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Biography of Xavier Cole

Xavier A. Cole, Ed.D., an experienced higher education leader, dedicated to preserving the tenets of a Jesuit education and empowering the campus community is Loyola’s 18th president.

In his career of nearly three decades in higher education, President Cole has been guided by Ignatian-influenced educational ideals of fortifying the mind, body, and spirit.  At Loyola, he is committed to strengthening the university by seeking mission-aligned partnerships in the New Orleans region and beyond, improving the school’s financial health and stability, and investing in those who work and learn here. Dr. Cole is the first person of color and the second layperson to serve as president since Loyola’s founding in 1912.

Originally from Biloxi, Mississippi, he holds a bachelor's in history from the University of Mississippi and a master's degree in history from Miami University (Ohio). He discovered his passion for student affairs as a resident advisor at Ole Miss and then as a graduate hall director at Miami. 

Before returning to his Gulf Coast roots at Loyola, President Cole served as the Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs at Marquette University beginning in 2016. He brought a particular passion to access and engagement initiatives for first-generation students and those from varying socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities.

Earlier in his career, President Cole spent more than two decades shaping student life at higher education institutions in Maryland and Wisconsin. In 2013, he explored the outcomes of mission identity programs at U.S. Jesuit universities and analyzed their effectiveness in preparing future lay leaders for Jesuit universities, while earning his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Cole and his wife, historian Dr. Susanne DeBerry Cole, are delighted to join the Greater New Orleans community. A practiced trombone and euphonium player, Dr. Cole is well-suited for this next chapter of life in the birthplace of jazz.