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Study Finds HBCU Pours More Than $300 Million into New Orleans Economy

Written by Louisiana Weekly on 14 August 2009.

NEW ORLEANS (NNPA)- In the post-Hurricane Katrina economy of New Orleans, a 2008 economic impact study shows that Xavier University of is a significant contributor to the metropolitan area’s economy. According to the study, Xavier generates more than $320 million in economic activities, and about $115.6 million of that is household earnings in the Greater New Orleans Region.

The nation’s only historically Black and Catholic university is one of the area’s leading employers, and its spending helps to provide more than 4,200 jobs in Orleans Parish.

According to Dr. Ronald Durnford, Xavier’s vice president for planning and institutional research, approximately $158.6 million of the total economic activity generated is due to spending by students and visitors from out of state, plus spending by the University on those students.

“The unique economic contribution of Xavier is that we bring millions of dollars into the City and the state unlike the typical business that just re-circulates dollars within the State,” said Gene D’Amour, Senior Vice President for Resource Development at Xavier.

The study was conducted by Frederick Rodgers, a respected economist at Medaille College in New York, who employed the Regional Input-Output Modeling System to estimate Xavier’s economic impact on the region.

Xavier is located in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). That area includes the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard. St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany. While Xavier draws students from outside the New Orleans area, many students served by the University live within the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner MSA.

Xavier University is a private, co-educational institution offering a comprehensive liberal arts program and professional programs including 41 undergraduate majors plus seven master’s degree programs and a Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Xavier holds the distinction of having more of its Black graduates accepted into U.S. medical schools than any other institution of higher learning and is also one of the leading producers of pharmacists of color.

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