Nicholls CAN! food drive kicks off Oct. 1

THIBODAUX — The second Nicholls CAN! food drive — a new twice-a-year initiative benefiting local food banks — will collect nonperishable food and cash donations from Oct. 1–15. In addition to the donation boxes placed throughout the Nicholls State University campus and at Thibodaux businesses, this semester’s drive will expand into Houma and be integrated into Nicholls Homecoming Week (Oct. 6–14).

“We are excited to have several supportive businesses in Houma joining us and to coordinate with Homecoming by offering drop-off points for those coming to activities,” said Jean Donegan, Nicholls CAN! committee member and head of the Department of Art. “This drive is unique in that it involves the whole Nicholls community — there’s a collection box in every single campus building and a volunteer from every department. We hope that Nicholls CAN! will become a part of our culture and as familiar to the community as Crawfish Day or Family Day.”

In addition to food, donations of toilet paper, shampoo, tissue, soap, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, washing powder, sanitary napkins and cleaning supplies are greatly needed by food banks. The goal is to collect about 7,000 items, approximately one for each Nicholls student and employee. The first drive, held in March, collected more than 6,500 nonperishable food items and more than $3,300 in cash donations. Each drive benefits three of the six area food banks. Collections from the spring drive were split among the Thibodaux, Raceland and Galliano food banks; the current drive will benefit those in Houma, Morgan City and Dulac.

Local businesses interested in being a Nicholls CAN! drop-off location can call Donegan at 985-448-4597 or Debbie Raziano, director of alumni affairs, at 985-448-4111to have a collection box and poster delivered.

Nicholls Dyslexia Center to host info session in Baton Rouge

THIBODAUX — The Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders at Nicholls State University has partnered with Baton Rouge community leaders to host an information session about a proposed Baton Rouge charter school for students with dyslexia. The free public event will be held on Monday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m. in the LSU Business Education Complex Auditorium on Nicholson Drive Extension.

Attendees will learn about reading struggles, dyslexia and the Louisiana Key Academy, a proposed free charter public school to help students with dyslexia become independent, confident readers. If approved by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the school would open in August 2013 at LSU’s Innovation Park. The school would initially admit kindergarten through second-grade students from East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. Each year thereafter, additional grade levels would be added, up to the fifth grade.

“The Louisiana Key Academy’s mission is simple — to make sure children learn to read so that they can reach their full potential,” said Karen Chauvin, director of the dyslexia center at Nicholls. “This session is basically to inform parents and recruit students. We’re especially hoping to see parents of children who have either been diagnosed with dyslexia or show signs of the disorder.”

For additional details, call 225-387-2455 or email

Nicholls invites community to ‘Gridiron Greatness’ Homecoming Events

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University students, alumni and fans will celebrate“Gridiron Greatness” during 2012 Homecoming Week festivities, which begin Saturday, Oct. 6.

Kicking off the week is “Paint the Town Red” Day of Service, a new addition to the Homecoming tradition. Students will spend the morning working on several beautification projects for the city of Thibodaux.

“I challenged the Homecoming Committee to come up with something new and different, and a philanthropy project seemed like the perfect addition,” said Deborah Raziano, director of alumni affairs. “We are all excited for this opportunity to partner with the Thibodaux Mayor’s Office to offer meaningful service projects for our students while promoting campus and community pride.”

Homecoming will also coincide with the Nicholls CAN! food drive, which will have donation drop-off locations at several Homecoming events. Throughout the week, students will participate in a kick-off barbecue, a pep rally, flag football games, a Homecoming breakfast and dance, and pirogue races.

Homecoming weekend begins at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12, with the Nicholls Alumni Federation’s John Brady Golf Classic at the LaTour Golf Course in Mathews. Gary Barbaro, the first Nicholls football player to be drafted into the NFL, will return as the tournament’s chairman and be on hand interacting with golfers during the four-person scramble, 18-hole tournament. Other events on Friday include:


  • A Nicholls soccer match versus Southeastern Louisiana University at 4 p.m.,
  • Colonel Alive @ 5 concert featuring We The Kings with SIGHTINSOUND as the opening act in the parking lot near the tennis courts from 5 to 8 p.m.,
  • A Homecoming social for College of Business Administration Alumni Association at 6 p.m.,
  • A reunion for the Nicholls Class of 1962 from 7 to 9 p.m., and
  • A Nicholls Players’ performance of “Almost, Maine” at 7 p.m.

The annual Homecoming football game is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at John L. Guidry Stadium, where the Colonels will take on the Sam Houston State University Bearkats. Other Saturday events include:

  • Colonel Baseball Alumni Day at 11 a.m., including a baseball intra-squad scrimmage at 1 p.m.,
  • Public tours of the Harold J. Callais Student Recreation Center from noon to 3 p.m.,
  • A mini-conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of the marine and environmental biology master’s program from 2 to 4 p.m.,
  • A Homecoming reception and pep rally from 4 to 6 p.m. and
  • A Nicholls Players’ performance of “Almost, Maine” at 7 p.m.

A detailed schedule of Homecoming Week events is available at
calendar-of-events. Call 985-448-4111 for more information.