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Nov. 10, 2023– Loyola University New Orleans is celebrating the inauguration of Xavier A. Cole, Ed.D., as its 18th president.

Dr. Xavier Cole

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.”

V. Rev. Thomas P. Greene, SJ, presided at a missioning Mass on Thursday afternoon, followed by an inauguration ceremony on Friday afternoon at the Holy Name of Jesus Church on the university’s campus attended by colleagues in higher education and Loyola students, alumni, faculty and staff.

The missioning Mass for Dr. Xavier Cole at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in New Orleans

“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 very attuned to what matters most to Loyola students,” said Makayla Hawkins, president of 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.”

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.

Dr. Xavier Cole is inaugurated as the 18th president of Loyola University of New Orleans.

“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.”


About Loyola University New Orleans: Loyola University New Orleans is a Catholic, Jesuit university, located in the heart of the picturesque Uptown neighborhood in New Orleans. For more than 100 years, Loyola has helped shape the lives of our students, as well as the history of our city and the world, through educating men and women in the Jesuit traditions of academic excellence and service to others. Our more than 50,000 living graduates serve as catalysts for change in their communities around the world as they exemplify the comprehensive, values-laden education they received at Loyola.

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