Dr. Francis has been lauded as a visionary leader and educator by such luminaries as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell, Bill Gates, and Pope John Paul II, who have all visited New Orleans to commend Xavier University’s president.


In addition to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor for distinguished Americans, Dr. Norman C. Francis’ prestigious national reputation has led to numerous academic and community honors and awards, including the following:

  • Recipient of the 2015 St. Ives Award, the highest honor awarded by the College of Law Alumni Association – January 13, 2015
  • Recipient of the Ven. Pierre Toussaint Medallion from the Archdiocese of New York—September 22, 2005
  • Recipient of the National Urban League’s Legends Award, Washington, DC—July 30, 2005
  • Recipient of 100 Black Men of America’s Man of the Year Award—June 11, 2005
  • Recipient of the Annual Pro Deo et Pontifice Award from the Bishop Jude Speyrer Chapter of Pontifical Knights of Pius, St. Gregory & St. Sylvester, Lake Charles, LA—December 15, 2004
  • Recipient of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Meritorious Award at the Annual SACS Meeting, Atlanta, GA—December 6, 2004
  • Recipient of the CASE (Council for Advancement & Support of Education) Executive Leadership Award, District IV, Southwest region (presented to recognize presidents and heads of independent schools for exceptional efforts to promote and support their institutions ) presented at the CASE Annual Assembly, in San Diego, CA— July 11, 2004
  • Recipient of the Pope John Paul II Award from the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans – October 23, 2003
  • Recognized by the Urban League of Greater New Orleans 24th Golden Gala honoree—June 28, 2003
  • Recipient of the Louisiana Public Broadcasting Louisiana Legends Award, presented in Baton Rouge, LA on April 3, 2003
  • Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc.—May 2002
  • Recipient of the Knight Commanders of the Order of St. Gregory, conferral of Papal Honor by His Holiness Pope John Paul II—January 29, 2000
  • Recipient of the 1999 From Whence We Came Award from All-State Insurance—February 25, 1999
  • Recipient of the 1998 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award from New Orleans Area Council, Boy Scouts of America – December 2, 1998
  • Recipient of the 1998 St. Martin de Porres Social Justice Award, given by the Southern Dominican Friars Province – November 17, 1998
  • Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, 1998 Laureate—May 8, 1998.
  • Pioneer in Education Award (1994) Recipient of this annual award to an educator whose contributions have made a significant difference in education of African-Americans. (The Institute for Independent Education, Washington, DC)—awarded October 1, 1994.
  • The Times Picayune Loving Cup of 1991, awarded annually to New Orleans citizens who have worked unselfishly for the community without expectation of public recognition or material award.
  • Loyola University, President’s Council, Adjutor Hominum Award—October 1991
  • Plaque presented by the City of New Orleans to Norman C. Francis, in gratitude for the time and effort you have generously given towards the Success of Martin Luther King, Jr. Sixth National Holiday Observance— January 21, 1991
  • American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Louisiana 1990 Benjamin Smith Award, in recognition of his life long commitment to racial cooperation, understanding and friendship.
  • New Orleans Chapter of Public Relations Society of America Hornblower of the Year, in appreciation for his continued accomplishment in Higher Education and for his contributions to the City of New Orleans, State of Louisiana—June 1990
  • National Alumni Council of UNCF’s Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of exceptional leadership and dedicated service to the higher education community — February 17, 1989
  • New Orleans Chapter of the National Associationn. of Christians and Jews, Weiss Brotherhood Award, for distinguished service in the Field of Human Relations—November 10, 1988
  • United Teachers of New Orleans, Friends of Public Education Award, for unselfish giving of his time, energies and talents in improving the New Orleans Public Schools—April 25, 1987
  • Loyola University, President’s Council, 10th Annual Integritas Vitae Award, to a distinguished leader—1986
  • New Orleans Gridiron Show, Headliner of the Year Award—1986
  • Jefferson Parish School Board Award for leadership in education and commitment to young people to attain a quality education—February 25, 1986
  • One of America’s 100 Most Effective College Presidents in the United States according to a Survey of Higher Education Officials—November 12, 1986
  • Metropolitan Area Committee’s Special Achievement Award for significant contributions to the enrichment and betterment of the quality of life in our community—1985
  • Urban League of Greater New Orleans Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award for Community Service—1982
  • Commission on Occupational Education Institutions Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Outstanding Service—1980
  • Monte M. Lemann Award bestowed by the Louisiana Civil Service League,“Norman C. Francis, New Orleans Educator” in recognition of many years of unselfish devotion to the cause of good government through the merit system of public employment in Louisiana—July 12, 1974
  • Anti-Defamation League “Torch of Liberty Award” in recognition and appreciation of distinguished service and inspiring leadership in preserving liberty, counteracting bigotry and advancing the cause of human rights, dignity and equal opportunity—December 11, 1971
Honors and Awards
Honorary Degrees
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