NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. C. Reynold Verret, an experienced higher education administrator and widely respected scholar, was invested as the sixth president of Xavier University of Louisiana before more than a thousand attendees at a ceremony Friday morning.
Dr. Verret was unanimously elected as president by the Board of Trustees last spring and began his tenure on July 1 following the retirement of Dr. Norman C. Francis, who served as president for 47 years.
"We are grateful to have someone of Dr. Verret's character, caliber and experience at the helm of Xavier, and it is our honor to welcome him and officially accept him into the Xavier family," said Michael Rue, chairman of the Xavier Board of Trustees. "Dr. Verret is bringing new energy and fresh ideas to advance Xavier's mission, and we look forward to supporting him as he works to implement his vision to prepare many generations of students for success."
Xavier is ranked first in the United States for African American undergraduates continuing to complete medical school and for African American students earning undergraduate degrees in biology and life sciences, chemistry, physics and pharmacy.
In his inaugural address, Dr. Verret pledged fidelity to the University's mission of service and high standards of achievement, and he presented his bold vision for the future.
"Ninety years have passed since the founding of Xavier, and we have 90 and more years before us to advance Xavier's noble mission- a mission to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane world by preparing its students to lead and serve in a global society," said Dr. Verret. "Our faculty will continue reimagining education so graduates will be prepared to engage and thrive in the times to come. Xavier will expand boundaries and explore what new educational programs can best serve the needs of this day and tomorrow."
Dr. Verret plans to enlarge the Xavier tent, citing that there are many others who could benefit from an education at the Historically Black and Catholic university.
"As we evolve to meet the needs of the day, we shall sustain the mission to serve, and, most importantly, to serve the underserved," Verret continued.
As part of the ceremony, Dr. Francis presented Xavier's new president with the University's ceremonial chain of office, symbolizing the authority of the school's highest office and allegiance to the institution.
Catholic Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Haiti's Ambassador to the United States, Paul Altidor, U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond, New Orleans Mayor Mitchell Landrieu, and a host of dignitaries offered greetings during the investiture. Representing the diversity found on Xavier's campus, students offered greetings in six languages. The invocation was offered by Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn of Temple Sinai in New Orleans. Additionally, scores of colleges and universities were represented by delegations of administrators and faculty members who joined the formal academic ceremony.
Dr. Verret, a native of Haiti, emigrated to Brooklyn as a child and attended parochial schools in New York before earning an undergraduate degree cum laude in biochemistry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served postdoctoral fellowships at MIT and Yale University and has held faculty appointments at several universities, including Tulane University, Clark Atlanta University, Wilkes University, Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA.
ABOUT XAVIER UNIVERSITY:
Xavier University of Louisiana, founded in 1925 by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is the only Catholic and historically Black higher education institution in North America. The ultimate purpose of the University is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. This preparation takes place in a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates all relevant educational means, including research and community service.
Xavier is recognized as the top producer of African American undergraduates continuing to complete medical school and one of the top three producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients. Xavier ranks first nationally in the number of African American students earning undergraduate degrees in biology and life sciences, chemistry, physics and pharmacy.
More at http://www.xula.edu/.
SOURCE Xavier University of Louisiana