“Norman Francis has been a leader in higher education for over fifty years. From 1968 to 2015, he served as the president of Xavier University in New Orleans, where he became legendary for his commitment to making Xavier, a predominantly African American university, a model institution for underprivileged students. His vision provided the impetus for the growth of the university, whose premedical program now leads the nation in its number of African American graduates. On a national level, Francis has advised eight White House administrations on education and civil rights, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.
Simmie Knox, prominent portraitist of renowned African Americans, depicted Francis at Xavier University in front of the St. Katherine Drexel Chapel, which was dedicated in 2012 in honor of the university's founder, a nun, who is remembered for having been a strong advocate for African American and Native American civil rights.” -- National Portrait Gallery
Simmie Knox, 2016
St. Katherine Drexel Chapel
The Presidential Medal of Freedom Service Ribbon