Xavier University of Louisiana is the only US Catholic historically black university. It was initially founded as a high school in 1915 by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1925 the institution became a college.
The university is well known for its pre-med and pre-pharmacy programmes. Its courses include biological and public health sciences, business, education and counselling, pre-law, art, English, history, music, theology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, communication studies, psychology, sociology and speech pathology among others.
All undergraduate students must complete 60 hours of liberal arts core curriculum courses including English literature, fine arts, foreign languages, history, African-American studies, mathematics, natural sciences, philosophy, theology and social sciences.
Xavier’s students are 70 per cent African-American and over half of the students come from Louisiana. In 2015, the New York Times Magazine also credited the university as a top producer of African-American doctors.
Xavier is one of six universities in New Orleans. The city is famous for its Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, as well as its NFL (Saints) and NBA (Pelicans) teams.
Xavier alumni include former US Secretary of Labour Alexis Herman, NBA basketball player Nathaniel Cifton, sculptor John T. Scott and jazz alto saxophonist and one of the first rhythm and blues artists Earl Bostic.