Dr. Norman C. Francis: A Legacy of Leadership


Chronicles the life of Dr. Norman C. Francis, a  Louisiana legend and one of America’s longest-serving university presidents. Archival photos, footage, and interviews document his journey from humble beginnings in Lafayette to a 47-year career as Xavier University president, a civil rights and civic leader, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.



The program documents Dr. Norman Francis’ influential role as a leader in education, civil rights, and civic affairs.

As Xavier University’s president, he tripled the school’s enrollment, broadened its curriculum, and advised eight U.S. presidents on education issues. As a civil rights leader, he housed the Freedom Riders at Xavier and represented young civil rights activists as a lawyer. As a civic leader, he co-founded Liberty Bank and chaired the Louisiana Recovery Authority after Hurricane Katrina.

The program includes a one-on-one interview with Dr. Francis, as well as his children and colleagues and friends: Sybil & Marc Morial, Moon Landrieu, Scott Cowen, Walter Isaacson, Helena Moreno, Alden & Todd McDonald, and Dr. Reynold Verret.

Produced by Thanh Truong. Associate producer is Dionne Butler.