The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Xavier Cole to become president at Loyola NOLA

photo via Dr. Cole

Upon the completion of his seventh year at Marquette, Xavier Cole, vice president of student affairs, will leave Marquette to serve as president at Loyola University New Orleans.

Cole said the decision to leave Marquette wasn’t an easy one.

“I learned several years ago that sometimes in order to meet the goals that you’re setting for yourself you can’t always sit still, and so as hard as it is to leave a place that has such great students and community, the city of Milwaukee … I have to allow myself that opportunity to think that way about another Jesuit institution and how I could take my gifts and talents and share them in that direction,” Cole said.

Cole grew up in Biloxi, Mississippi, and decided to leave the South for school. He began thinking about going home and said that New Orleans is a “stone’s throw” from his hometown.

“There’s just so much joy that brings to be back in the place where you were formed, you’re comfortable. People there who are still there, who love you and know you when you’re just a little bit, and it’s something different to come home and then have them see how you’ve grown and how you can share those gifts and talents with them as well to give back to the place that formed you broadly my region,” Cole said.

Out of the 28 Jesuit universities in the United States, Cole said there may be three to four openings for presidencies in any given year.

“This is a tremendous honor to be selected, to take one of those very few opportunities to lead and to steward a part of Jesuit education into the future,” Cole said. “I’ve worked in Jesuit education most of my career, and I care about it a great deal.”

Rick Arcuri, executive director of business operations and auxiliary services in the Division of Student Affairs, will serve as acting vice president of student affairs starting May 1.

Arcuri has known Cole since he arrived at Marquette and said that it has been a pleasure to work alongside Cole.

“Dr. Cole allowed me to do my job and trusted me to keep him informed, but did not second guess me or micro-manage. I will miss being able to talk to him about difficult decisions to get his feedback and support,” Arcuri said in an email.

Cole was named vice president of student affairs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Arcuri said that Cole was tasked with a difficult role as he helped the Marquette community through a trying time.

Arcuri said that Cole is very caring and goes out of his way to reach out to people.

“He has a wide network of friends here at Marquette, many of them are people who do not report directly to him but see him every day,” Arcuri said. “He often stops to talk to them and let them know how much he values what they do for our students. He makes you feel good about yourself and what you are doing, and I think many people will miss him for it.”

Stephanie Quade, dean of students, said she knew Cole prior to Marquette through the national Jesuit student affairs organization. Quade said that Cole is very passionate about Jesuit higher education.

Quade said that Cole advocates for students and student affairs.

“He was able to secure funding in particular to help students in great need, both financially and emotionally. Financial support for programs like Backpack [MU Backpack Program], and of course, the Wellness and Recreation area, has provided (and will provide in the future) support for many, many students,” Quade said in an email.

Cole describes his time at Marquette as the best professional experience of his career.

“I just want to share just how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve here and that back in 2016, Dan Myers and Michael Lovell, your president, gave me an opportunity to serve and trusted me to come in and not just do no harm, but to leave this place better than I found it,” Cole said. “And I hope that I was able to leave Marquette and the Division of Student Affairs better.”

This story was written by Hannah Hernandez. She can be reached at [email protected].

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