Xavier University is the only Catholic historically black college in the country

NEW ORLEANS -- February is Black History Month, a month-long celebration remembering the important contributions that African Americans have made in our nation's history.

In honor of Black History Month, News with a Twist is featuring the people and places of New Orleans and beyond who helped to shape our community.

Today, it's Xavier University.

Founded by St. Katharine Drexel in 1925, Xavier is the only historically black Roman Catholic university in the United States.

"One of the essential reasons Xavier exists is that Xavier disabuses the country of the narrative that young black students, sons of daughters of slaves, could not learn," explained Xavier President Dr. C. Reynold Verret.  "Xavier is the leading university in this country in preparing African Americans to go on and complete medical school."

Verret said Xavier leads the country in the number of young African Americans who go on to earn Ph.D.s in the sciences and engineering.

So, what's the secret?

"High expectations," Verret said. "When they leave, they leave fully prepared; they leave ready."