THIBODAUX — Thanks to a $100,000 donation from the Lorio Foundation, Nicholls State University has reached more than $1 million in cash or pledges for renovations to the Mary M. Danos Theater in Talbot Hall.
The Nicholls Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm, is working to raise $1.5 million for this project, which will include new theater seating, lighting, sound system, curtains, flooring, walls and ceiling. The improvements to the theater, which has not been renovated since it opened in 1970, will also include more accessible accommodations that complies with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
“The Nicholls Foundation is incredibly grateful to the Lorio Foundation, the Danos family and the many other donors who have quickly gotten behind this worthwhile project,” said Dr. David Boudreaux, Nicholls vice president for institutional advancement. “We are two-thirds to reaching our goal, and the outcome will be a newly renovated theater that serves this region for many years to come.”
The Mary M. Danos Theater is one of the most heavily used facilities on the Nicholls campus and a major cultural center for the region — hosting the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, musical competitions and festivals, summer theater workshops and other community events. In April 2012, the theater was officially named in honor of Mary M. Danos, a Larose native who strongly supported the arts, music and Nicholls.
“It is so gratifying to my family that we have been able to generate a million dollars in such a short period of time from such a cross section of individuals, corporations and foundations,” said Al Danos, Mary’s widower. “Mary was the most unselfish person I’ve ever known. To have the theater named after her, she probably would not have ever sought, but she would have been so pleased with such an honor.”
To contribute to the Mary M. Danos Theater renovation fund, call 985-448-4134 or mail a check — payable to the Nicholls Foundation — to Nicholls Foundation, P.O. Box 2074, Thibodaux, LA 70310.
THIBODAUX — On Sunday, March 24, local health care providers will exchange their stethoscopes for microphones at the Doctor’s Talent Show, a fundraiser hosted by the Nicholls State University chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.
Doctors, registered nurses and professors scheduled to perform include Dr. Anne Boudreaux, Dr. Albert L. Diket, Dr. Jack Heidenreich, Betsy Braud Hodnett, Dr. William H. Robichaux, Dr. Paul Sammarco and Patrick Sylvest. The event will begin at 3 p.m. in the Mary M. Danos Theater of Talbot Hall, and proceeds will go toward theater renovations. Tickets are $10 for the general public or $5 for Nicholls students, faculty and staff with IDs. For more information, call 985-448-4600.
The Doctor’s Talent Show is part of the 15th annual Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities, which is held every spring on the Nicholls campus. For a full schedule of Jubilee events, visit nicholls.edu/jubilee.
THIBODAUX — The Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival at Nicholls State University is putting a healthy spin on this year’s festivities by hosting the 5K Can-Can Run and 1-Mile White Boot Waddle on Saturday, March 23.
Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot next to John L. Guidry Stadium with the 1-mile race starting at 9 a.m. and the 5K at 9:30 a.m. In addition to the race registration fee, which is $15 for the 1-mile and $25 for the 5K, participants are asked to bring two canned goods or donate $2 to the Nicholls CAN! food drive.
Each participant will receive a limited edition race T-shirt and a free pass for Saturday’s Swamp Stomp Festival. Additionally, 5K runners/walkers will be given two drink tickets to be redeemed at the festival.
Now in its fifth year, the Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival — scheduled for March 22–24 on the Nicholls campus — features local and regional music, cultural arts and crafts, Cajun and Zydeco dancing, and food. Visit nicholls.edu/swamp-stomp for more details on the festival or race. The Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival is part of the 15th annual Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities, which is held every spring on the Nicholls campus. For a full schedule of Jubilee events, visit nicholls.edu/jubilee.
THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University has dedicated the Harold J. Callais Memorial Recreation Center’s gymnasium in honor of Michael Childs, an alumnus who was instrumental in rallying students in support of the facility.
After the first proposal for a student-funded rec center failed by fewer than 20 student votes, Childs — a Student Government Association senator — collected 1,000 signatures on his petition to put the recreation center back on the student ballot in fall 2002. Thanks in large part to Childs’ tenacity and passionate spirit, the referendum passed overwhelmingly, and the state-of-the-art recreation center opened in August 2012.
Childs, a management major who attended Nicholls from 2001–2003, died in July 2006 while trying to rescue someone from drowning. During the gymnasium dedication ceremony on Saturday, March 9, Nicholls administrators, Childs’ family and his Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity brothers remembered him as a driven, charismatic young man who left a long-lasting campus legacy.
“Every day when I walk in this building, I thank Mike,” said Michael Matherne, director of campus recreation. “If not for him, I’d still be operating campus recreation out of the pool office. Now, there’s not a day that goes by where at least 800 students don’t come through these doors — 1,200 on intramural nights. We’re changing lives here.”
THIBODAUX — Taste some of the region’s best gumbos at Nicholls State University’s Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off on Saturday, March 16.
Gates will open at 12:30 p.m. with at least eight competing gumbos being served from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot near John L. Guidry Stadium. The entry fee is $5, which includes all gumbo tastings. Children 10 and under will be admitted for free. Throughout the afternoon, guitarist Tysman Charpentier will provide musical entertainment, and beverages, hamburgers and hot dogs will be sold. Awards for the best gumbo will be presented based on votes from regional judges and community participants.
The Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off is the kickoff event for the 2013 Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival, which will be held March 22–24. Visit nicholls.edu/swamp-stomp for more details. Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival is part of the 15th annual Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities, which is held every spring on the Nicholls campus. For a full schedule of Jubilee events, visit nicholls.edu/jubilee.
Popularized throughout the decades for its famous “to be, or not to be” line, “Hamlet” chronicles the prince of Denmark as he sets out to avenge the death of his father, who was murdered by his uncle Claudius. Directed by Nicholls speech instructor Anna Broussard, the play explores themes of revenge, madness, death and uncertainty.
Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Mary M. Danos Theater inside Talbot Hall. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students.
The Nicholls Players’ production of Hamlet is part of the 15th annual Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities, which is held every spring on the Nicholls campus. For a full schedule of Jubilee events, visit nicholls.edu/jubilee.
THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University will hold its spring Nicholls CAN! food drive from Friday, March 8 to Monday, March 25. Community members are encouraged to participate by donating nonperishable food, household items and/or cash to this campuswide service project benefitting local food banks.
Items may be dropped off at locations across campus, including the Bollinger Memorial Student Union, Callais Memorial Recreation Center and Ellender Memorial Library. Collection boxes are also located in all academic departments, so Nicholls alumni may also contribute to their former departments. New to this year’s drive is Can Wars, a creative competition whereby campus departments, organizations and groups will use the items they collect to build unique structures on Monday, March 18 in Shaver Gymnasium.
Since the Nicholls CAN! drive began in spring 2012, the goal has been to collect about 7,000 items per semester — approximately one for each Nicholls student and employee. This past fall, the campus and local community far exceeded that number by donating more than 12,500 items to Houma, Dulac and Morgan City food banks. The spring drive will benefit the food banks in Thibodaux, Raceland and Galliano.
Download the Nicholls CAN flier.
THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University has hired Monique Crochet, a Thibodaux native and two-time Nicholls graduate, as its director of alumni affairs.
Most recently serving as the marketing and public relations director for the city of Thibodaux, Crochet is no stranger to her alma mater. She worked at Nicholls from 1998 to 2003, holding various positions such as adjunct instructor of family and consumer sciences, Carl Perkins grant coordinator, interim director of the Louisiana Center for Women and Government, and director of continuing education. A member of Nicholls’ first graduating class of higher education administration master’s students, Crochet embarked on a seven-year career in medical sales before returning to Thibodaux in 2010.
In her new role, Crochet said she looks forward to nurturing the alumni initiatives started by her predecessor, Debbie Raziano, as well as creating new alumni outreach programs of her own.
“I want alumni to know that Nicholls is their university and their legacy,” she said. “I hope to make alumni programming more inclusive — welcoming people who graduated from Nicholls, people who just attended a few classes here and friends of the university to visit the campus and support Nicholls in their own way.”
Before earning her bachelor’s degree in 1998, Crochet said she told Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president for student affairs, that her ultimate career goal was to become Nicholls alumni director upon Raziano’s retirement.
“I loved the college atmosphere and really wanted to work professionally at a college, particularly Nicholls,” she said. “This is my dream job come true.”
THIBODAUX — Dr. Marilyn Kilgen — Nicholls State University professor emeritus, nationally renowned microbiologist and seafood safety scientist — will be the featured speaker at the university’s 2013 Women’s History Luncheon and Awards Presentation on Thursday, March 21.
Kilgen, who retired in December after teaching biology at Nicholls for 41 years, is well known for her research in making raw oysters safer to eat and her leadership in creating a master’s program in marine and environmental biology at Nicholls. She served as biology department head for 12 years and guided the careers of countless alumni who are now physicians and other health care professionals. Kilgen will speak about women choosing scientific career paths.
The luncheon will begin at noon on March 21 in the Cotillion Ballroom of the Bollinger Memorial Student Union. Tickets are $16; call 985-448-4080 by noon on Wednesday, March 13 to reserve a seat. Before the luncheon, Kilgen will also speak at the Bonnie Bourg Lecture Series, a free public event, at 10:30 a.m. in Peltier Auditorium.
The Bonnie Bourg Lecture Series and Women’s History Luncheon are part of the 15th annual Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities, which is held every spring on the Nicholls campus. For a full schedule of Jubilee events, visit nicholls.edu/jubilee.