Little Known Black History Fact: Xavier University Medical Graduates

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  • According to a new study conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, Xavier University in New Orleans is now the number one college for black graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM). In 2011, Xavier was the top producer of African-American students who earned medical degrees. The school beat out Harvard, Yale and Stanford. The historically black university is also a top producer of African American Doctor of Pharmacy graduates. Sixty-five percent of their incoming freshman have a STEM concentration.

    Xavier University is the only historically black Roman Catholic college in the country. It was founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1915. Dr. Norman C. Francis, a 1952 Xavier University graduate, has served as the University’s president since 1968. He is the longest tenured college president in the United States. More than half of the student body is from the state of Louisiana. Before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the enrollment was 4,100. It is now at approximately 3,391. The school has over 20,000 alumni.

    Although they are top in the nation, they are currently experiencing a $5 million dollar deficit. The school has had to resort to salary and hiring freezes and non-faculty layoffs to recoup the lost funds. The deficit is due to a 6.5 percent drop in fall semester enrollment. In addition, the school has imposed a mandatory closing from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 to save on utilities. Employees and faculty will be forced to use their vacation time during the remaining days outside of the holidays.

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