Loyola University New Orleans will rename its biggest residence hall to honor the university's first Black graduate, Dr. Norman C. Francis, president emeritus of Xavier University of Louisiana. Francis graduated from the Loyola University School of Law in 1955. He is a former civil rights leader, and he acted as one of the longest-serving university presidents in history.
"Norman Francis embodies everything we strive for here at Loyola," said the Reverend Justin Daffron, S.J., Loyola's interim president. "He and his late wife Blanche have set an example for us all, showing us how to live and love in the way the Gospels have taught us, with compassion, kindness, hope, courage, and service to others."
This fall, Loyola will change the name of the building currently called Carrollton Hall to the Blanche and Norman C. Francis Family Hall to recognize the Francis family.
Francis was president of Xavier University from 1968 to 2015 as the first Black and first lay president of the school. He was also the second African American to have ever served as president of a Catholic university in the United States.