The Heart of Xavier


The Heart of Xavier




Mr. Smith is a lifelong Xavier custodian who motivates, inspires, and encourages Xavier students daily.


Mr. Smith explains his impact on Xavier students and how his life has changed because of Xavier University of Louisiana.


Desmond Goodwin


My Nola, My Story via Youtube


Mass Communication department at Xavier University of Louisiana


December 11, 2018


Mr. Smith (Xavier Longtime Custodian)


My Nola, My Story


My Nola, My Story 2018 exhibit.




Adobe Premiere, Video



A Digital Humanities project by Xavier University of Louisiana's Mass Communication department students, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts

Original Format


Mr. Smith: I’ve been working at the university 11 years 10 years and a half well going on 11 and I love working with the students around here. They give me energy and motivation just like I motivate the students, and mostly just like making sure the students stay focused and I would like to keep the buildings clean, so the student can have a clean environment and come in and sit in and have lunch. I keep the restrooms clean and make sure the faculty and staff members have that too.

Desmond: Can you tell me little bit how it was growing up in New Orleans
Mr. Smith; When I was growing up in New Orleans, it was ruff, because I grew up in Irish Channel Gordon District area and it was predominately white. An African-American didn’t have a chance back in them days. So, we had to struggle to survive, but as the years went the culture changes and more African-Americans moved into the neighborhood and everything. I grew up in Saint Thomas projects and that was one of the worst projects in the city, but we all survived and in high school it was 11 of us. Nine of us finished high school out df my family and we had support to finish school. I had an older brother named Clearance Smith Sr. He inspired me and gave me my first opportunity to get a job after high school and was my role model. My father died at the early age of 55 of a massive heart attack and my older brother just made sure we stayed inline and fished school and everything. So, I rubbed that off and I coached little league baseball. basketball to try to give back into our community just like here. I try to be successful in what I do. I take pride in my job. When I first started here should have said. I was working in the administration building and if it wasn't for Dr. Francis, he had faith in me. He gave me the encouragement and knowledge and everything .so that’s why I really pass it on to students. I took me a while to get it studied over the years. The more I communicate with students, Things just got better and better and better with students. I can say it was a 90% turn around and the students appreciated the work and it still does.

Desmond: So, what was of your most interesting stories you've experienced here at Xavier?

Mr., Smith: Well a year and half a go the students had nominated for being the most honorable appreciative in the university of Xavier. They had given me an award for it. That was as a thrill to me you know I didn't figure that since I was not a faculty or staff member of the university I'm working for a private contractor, but they said it was well worth it for me to get that award and I appreciate that very much and I will always appreciate it.

Mr. Smith: Because they’re our future you know because so much going on, they say that the black man the black woman can't do this, but the student over they have the capability and I know they will succeed in life and that why I make sure they stay focused and I try to stay on them every day. The good lord gave me the strength to get up out that bed. he blessing me so when I come over here, I try to bring my blessing to the students over to make sure they succeed in life.

Desmond: What's one thing you want to be remembered for here at Xavier university.

Mr: Smith: Keeping the students to make sure they stay focused and that they finish their education that's the most important thing the student’s education at the university of Xavier.

Desmond: One piece of advice you would leave with the students?
Mr. Smith: Stay focused. That's the main word stay focused
Desmond: Mr. smith on behalf of the Xavier community we want to thank you for your hard and kinds words that you give us each day to remain focused. You always help us see that all heroes don’t wear capes.


4:35 (four minutes, thirty-five seconds)


Desmond Goodwin


Dr. Shearon Roberts


Date Added
December 11, 2018
Item Type
Moving Image
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Desmond Goodwin, “The Heart of Xavier,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed November 28, 2022,