Dr. Norman C. Francis: A legacy of change

This column appeared in the June 2015 [1] issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 80, No. 6, page 47-48). - See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/print/30175#sthash.fORvsDpy.dpuf

This column appeared in the June 2015 [1] issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 80, No. 6, page 47-48). - See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/print/30175#sthash.fORvsDpy.dpuf


DR. FRANCIS is in a league of ONE!

We at RDI want to give a quick tribute.

"On Aprl 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and Norman Francis was in Philadelphia meeting with the leaders of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament."  After a couple of offers and declines to become Xavier University's first black president,  DR. FRANCIS CHANGED HIS MIND. 

We are certainly glad he did.  There have been countless interviews of Dr. Francis, but, what sticks out most to us at RDI is his southern and down home personality and values.  He cherishes his lovely wife and partner, Blanche and his six beautiful children and grandchildren.  He loves food, especially Sunday meals with family.  He says Sundays feel like a holiday.  He loves holidays, particularly Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  But, he loves best desserts (homemade ice cream, chocolate cake, pumpkin pie and peanut butter cookies).   

Dr. Francis is known for his dedicated education and spiritual mission at Xavier and he quotes about that the mission is "wishing good for others and causing it to be done".  In one of his many speeches he states "education is the road out of poverty...some people still think everyone can just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps...hell, we don't have bootstraps anymore". 

Dr. Francis is president emeritus and now retired and leaves a 47 year legacy.  We are happy to share his legacy here at RDI and we wish him all the spoils of retirement.  Congratulations Dr. Francis and thank you for being a great example of change.  More importantly, thank you for teaching us the meaning of leadership.