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Nicholls to honor veterans in public ceremony

Downer to deliver keynote address

THIBODAUX – Paying tribute to all veterans past and present, Nicholls State University will host a Veterans Day ceremony in the campus quadrangle at 11:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11. The public is encouraged to attend.

“Properly honoring our veterans is very important to the Nicholls family and the Bayou Region community,” Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president for student affairs and enrollment services, said. “We look forward to joining citizens throughout the nation as we celebrate this annual tradition.”

Mike Silva, Nicholls student and U.S. Marine veteran, will deliver the opening remarks, followed by Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president. The keynote address will be delivered by Hunt Downer, former speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, retired Major General, U.S. Army / Louisiana National Guard, former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and a former candidate for Congress.

Members of the Nicholls chapter of Phi Mu Alpha will lead the National Anthem, and students from the Generations Teaching Generations program will recite the Pledge of Allegiance. MAX Charter School students will perform, and the Thibodaux High School JROTC will present and retire the colors. The invocation will be delivered by Nicholls student Cecil Ellis of Chi Alpha.

Attending veterans, who are welcome to wear their uniforms to the ceremony, are also invited to a complimentary lunch, sponsored by Sodexo, the university’s food service provider, and the Nicholls Foundation, in Galliano Dining Hall following the proceedings. Free parking will be available alongside Stopher Gymnasium.

The community is also 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.

Earlier this year, for the third year in a row, G.I. Jobs magazine named Nicholls a Military Friendly School– an honor shared with 20 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.

Currently, there are approximately 130 known veterans who are enrolled at Nicholls.

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

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