Xavier University of Louisiana, (XULA) is a historically Black, Catholic college located in New Orleans, Louisiana. While Xavier’s student body is predominantly African American (74.9%), the university is open to all. Xavier is also 71.2% female and 25% Roman Catholic.
Approximately 3,200 students live and study on Xavier’s 29-acre campus. Often referred to as “Emerald City” due to it’s signature green roofs, Xavier folds seamlessly into the surrounding urban area. Student life is enriched by the social and cultural setting of New Orleans, and by campus activities designed to enhance personal growth, interpersonal skills, and leadership.
Established first as a French colony, New Orleans (also known as NOLA) was eventually sold to the United States in 1803. Today, the city is the largest in Louisiana with a popluation of nearly 400,00 and boasts many attractions and a unique culture. From the world-renowned French Quarter and Bourbon Street‘s notorious nightlife to St. Charles Avenue (home of Tulane and Loyola Universities, the historic Pontchartrain Hotel, and many 19th-century mansions), to Magazine Street, with its many boutique stores and antique shops, there is always something to do or see.
The New Orleans area is home to numerous celebrations, the most popular of which Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday turns the city into a giant party and usually consists of a parade every day for two weeks straight. NOLA is also known as the birthplace of jazz. The largest of the city’s many music festivals is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Despite the name, it features not only jazz but a large variety of music, including both native Louisiana music and international artists. Along with Jazz Fest, New Orleans’ Voodoo Experience (“Voodoo Fest”) and the Essence Music Festival are both large music festivals featuring local and international artists.
New Orleans has always been a significant center for music, showcasing its intertwined European, Latin American, and African cultures. Jazz and brass bands have are still very popular today. The city’s music was significantly influenced by Acadiana, home of Cajun and Zydeco music, and Delta blues. Much later in its musical development, New Orleans was home to a distinctive brand of rhythm and blues that contributed greatly to the growth of rock and roll.
The French Quarter (known locally as “the Quarter” or Vieux Carré) contains many popular hotels, bars, and nightclubs including Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Market (including Café du Monde, famous for café au lait and beignets) and Preservation Hall. To tour the port, one can ride the Natchez, an authentic steamboat with a calliope, which cruises the Mississippi the length of the city twice daily. The city’s many beautiful cemeteries and their distinct above-ground tombs are often attractions in themselves, the oldest and most famous of which, Saint Louis Cemetery, greatly resembles Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
New Orleans also boasts a decidedly natural side. It is home to the Audubon Nature Institute (which consists of Audubon Park, the Audubon Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas, and the Audubon Insectarium), as well as gardens that include Longue Vue House and Gardens and the New Orleans Botanical Garden. City Park, one of the country’s most expansive and visited urban parks, has one of the largest stands of oak trees in the world. There are also various points of interest in the surrounding areas. Many wetlands are in close proximity to the city, including Honey Island Swamp. Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery, located just south of the city, is the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans.
New Orleans is world-famous for its food. The indigenous cuisine is distinctive and influential. From centuries of amalgamation of the local Creole, haute Creole, and New Orleans French cuisines, New Orleans food has developed. Local ingredients, French, Spanish, Italian, African, Native American, Cajun, Chinese, and a hint of Cuban traditions combine to produce a truly unique and easily recognizable Louisiana flavor. New Orleans is known for specialties like beignets (served with café au lait made with a blend of coffee and chicory rather than only coffee); and Po’ boy and Italian Muffuletta sandwiches; Gulf oysters on the half-shell, fried oysters, boiled crawfish, and other seafood; étouffée, jambalaya, gumbo, and other Creole dishes; and the Monday favorite of red beans and rice.
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