Xavier University made national headlines when “The New York Times Magazine” featured Xavier on the cover of its higher education issue
on Sept. 9, 2015. The 17-page spread highlights the university’s achievement in sending the largest number of African American undergraduates to medical school. Reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones wanted to focus on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) when assigned to write this month’s
feature for the magazine’s higher education issue. Hannah-Jones said she was intrigued with Xavier’s success and wanted to learn how a school with a
relatively small student-body was able to sustain that record compared to larger majority institutions. “I was interested in how Xavier has been producing black doctors for decades,” Hannah-Jones said.
During a visit to New Orleans in August Dr. Norman C. Francis told her how in the 1960s, he began his mission as a new college president to address
the drop in African American medical students. “I wanted someone to tell the full story of Xavier’s investment in students, and the New York Times article was theclosest to it,” said Francis, who was featured prominently in “A
Prescription for More Black Doctors.”The article recounts how Francis built the university’s science program from the ground up. With the help of
influential professors and bridge programs such as Stress On Analytical Reasoning (SOAR), Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) scholars and ChemStar, the science program excelled by helping students before they arrived to Xavier, the article explains.
“Francis is a man who had a tremendous vision and did what he did with little resources. He is a great educator who spent almost 50 years proving what
blacks can really do,” Hannah-Jones told the Herald.Francis said the coverage from The New York Times Magazine will show the country how much Xavier invests in its students.
Imani Dames, a biology/premed major at Xavier said, she is proud that Francis’s dedication to the university’s science programs is nationally recognized.“Dr. Francis’s legacy at Xavier is one for the books, so his word has ground in-and-of itself. Putting anything he says in The New York Times only makes it more official,” Dames said. To read the article visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/magazine/aprescription-for-more-blackdoctors.html
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