NAFEO Creates Scholarships to Honor Norman C. Francis

On the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Norman C. Francis accepted an offer to become president of Xavier University, the historically Black educational institution in New Orleans. He still holds that office and is the longest-tenured university president in the United States.

Francis is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana. His father was a barber. He graduated from Xavier University and earned his law degree at Loyola University. He served for 11 years as Xavier’s dean of men, before becoming university president. In 2006 Francis was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Now the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) in conjunction with AT&T has created a scholarship in his name. The AT&T-NAFEO Francis Fellow Awards will go to two students from Xavier University and one student each from Dillard University, Grambling State University, Southern University, and Southern University-New Orleans.

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  1. It does not seem quite right that a NAFEO sponsored scholarship would be selective as to which school the recipient must attend. If AT&T is paying for the scholarship that is one thing, but if money raised by or collected by NAFEO is paying for it, well, it just does not seem right. The student should be free to take the scholarship to the school he or she wants.

  2. This scholarship appears to be a HBCU and AT&T relationship. Wherever there is AT&T services provided and a HBCU, there could be a similar relationship developed. African Americans contribute to the AT&T business in large numbers. This is now an opportunity to expand that relationship to other HBCUs. We certainly deserve more than we are receiving…build relationships.

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