The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized the lifetime achievements of Dr. Norman C. Francis, President of Xavier University of Louisiana, who is retiring after 47 years of exemplary service.
Under Dr. Francis’s leadership, Xavier achieved a number one ranking in awarding bachelor’s degrees to African American students in biology, chemistry, physics and the physical sciences, and in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school.
“I am pleased to acknowledge Dr. Norman C. Francis for his long and distinguished career, his commitment to making higher education available to students of color, and his service to the students, staff, and faculty of Xavier University of Louisiana,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.
At the Board meeting, where he received the commendation with his daughter Christina at his side, he thanked the Supervisors and grinned with happiness.
In 2006, Dr. Francis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, bestowed upon him by President George Bush in recognition of his commitment to higher education.
Dr. Francis has served as an advisor on education and civil rights issues to governors, mayors and heads of state, including eight U.S. Presidents. He has also received 42 honorary degrees from other universities, and at least 20 major awards in recognition of his achievements in higher education.