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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Xavier University Main Building, Convent & Library

Xavier University Main Building

New Orleans, Louisiana

1 Drexel Drive

Xavier University provides an early example of African Americans enjoying high quality university facilities despite the widespread inequities during the Jim Crow era. It is the only black Catholic university in the U.S. and the only historically black college to have its founder canonized. Mother Katharine Drexel, a white nun, founded Xavier University in 1915 and provided a quality education to thousands of African Americans, who upon graduation entered the New Orleans professional community. Since 1927, the Xavier University College of Pharmacy has produced one fourth of all black pharmacists in the nation. The university’s main administration building, original library, and convent were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Photo: Xavier University Main Building
– Courtesy Xavier University/Irving Johnson

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