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Fredericksburg event will honor Xavier Richardson's contributions to community

Fredericksburg event will honor Xavier Richardson's contributions to community

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Xavier Richardson (copy2)

Fredericksburg is honoring Mary Washington Hospital Foundation President Xavier Richardson.

Xavier Richardson doesn’t lack confidence.

But when he learned Fredericksburg officials were preparing to proclaim April 24 as a day in his honor, he became a bit sheepish.

The president of the Mary Washington Hospital Foundation and founder of Partnership for Academic Excellence said he’s overwhelmed, humbled and appreciative that Fredericksburg will hold a one-time celebration Saturday, April 24, called Xavier Richardson Day.

There will be a motorcade traveling around the city at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon at Pimenta restaurant on Caroline Street and the première of a documentary titled “A Man Named Xavier” at 4 p.m. at James Monroe High School.

A limit of 150 people can attend the première in-person because of COVID-19 restrictions, but it will be livestreamed, as well.

Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw read a proclamation at Tuesday’s City Council meeting announcing Xavier Richardson Day in honor of the “native son” who went on to graduate from Princeton University and later Harvard Business School before returning home to become a mentor to many youth and young adults.

The proclamation mentions Richardson’s many awards and goes on to state that his “advocacy of service and social justice is conducted with generosity, humility, integrity and boundless energy.”

The effort to honor Richardson was spearheaded by his friend and former U.S. Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater.

Richardson said he was taken aback by the recognition. He said he only wanted to emulate the support system he had growing up in the city.

“What they’re recognizing me for is being obedient to the [Bible scripture] ‘To whom much is given, much is required,’” Richardson said. “That’s my mantra. That’s what motivates me to do what I do.”

Richardson’s impact has been felt in more than just the city. He’s also president of the Stafford Hospital Foundation and has mentored youth throughout Planning District 16, which includes Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties.

In the health care field, the proclamation states he’s worked to establish and expand services to improve the health and welfare of local citizens from vulnerable communities, such as the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic.

Richardson has also served higher education as a member of boards at the University of Mary Washington, Virginia State University, the University of Virginia and Germanna Community College.

He was presented the first James Farmer Distinguished Lecturer Award by UMW and also earned the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare System’s Meritorious Service Award for outstanding contributions to the community and healthcare industry.

In 2008, the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce gave him its highest honor, the Prince B. Woodard Award for exceptional leadership.

Two years later, Fredericksburg named him the city’s “Hometown Hero” and in 2012, he was chosen as recipient of the “Strong Men and Strong Women in Virginia History” award sponsored by Dominion Power and the Virginia Public Library.

Other honors include the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award and the Boy Scouts of America Good Scout Award.

The idea for a special day to celebrate Richardson was kept under wraps for months. He said he hopes it’s a day to recognize not just him, but all those who molded him and the people he’s been able to assist throughout the years.

“It’s celebrating a lot more than Xavier Richardson,” he said. “It’s celebrating all those persons that have been supportive of me and my endeavors to give back to this wonderful community.”

Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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