On Campus for Oct. 28, 2013

The University of New Orleans announced that Xavier University President Norman C. Francis will serve as UNO’s fall 2013 commencement speaker.

The ceremony will be at the Lakefront Arena at 3 p.m. Dec. 20.

Francis is the longest tenured college president in the nation, having led Xavier since 1968.

“I have enormous personal and professional admiration for President Norman Francis,” UNO President Peter J. Fos said.

Francis has served in an advisory role to eight U.S. presidential administrations — not only on educational issues, but civil rights as well — in addition to serving on 54 boards and commissions.

In 2006, President George W. Bush presented him with the nation’s highest civil award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Francis has received 40 honorary degrees from other universities and at least two dozen major awards in recognition of his leadership in higher education and his public service.

Study: Women rare at top of La. corporations

Far too few women reach the top rungs of the corporate ladder in Louisiana, according to a new Tulane University report that finds women occupy only 7.2 percent of the total board positions on the state’s top 50 publicly traded companies.

According to the study, more than half of the state’s public companies have no women on the board, and 62 percent have no women as top paid executives,

The study uses recent Securities Exchange Commission filings to analyze gender diversity among boards and executive leadership teams.

The report was compiled by Saru Matambanadzo, associate professor of law at Tulane University School of Law, and is available at tulane.edu/newcomb.

“Fundamental fairness demands that women serve on boards of directors. It makes no sense to waste half of our talent pool,” said Sally Kenney, executive director of the Newcomb College Institute, which funded the study.

Pulitzer Prize writer to speak at Loyola

Rick Bragg, a journalist and nonfiction writer who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his feature writing for the New York Times, will speak at Loyola University on Sunday, Nov. 3. Bragg has written two memoirs, “All Over But The Shoutin’” and “Ava’s Man.”

He has taught writing at Harvard University, Boston University, the University of South Florida, and now teaches at the University of Alabama.

The talk is from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Nunemaker Hall.

Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for non-students.

Henrietta Lacks discussion set for Xavier

Xavier University will host a discussion entitled “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” on Monday, Oct. 28.

Lacks, who died in 1951, was an African-American woman who was the unwitting source of the cancerous tumor cells cultured by Dr. George Otto Gey to create the first known human immortal cell line for medical research.

The talk will feature two of Lacks’s granddaughters and will be facilitated by Dr. Regina Benjamin, the 18th U.S. surgeon general and the XU nola.com/Times-Picayune Endowed Chair in Public.

The discussion is free, and the public is invited. It begins at 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.