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Nicholls to honor veterans

THIBODAUX – Paying tribute to all veterans past and present, Nicholls State University will host a Veterans Day ceremony in the campus quadrangle at noon Thursday, Nov. 11. The public is encouraged to attend.

“The University wishes to recognize those who have served our country,” Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president for student affairs and enrollment services, said. “The very concepts of freedom of speech, religion and the right to vote are possible because of the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families. I encourage everyone in the Bayou Region to attend this ceremony.”

Lt. Gilberto Burbante, a senior government major, U.S. Marine veteran and president of the Veterans Club at Nicholls, will deliver the opening remarks – followed by a welcome by President Stephen Hulbert. The keynote address will be delivered by Major Mark Bolton of the U.S. Army.

Members of the Nicholls chapter of Phi Mu Alpha will perform the National Anthem; students from the Generations Teaching Generations program will lead the Pledge of Allegiance; and the MAX Charter School students will perform. The Thibodaux High School JROTC will present and retire the colors, and the invocation will be delivered by Emeris Kraemer, a sophomore history major and U.S. Army veteran.

Veterans who attend the ceremony are invited to lunch, sponsored by Sodexo and the Nicholls Foundation, in Galliano Dining Hall following the proceedings. Parking will be available alongside Stopher Gymnasium. Veterans should also feel free to wear their uniforms to the ceremony.

After the proceedings, attendees are encouraged to visit the first floor of Ellender Memorial Library, where assistant archivist Neil Guilbeau has constructed a display featuring veterans’ photos, uniforms, gear, decorations and other memorabilia spanning the period from World War I to the war in Iraq. Guilbeau said the majority of the items belong to local veterans.

There are currently 134 known veterans who are enrolled at Nicholls – as well as 23 known offspring of deceased or disabled veterans.

Earlier this year, for the second year in a row, G.I. Jobs magazine named Nicholls a Military Friendly School for 2011 – an honor shared with 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide. The recognition stems from the efforts of Nicholls to recruit and retain active military and veteran students.

Members of the military – as well as veterans – can expect priority service when enrolling at Nicholls. Admissions criteria are exempted for veterans who have received a discharge for any reason other than dishonorable, and enrollees may register before the general student population.

Nicholls administrators have also identified a group of individual advisors to serve as veterans’ advocates. Veterans may consult with these faculty members for information, advice or understanding as they work their way through university rules and regulations.

For additional information, call (985) 448-4507 or go to www.nicholls.edu/admission. Click “Veteran Admissions” under the “Undergraduate Admissions” link on the left side of the page.

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