Miami.

In 2013, Dr. Cole added a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation explored the outcomes of mission and identity programs at U.S. Jesuit universities and analyzed their effectiveness in preparing future lay leaders at Jesuit universities. Its prescient title is “Answering the call: An examination of the development of lay leadership on Jesuit, Catholic university campuses.”

In continuing his interest in Jesuit education, Dr. Cole was a co-chair for the Mission Priority Examen at Marquette, and he was appointed as a visiting team member for the Mission Priority Examens at Creighton and Seattle universities.