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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," one of New Orleans' best-known fictional residents, Blanche DuBois, said famously in the Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Not so for one of New Orleans' best-known real residents, Xavier University of Louisiana. The only Catholic institution among the nation's historically black colleges and universities, Xavier has taken pride in being independent and producing graduates who not only achieve, but also help build and uplift their communities.
But Hurricane Katrina knocked the pins out from under virtually everyone and everything in New …