President, Loyola University New Orleans
Xavier A. Cole, Ed.D. is Loyola University New Orleans’ 18th president. He is committed to strengthening the University by seeking mission-aligned partnerships, improving the school’s financial health and stability, and investing in those who work and learn there.
Prior to Loyola, Dr. Cole was the Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs at Marquette University, beginning in 2016. He brought particular passion to access and engagement initiatives for first-generation students and students of color, including enhancing support for African American and Hispanic students, as well as expanding services for LGBTQ+ students. He also won praise for chairing Marquette’s COVID-19 Response Team, starting in the demanding days of March 2020.
A product of Biloxi, MS, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Mississippi, and a Master’s degree in history from Miami University (Ohio). He discovered his passion for student affairs as a Resident Advisor at Ole Miss and then as a graduate hall director at Miami.
In 2013, Dr. Cole earned a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation explored the outcomes of mission and identity programs at U.S. Jesuit institutions and analyzed their effectiveness in preparing future lay leaders. Its prescient title is “Answering the call: An examination of the development of lay leadership on Jesuit, Catholic university campuses.”
Before his role at Marquette, Dr. Cole spent more than two decades shaping student life at higher education institutions in Maryland. From 2014 to 2016, he was vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Washington College, a small liberal arts college in Chestertown, MD, which holds the distinction of being the first college chartered in the sovereign United States. From 1995 to 2014, Dr. Cole held roles of increasing responsibility within the Division of Student Development at Loyola University Maryland, leaving Baltimore in 2014 as assistant vice president.
Dr. Cole is married to historian Dr. Susanne DeBerry Cole and is the proud dog-father of a feisty cairn terrier named Mingus.