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Xavier University president resigns after 46 years of service

Norman Francis with First Lady Michelle Obama
Norman Francis with First Lady Michelle Obama
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

Xavier University president Norman Francis will resign as president of the university after 46 years of service at the end of the 2014-2015 school year according to an announcement made by on September 4, 2014.

Francis first made the announcement to the students at Xavier University in the Convocation Center this morning prior to a news conference that was scheduled at noon for the official announcement to the public. Francis has served as the President of Xavier since 1968.

Francis, 83, is from Lafayette, La. and holds the record for the longest standing president of a university in the United States. A graduate of Xavier himself in 1952, Francis is responsible for guiding the University through several decades of hard times, including Civil Rights movements, Hurricane Katrina, a recession, and more.

Francis also made a positive effort on educational reform and served on the 1983 National Commission on Excellence in Education. He dedicated his life to improving the educational system and Xavier University by way of equality and opportunity for all students.

His legacy will include the growth of a small university to one that is recognized as one of the best in the nation, being awarded 40 honorary degrees, and served on more than 50 boards.