The Nicholls State University Alumni Federation recently hosted its annual Awards for Excellence reception to honor those who have most helped to advance the university and the federation.
The James Lynn Powell Award, the federation’s most prestigious award given to a Nicholls graduate, was presented to Dr. Barry G. Landry, a Thibodaux-based, general surgical practitioner and 1977 Nicholls alumnus. A long-time member of the federation, the Nicholls Foundation and the Colonel Club, Landry has taken special interest in caring for Nicholls’ student-athletes.
The Harvey Peltier Award, the highest award given to a non-graduate of Nicholls, was awarded to Archie Manning, former NFL quarterback and father of two current NFL stars. The federation recognized Manning for bringing the Manning Passing Academy to Nicholls and for donating the funds necessary to resurface the Guidry Stadium playing field with AstroTurf.
Three Nicholls employees were named honorary alumni this year – Robert J. Bernardi, athletics director; Dr. Quenton C. Fontenot, assistant professor of biological sciences; and George A. Kaslow, assistant professor at The John Folse Culinary Institute.
During his tenure, Bernardi has presided over the restructuring of the athletics department, improving the academic standing of Nicholls’ student-athletes by working to place all academic advising under University College. He has overseen the refurbishment of many Nicholls athletic facilities as well.
Fontenot’s reputation as a professor who values both his academic discipline and his students is well known at Nicholls. Currently directing seven students’ theses, he also helped create the Bayousphere Research Lab and has published extensively in such journals as the North American Journal of Aquaculture and the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.
Kaslow, known as Chef George to his students, joined the Nicholls faculty in 2000. A recipient of both the Bell South Endowed Professorship and the Nicholls Apple Award for Outstanding Support for Student Activities, Kaslow is quite active with Nicholls fundraising events, including Bite of the Arts and the Lafcadio Hearn Award Dinner and Distinguished Visiting Chef Series.
The Marie Fletcher Distinguished Service Award, honoring past or present administrators or faculty members, was awarded to Dr. David E. Middleton. As head of the Department of Languages and Literature, Alcee Fortier Professor, Distinguished Service Professor of English and poet-in-residence, Middleton’s credentials are extensive. His award holds the distinction of being the only one to carry with it a cash stipend.
Joanne Price, administrative assistant 3 in The John Folse Culinary Institute, was chosen to receive the Ramon Labat Award – presented annually to former or current civil service employees who have shown exceptional professionalism and have consistently promoted Nicholls. The federation honored Price as a powerful example and role model for all civil service employees.
The Corporate Mark of Honor, recognizing a top corporate supporter, was awarded to the Lorio Foundation – a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for more than $1,440,000 in new projects at Nicholls, including two scholarships, a new bus, a server for the Nicholls network, four endowed professorships, three Steinway pianos and a harpsichord.