Presidential Citizenship Award to be presented to the founder of Hate Won't Win Movement
Hampton, Va. - Hampton University welcomes Dr. Norman Francis, President Emeritus of Xavier University of Louisiana and one of the nation's longest seated university presidents, to present the keynote address at the 73rd Annual Opening Convocation on Sunday, Sept. 27. Opening Convocation will be held in Ogden Hall and will begin at 10:45 a.m. Francis will also be presented with an honorary doctorate degree.
For her tireless efforts for the victims of hate crimes, Alana Simmons will receive the Presidential Citizenship award at the ceremony. Simmons, a resident of Newport News, Va., founded the Hate Won't Win Movement in honor of her grandfather the Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons Sr., one of the nine Charleston shooting victims.
Francis served as president of Xavier from 1968 to June 30, 2015. He has been affiliated with Xavier for most of 66 years, arriving at Xavier from Lafayette as a 17 year-old freshman in 1948, and he quickly emerged as a leader. He was elected class president every year of his undergraduate study and student body president in his senior year.
Xavier University was transformed under Francis’ leadership, enrollment has tripled and the university’s endowment has grown from under $20 million to more than $160 million. A campus of five permanent buildings that could fit on one city block has grown to 16 permanent buildings and manicured green spaces extending out over 63.4 acres.
During Francis’ tenure as president, Xavier received a constantly increasing volume of national recognition for outstanding academic achievements especially in the sciences and pre-medical areas, rigorous graduation requirements and Xavier’s scholarly athletes, as well as the intellectual and moral quality of the alumni.
The Opening Convocation Ceremony will be live streamed at media.hamptonu.edu.