President, Xavier University of Louisiana; CEO, Xavier University

Reynold Verret came to the United States as a refugee from Haiti in 1963, and he has focused on building and strengthening communities ever since.

“Education is a foundation on which we build and strengthen society,” Verret says. “Broad education leads to engaged citizens, essential to a democratic government. Education also brings forth the talent and creativity to build economies, healthy societies and to secure the future.”

Verret had enormous shoes to fill when he took over the leadership position at Xavier from the legendary Dr. Norman C. Francis in May 2015, but he did so with grace as he focused on the success of his students.

Watching students graduate and visiting with alumni as they talk about their Xavier days and the tools for success that the historic school helped them develop is a special pleasure for Verret.

Each new year brings a new opportunity to continue the legacy of Xavier within the New Orleans community and the world at large.

“I am looking forward to communicating Xavier’s story, its success in educating talented students fulfilling the hope that Saint Katharine Drexel foresaw,” he says. “Indeed, Xavier shows what great things are possible when one provides great education to students.”