Meet Dr. Xavier Cole, the first black president of Loyola University New Orleans

Abu Mubarik March 28, 2023
Dr. Xavier Cole. Photo credit: Marquette university

Dr. Xavier Cole has been appointed as the next president of Loyola University New Orleans, making him the first black person to occupy the position in the university’s history. He was unanimously voted for the role by the University’s board after a seven-month national search by the Presidential Search Committee, which included faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents. The committee also got the assistance of the executive search firm – Isaacson, Miller.

Before his appointment, he was the vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Washington College, Maryland. He previously served the Division of Student Development at Loyola University Maryland for 20 years, before quitting as assistant vice president in 2014, according to Marquette University. He succeeds Dr. Tania Tetlow, who stepped down in early 2022.

“I see my role at Loyola New Orleans as an opportunity to work intentionally with a world-class faculty and staff to help form the next generation of ethical and moral leaders,” Cole said in a statement. “It’s a chance for me to give back to Loyola New Orleans a fraction of what an Ignatian formation has given to me.”

“Dr. Cole has served the Marquette community, particularly our students, as a person for and with others,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “His genuine care was felt across campus, especially during his leadership of our COVID-19 Response Team. He has positively impacted countless facets of the university, and I look forward to working with him as a presidential colleague at Loyola New Orleans.”

Raised in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dr. Cole obtained his doctorate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. He got his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Mississippi and his master’s in history from Miami University, Ohio.

His thesis was on mission and identity programs at three Jesuit universities and their impact on mission leadership for laypersons.

“Dr. Cole is a uniquely experienced higher education administrator who has dedicated his career to the study and preservation of Jesuit, Catholic institutions in America, and to the service of their students,” said Stephen Landry, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Meanwhile, Cole is the chair of the Graduate School of Education Executive Doctorate Alumni Board, University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he was vice chair and director of the education committee on the board of Messmer Catholic Schools from 2017 to 2022.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 28, 2023


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