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XULA University Archives & Special Collections

The XULA Story Project


Xavier's story is unlike any other, and yet, like New Orleans, it is quintessentially American.

In its 95-year history, Xavier University of Louisiana has faced adversities almost Biblical in scope. Hurricanes. Floods. Cultural revolution. State and local governments that fought against its very existence. Xavier, the nation’s only Catholic and historically black university, was founded by a white nun who was determined to admit students of all faiths and races—and to do it in the same city, New Orleans, where Plessy v. Ferguson had prompted decades of enforced segregation, all throughout the South. That nun, Mother Katharine Drexel, has since been canonized a saint. Meanwhile, Xavier has thrived.

Created with the help of the Archives & Special Collections, the Xavier Story Project includes interviews with men and women who’ve lived through some of these events, along with “behind the scenes” correspondence, photographs, audio and video recordings, and documents that reveal Xavier University’s history and its role in America’s civil rights struggle. You’ll also find a list of related projects that Xavier students and faculty are developing now, as well as an interactive map of Xavier students and alumni around the world. By gathering these materials, the Xavier Story Project aims to create a framework where students, alumni, faculty, and staff can not only explore their common history, but also record their own stories, today and in the future.

To Visit the Website: WWW.XULASTORY.COM