Photos: Norman Francis ending his tenure as president of Xavier University

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  • President Bush, right, bestows the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Xavier University of Louisiana President Norman C. Francis during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. Francis announced his retirement today. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Xavier President Norman Francis announced his retirement today .(AP Photo/Bill Haber)

  • Xavier Univ. President Norman Francis, is the longest serving college president in the US.

  • Advocate photo by Steven Forster -- Dr. Norman C. Francis has announced his retirement.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The Louisiana Weekly Editor Renette Dejoie Hall kisses Dr. Norman Francis after he announced his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--WDSU anchor Norman Robinson, who also retired this year, shakes hands with Dr. Norman Francis, right, after Francis announced his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The Louisiana Weekly Editor Renette Dejoie Hall kisses Dr. Norman Francis after he announced his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis poses with students after Francis announced his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Xavier Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Rue, left, laughs with Dr. Norman Francis as he announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--WDSU anchor Norman Robinson, right, who also retired this year, shakes hands with Dr. Norman Francis, center, next to Willie Wilson, who has been a cameraman for 45 years at WWL-TV, after Francis announced his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.

  • Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Dr. Norman Francis announces his retirement as president of Xavier University, a post he has held since 1968 having previously served in other positions since 1957, at Xavier's University Center in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In 1952 he graduated with a B.S. from Xavier and was the first African-American student to integrate and attend Loyola University Law School where he received his J.D. in 1955.