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Meet Dr. Xavier Cole

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Xavier Cole, the vice president for student affairs, went down to the basement of Varsity Theatre Sunday, Aug. 28 to audition for the Marquette band program, just like any other student.

After performing his prepared piece for band director Erik Janners, Cole was placed in the wind ensemble.

He participated in the jazz and pit bands during his 20 years at Loyola University Maryland and couldn’t pass up this opportunity to work alongside Marquette students.

“I found it as an excellent way for students to know me as a person and not just an administrator,” Cole said. “That love of music was something we had in common and I wanted to share my love and know theirs.”

Janners said Cole is the first staff member that has performed with the band during his nine years at Marquette. Janners said the students love working with Cole.

“(The students) know what they do is being understood on a personal level by someone at one of the highest levels of the university,” he said.

Marquette hired Cole as the vice president for student affairs in June. Cole previously worked for Loyola University Maryland’s division of student development, moving up the ranks during his 20 years and leaving in 2014 as assistant vice president. He most recently served as vice president for student affairs in addition to dean of students at Washington College, a small liberal arts institution in Chestertown, Maryland. Cole said there were many aspects that drew him to Marquette.

“Coming to Marquette wasn’t just about the well-respected reputation that it has as a university,” Cole said. “What really drew me to Marquette was coming back to the Jesuit Catholic mission of education.”

Meeting a fellow graduate student who was Jesuit-educated first sparked Cole’s interest in Jesuit values.

“This person was doing service work in a space where service wasn’t being done by anyone else,” Cole said. “He had a very high sense of ethics and morals that was noticeable in all aspects of his life.”

Cole didn’t feel as well-formed and mature as his colleague, despite being the same age. Cole finally asked what happened during this man’s upbringing that made service so important to him, to which the student credited his previous Jesuit education.

“Even though we weren’t at a Jesuit graduate school (Miami University Ohio), he still continued his service because his heart was set on fire by Jesuit education and values,” Cole said. “That stayed with me for a very long time and influenced the types of positions I sought out.”

Cole discovered his love for working with students as a residence assistant at the University of Mississippi and a hall director at Miami University Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree in history at Mississippi, master’s degree in history from Miami and earned his doctor of education degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Pursuing a career in student affairs allowed him to combine his love for the two fields of work.

As vice president for student affairs, Cole works with different departments around campus to help enhance student growth and development. Cole leads conversations among the Marquette University Police Department, Marquette Student Government, the athletic department, residence life, health services, Greek life and the career services center to determine what is best for the students.

“I want the students to have as much of an education outside of the classroom as they do inside,” Cole said.

Mary Janz, executive director of housing and residence life, said Cole can relate to everyone. “The students and staff within the department love him and his style,” she said. “He has a way of taking on tough decisions and having tough conversations with great care in his words and actions.”

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One Response to “Meet Dr. Xavier Cole”

  1. Angela Hunt on March 12th, 2018 5:47 pm

    Thank you for hiring ethical, principled administration as well as faculty, which serves to create a tone on and around campus that Christianity is a viable option for defining worldview, and for making a difference in the world. Because of your forethought and witness, this current generation will make a great impact on this nation.

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