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Congratulations to Dr. C. Reynold Verret, President Xavier University | Le Flambeau Foundation Inc. Congratulations to Dr. C. Reynold Verret, President Xavier University |
Congratulations to Dr. C. Reynold Verret, President Xavier University
On Monday, Xavier kicks off a five-day inaugural celebration for its new president, C. Reynold Verret, on its Gert Town campus.
The daily events will be capped by an investiture ceremony Friday during which Verret
office will be blessed by Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
(Photo: Dr. Reynold Verret, Advocate staff photo by John McCusker)
The celebration will be the city's first public introduction to Verret
, who started work in July without much fanfare.
Verret, 61, was already familiar with New Orleans, having lived here in the early 1990s while working as an assistant professor of chemistry at Tulane University.
Today, Verret talks often with his predecessor, relying upon him for history and context, or what he calls "the how and the why" of Xavier.
At least for the near future, comparisons are inevitable for Verret
, as they are for anyone who steps into the shoes of a giant.
As board members noted when they chose Verret
and Francis have much in common.
Both came from humble beginnings and are men of deep Catholic faith and intellect.
is distinctive in a way that should help him to shape his
own image as Xavier's president.
After emigrating from Haiti as a young child, he excelled in school, then earned science degrees from Columbia University and MIT.
also spent his
career trying to bridge science with the humanities, which he
calls "social glue.
can recite poetry, loves the theater, grew up singing in church choirs and even plays the clarinet - "badly," he
also is deeply curious, in a way that has defined his
After college, he worked in labs, moving from the Howard Hughes Institute of Immunology at Yale and the Center for Cancer Research at MIT to teaching posts at Tulane, Morehouse School of Medicine and Clark Atlanta University, where he rose to chair the chemistry department.
Then he altered his path, moving into administration at three colleges including Savannah State University, the oldest public historically black university in Georgia, where he worked until last year as provost and chief academic officer.
As a researcher, Verret studied cytotoxic T-cells in the human body to determine how they find and eliminate cells that cause cancer and other diseases.
As a college administrator, that same curiosity drives him to try to understand what makes his
not the kind of president you have to sit in awe of.
wants to know what his
students are thinking, what they're researching and what their greatest challenges are," said an MIT classmate and longtime friend, the Rev. Gregory Chisholm, who will travel to New Orleans from his
church, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Harlem, to give a homily at Thursday afternoon's inauguration Mass.
Friday's investiture ceremony will employ all of the office's traditional symbols, including a presidential chain engraved with the college seal and the names of Verret's
As the service begins, a grand marshal will walk in front, carrying the university's 27-pound mace made of copper, brass and carved mahogany.
will follow, wearing his
red and gray MIT robe.
walks back up the aisle after the ceremony, he
will be wearing the black and gold Xavier presidential robe and cap, with the presidential chain draped around his
In primary school, Reynold
watched Monique after school while their mother was at work.
"People stepped in and made a way for me," said Reynold Verret
, who sees "removing the barriers" to education as a big part of his
The Xavier community already has an "esprit de corps" that he
didn't see on other campuses, he
said, noting how students motivate each other, pushing those who miss a study group or skip class.
role as helping those students to think bigger, he
So whenever he meets a new student, he quickly dispenses with the usual questions about classes and majors before getting to his point.
"My real question is: 'What do you want to do?
What are your aspirations?' " he
Board of Directors | Greater New Orleans, Inc. | Regional Economic Development
C. Reynold Verret
President C. Reynold ...
President C. Reynold Verret
Xavier University of Louisiana
New Orleans LA - Sister Grace ...
New Orleans LA - Sister Grace Mary Flickinger, S.B.S., who achieved National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame status for her service on the local, regional, and national level while serving as Xavier University of Louisiana's faculty athletics representative (FAR), is stepping down from that position after 36 years according to XU President Reynold Verret.
Flickinger, a member of the XULA
biology faculty since 1968, continues as a professor in the Department of Biology.
Verret has appointed Dr. Elliott Hammer, a longtime member of the Department of Psychology, as Flickinger's successor as FAR.
"Sister Grace Mary
has admirably served Xavier University of Louisiana
, our athletics department, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC), and the NAIA
with untiring devotion in this important position," Verret
Board of Directors
Dr. C. Reynold Verret