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Loyola University New Orleans celebrates inauguration of President Xavier Cole

By Loyola University on Fri, 11/10/2023 - 18:03

He is the second layperson and first person of color to lead the university

Loyola University New Orleans is celebrating the inauguration of Xavier A. Cole, Ed.D., as its 18th president. 

Dr. Cole is the second layperson and first person of color to lead Loyola since its founding in 1912. He took the helm of the university in June after serving as the vice president for student affairs at Marquette University following two decades in leadership roles at higher education institutions in Maryland and Wisconsin

“We knew when Dr. Cole was hired that, based on his incredible achievements at Marquette and his ability to connect and inspire, he would make a tremendous and immediate impact on our students and our university,” said Robért LeBlanc, chair of Loyola’s Board of Trustees. “Since he began in the role over the summer, it has been thrilling to see him immerse himself in life on campus and New Orleans and dive into the work of strengthening our university. This is an exciting time of growth for Loyola, and Dr. Cole will capably lead the way, guided by the Jesuit mission of educating the whole person and molding men and women for others.” 

Local leaders and colleagues in higher education joined students, alumni and members of Loyola’s faculty and staff at the inauguration ceremony Friday afternoon at the Holy Name of Jesus Church on the university’s campus. A Missioning Mass was celebrated Thursday afternoon, led by the Very Re. Thomas P. Green, S.J., Provincial Superior. The celebrations culminated in an SGA-organized “Colechella” event on campus Thursday, followed by a reception and the 1912 Society inauguration dinner on Friday. 

“Dr. Cole is very attuned to what matters most to Loyola students,” said Makayla Hawkins, president of the Loyola's Student Government Association. “It’s exciting to finally formally celebrate his history-making leadership of our university and our partnership as we collaborate to ensure student success and satisfaction.”

“The entire Loyola and the New Orleans communities have welcomed me since I arrived,” Dr. Cole said. “It is with a great sense of gratitude, humility and joy that I accept the responsibility of leading this vibrant university in this energetic city. It’s an exciting time to be part of the Wolf Pack as we embark on a new chapter and take a bold step into the future together.”

Dr. Cole is committed to strengthening Loyola by seeking mission-aligned partnerships, improving the school’s financial health and stability and investing in the people who work and learn at the university. 

“It is my duty to ensure that we continue to foster our connections to each other and remain committed to serving the wider community,” Dr. Cole said. “These values are the bedrock of our success. I envision Loyola as an anchor institution deeply rooted in New Orleans and contributing to the future of our city, state and nation. The transformative power of a Jesuit education is a force for good that extends far beyond our campus, and I am dedicated to amplifying its impact.”

Photos of the event are available here.

Video clips are available here.