Loyola University, New Orleans, has appointed Dr. Xavier Cole as the first Black president in the history of the school, reports CNN. His tenure begins on June 1, 2023.

Currently serving as the vice president for student affairs at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cole will become the 18th president of the university and just the second layperson to occupy the position at the Jesuit school.

In a statement, Cole expressed his excitement about the historic milestone.

“I am committed to strengthening this thriving institution by seeking out mission-aligned partnerships, promoting our financial health and stability, and investing in those who work and learn here,” Cole said. “There is so much possibility for us to rise up to meet the needs of our city, our state, and our region – needs in the business community, education sector, and healthcare fields.”

“I see Loyola New Orleans students as a force of nature and the heart of the university — the very reason we do our work as educators,” he added. “I can’t wait to learn more about their dreams and how they plan to use their gifts to improve the world.”

Dr. Xavier Cole. Image: Courtesy of Xavier Cole, LinkedIn.

Stephen Landry, chair of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, described Cole as “a uniquely experienced higher education administrator who has dedicated his career to the study and preservation of Jesuit, Catholic institutions in America, and to the service of their students.”

Cole brings a wealth of experience in higher education to his new post. He previously served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Washington College, in Chestertown, Maryland, according to his biography. He also worked in the Division of Student Development at Loyola University, Maryland for over two decades in various capacities, including being named assistant vice president.

A native of Biloxi, Mississippi, he graduated with a history degree from the University of Mississippi, received a master's in history from Miami University (Ohio), and his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.