Xavier University of Louisiana President Norman Francis announces his retirement, ending the longest tenure of any contemporary college president in American history with 46 years.
Dr. Norman C. Francis, the nation’s longest serving university president, today announced that he plans to retire as president of Xavier University, effective June 30, 2015.
“After nearly 47 years, I believe that the time has come to take the brightly burning torch turned over to me by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and pass it on to new leadership,” Dr. Francis told a campus wide Convocation of the University community late Thursday morning.
“I did so with the passionate confidence and absolute certainty that Xavier is better prepared than ever to continue its educational and spiritual mission, and to build on its tradition of excellence,” Dr Francis continued.
Dr. Francis’ has been affiliated with Xavier for most of 66 years, arriving at Xavier from Lafayette as a 17 year old freshman in 1948, and he quickly emerged as a leader. He was elected class president every year of his undergraduate study and student body president in his senior year.
“This morning, my fellow board members and I accepted Dr. Francis’ request to retire as Xavier’s president, effective June 30, 2015,” said Michael Rue, Chairman of the Xavier University Board of Trustees. “We all wish Dr. Francis could remain as Xavier’s president for at least 50 more years. We take solace in the realization that Dr. Francis will be forever with us through the institution he helped shape.”
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