NEW ORLEANS — Loyola will rename its largest residence hall, Carrollton Hall, in honor of the university's first Black graduate, Dr. Norman C. Francis.
Francis, a well-known Civil Rights leader and President Emeritus of Xavier University of Louisiana, graduated from Loyola's law school in 1955.
“Norman Francis embodies everything we strive for here at Loyola,” said the Rev. Justin Daffron, S.J., interim president of Loyola. “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.”
After graduating Xavier University in 1952, Francis was one of two African-American students selected to integrate Loyola University's School of Law. In 1955, he became the school's first African-American graduate, but since he was not allowed to live in a dormitory he bunked at Xavier, where he worked at the time.
He would go on to become Xavier's president for 46 years, becoming a nation-wide leader among historically Black universities and earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, in 2006.
“Dr. Francis believes that education is the true path to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Rev. Daffron said. “Throughout his lifetime, he has worked to widen access and opportunity, so that all people may develop to their fullest potential.”
This fall, Loyola will permanently change Carrollton Hall's name to the Blanche and Norman C. Francis Family Hall.