Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

President Cole settles into his first year

Anna Hummel
University president Xavier Cole in his office. Cole is beginning his first year in this position.

If you’re walking across Loyola’s campus, you’re likely to run into the university’s new president, Xavier Cole. And, these meetings are no accident.

“The goal is to really get to know our people,” Cole said. “The people are the ones who really make this experience.”

Cole said getting to know the people within the Loyola community gives him a better understanding of their needs.And, by addressing these needs, Cole aims to encourage an environment which truly fosters education and compassion.

Cole’s presence at Loyola marks a noteworthy change, as Cole is the first Black president of Loyola and the second lay-person to serve in the role.

Learning Environment

Before the semester started Cole put effort into preparing for students’ physical arrival on campus. This included cleaning and maintenance in residential halls.

“Environment matters, whether it’s the residence halls or dining halls or classrooms,” Cole said.

After touring the campus, Cole said that he was concerned that the university was unprepared to welcome new and returning students and their families.

Cole felt that deeper cleaning was necessary in order to make the very best first impression possible for both students and families.

A positive and productive environment is essential to Loyola’s ability to achieve its purpose as a Jesuit institution of higher education, Cole said.

But, an environment is more than just surroundings.

“Physical space is important, but not more important than the people,” Cole said. He noted that this is especially true given Loyola’s diverse community.


Cole recalled an interaction he recently witnessed on campus. He saw one student wearing pants they had clearly designed themselves, and remembered how this person’s face lit up upon receiving a compliment on said pants.

“It was indicative of the kindness that exists here,” Cole said. “And that is one of the things I really want to amplify.”

Cole said that Loyola is one of the most diverse places he has ever worked, and that he deeply enjoys witnessing the way in which different community members positively interact and embrace each other.

“What I have found is that there is such a deep hospitality here at Loyola,” Cole said. Cole added that people have been very warm and welcoming towards both him and his family.

And, Cole views the Loyola community as more than just students and staff. He said that external engagement with Loyola alumni is incredibly important.

Loyola is in a fortunate position, Cole said, to have alumni who hold leadership positions, both in and outside of New Orleans. This opens up greater opportunities for growth and collaboration by supplying students with further resources.

Cole added that he plans on touring major cities in Louisiana, in order to “really amplify all of the good work that’s being done by our faculty, staff, and students.”

And, these goals surrounding community and support are rooted in Cole’s twenty years of experience as a Jesuit educator.

“Person forward”

As the president of a Jesuit University, Cole approaches his new role with the intention of acting as a servant leader for the community.

Cole describes this role as a leader who acts as a reflection of their community, a role which requires genuine connection.

Cole said his goal is that students at Loyola will go on to positively impact change in the world around them by developing the compassion to look beyond their own interest. Adding that he embodies care for the community by creating ample opportunities to spend time with, and listen to, students and faculty. And, these interactions and conversations impact his actions and policies.

“It informs how deeply student and person centered I am in my approach,” Cole said. “I care about the students in their experience, but also about our faculty and our staff.”

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About the Contributors
Ava Acharya
Ava Acharya, Assistant News Editor
Ava Acharya is currently the Assistant News Editor at the Maroon. She has written for the Maroon numerous times. She is a Mass Communication major with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Political Science. Although she is originally from Northern California, Ava has since made New Orleans her home and embraces the Loyola community.
Anna Hummel
Anna Hummel, Photo Editor
Anna Hummel is excited for her position as Photo Editor. Anna is a senior mass communication major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business analytics. She is passionate about telling stories through photos. In Anna’s free time she enjoys swimming, reading and art.

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