Donation to Help Nicholls’ Danos Theater

Danos Donation with Dr. David Boudreaux 2013


THIBODAUX — A donation from the Allen and Thelma Danos family foundation will help Nicholls State University establish a fund to enhance and maintain the Mary M. Danos Theater once its upcoming renovations are complete.

Al Danos presented Nicholls Foundation Executive Director David Boudreaux with the check for $4,820 on Thursday, Nov. 21.

“My family is excited about the renovation of the Mary M. Danos Theater,” Danos said. “Once that work is complete, we want to ensure that funds will be available to keep the theater state-of-the-art so that Nicholls’ importance as a regional center for the performing arts will continue to grow. This is just a beginning for all of us.”

The Nicholls Foundation reached its $1.5 million fundraising goal to renovate the theater in September. The theater, located inside Talbot Hall, was named in honor of Danos’ wife, Mary, after her death in 2011. The theater will gain new seating, lighting, sound system, curtains, flooring, walls and ceiling. The improvements will also include more accessible accommodations that comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Construction is expected to begin next year.

“We at Nicholls are so fortunate to have Al Danos and his family in our corner,” Boudreaux said. “Their support means so much for the future of our university.”


CUTLINE: Al Danos (left) presents Dr. David Boudreaux, executive director of the Nicholls Foundation, with a check from the Allen and Thelma Danos Family Foundation.

Nicholls Online to Host Open House

THIBODAUX — Community members interested in pursuing or finishing their degree are invited to learn more about Nicholls State University’s online degree program, Nicholls Online, at a free open house Tuesday, Dec. 3 from noon to 8 p.m. in the Century Room at John L. Guidry Stadium.

Admissions, financial aid and faculty representatives will be on hand to answer questions and aid in enrollment.

Launched in January, Nicholls Online is designed to be a flexible alternative for students, particularly those who have difficulty attending on-campus classes, providing remote access to the university’s nationally accredited degree programs and highly qualified instructors.

Nicholls Online currently offers bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, English, general family and consumer sciences, history, interdisciplinary studies, nursing (for students who already have an unencumbered RN license) and sociology. Master’s degrees in educational leadership with an educational technology concentration, community technical college mathematics and nursing are also available.

Courses are taught in accelerated eight-week sessions beginning in January, March, May, August and October. Students who take three courses per session can earn a bachelor’s degree in just three years.

For more information about Nicholls Online, or to RSVP for the open house, visit You can also call 1-855-NIC-ONLINE (642-6654) or email

Nicholls Concert Choir Presents Candlelight Christmas Concert

THIBODAUX — The public is invited to attend a free Candlelight Christmas Concert hosted by the Nicholls State University Concert Choir at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Mary Danos Theater in Talbot Hall.

The annual concert, themed “A Carol for to Sing,” is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season, with Christmas songs and carols linked together by poetry and scripture to tell the traditional story. Lighting will change from selection to selection to enhance the experience for concertgoers.

The repertoire will include Christmas favorites, including “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Silent Night,” “What Child is This?” and the “March of the Kings.” Soloist for “Silent Night” is Jessica Frickey, mezzo soprano, a senior vocal music education major from Des Allemands.

The compositions will also include “And the Glory of the Lord” from Handel’s Messiah, “A Babe is Born” by Welsh composer William Mathias, “The Angel Gabriel” by American composer Emma Lou Diemer, “What Sweeter Music” by British composer John Rutter and Craig Courtney’s “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” and “Peace I Give to You.” Two folk song arrangements from Newfoundland and Scotland will also be performed.

The Concert Choir will be accompanied by Michelle Z. Parro on a Nicholls Steinway concert grand piano. Dr. Kenneth S. Klaus will conduct.

For more information contact the Department of Music at 985-448-4600.

Nicholls Chamber Singers Present “Winter Wonderland”

THIBODAUX — You can enjoy music, fine food, entertainment and fun at “Winter Wonderland,” the 27th annual Nicholls Chamber Singers Christmas Dinner Series scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in the Bollinger Memorial Student Union Cotillion Ballroom. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

A Nicholls Christmas tradition since 1985, the Nicholls Chamber Singers will help concert-goers experience a rare south Louisiana winter wonderland. The singers will perform music about snow, sleighs and even slush. Special songs about food are included to whet the appetites and sharpen the funny bone of guests.

Songs include “Snow” from Irving Berlin’s White Christmas; “Snow, Snow, Beautiful Snow” by Sherm Feller, often performed by the Boston Pops; the popular children’s Christmas songs “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” and “Up on the Housetop”; the famous Alfred Burt carols; Norman Luboff’s version of the Austrian carol, “Still, Still, Still”; “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” by Gustav Holst; and “Jingle Bells,” among many others.

The Nicholls Jazz Ensemble, directed by Joshua Hollenbeck, will be performing jazz before the program and during dinner. Dr. Kenneth S. Klaus will direct the Nicholls Chamber Singers, with Michelle Parro as pianist and Dana Aucoin as producer.

A multi-course meal and a visit from Santa are included. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under.

Reservations are required and may be made by calling 985-448-4600, emailing, or visiting 241 Talbot Hall on campus. Preference will be given to reservations made by Friday, Nov. 22. The university is closed during Thanksgiving week. The music office will reopen on Monday, Dec. 2.

Nicholls Nursing Programs Receive Accreditation

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University’s nursing degree programs and continuing nursing education program have received accreditation, indicating the university’s continued commitment to excellence in health-care education.

Nicholls’ Bachelor of Science in nursing and Master of Science in nursing degree programs have each been accredited for a full 10 years by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, an autonomous agency that ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

“The accreditation process for curricular programs involves a lengthy self-study of every aspect of the program’s performance and is a testament to the administration and faculty’s commitment to excellence,” said Dr. Sue Westbrook, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health. “We are also grateful to our excellent clinical affiliates that provide experiences for our students.”

Nicholls has also been awarded accreditation with distinction for its Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nicholls’ CNE program allows registered nurses in the service region to engage in professional development and meet re-licensure requirements.

This distinction means area nurses have access to the highest caliber of education to meet their certification or licensing requirements. Only organizations with zero deficiencies requiring a progress report earn the accreditation with distinction honor — less than 10 percent of schools accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center achieve this goal.

“We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to continuous quality improvement and for providing the highest quality of education for future and current nurses,” said Westbrook. “Accredited nursing programs give students and nurses assurance that by choosing Nicholls, they will receive the best education available.”

For more information on the Nicholls nursing program, visit

Nicholls Service Projects Benefit Thousands

Homecoming Day of Service 2012

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University students, faculty and staff are making an impact on their community through campus volunteer projects, according to the university’s annual service-learning report.

Seventy-nine percent of Nicholls employees who responded to the survey personally participated in community service during the 2012-13 academic year, with an average of 84.1 hours of service per participant.

“The results reflect the spirit of giving for which our university community is so well known and appreciated throughout the region,” said Nicholls Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Allayne Barrilleaux.

That service touched thousands in the local community. According to the report, 81 Nicholls employees supervised students across 150 separate service activities. Those activities involved 569 Nicholls employees, 3,694 students and 220 community partners, and served 44,873 community members.

Among these projects:

  • Staff provided free individual and group therapy sessions for veterans after-hours and on weekends.
  • Students designed public relations campaigns for We Stand Bayou animal rescue, Southdown Plantation and CASA, a child advocacy group, and helped draft business marketing campaigns for United Houma Nation tribal members.
  • Nursing students provided emergency services to participants in the Crescent City Classic race in New Orleans.
  • Campus clubs and organizations collected over 12,500 non-perishable food items for the community during a “canned war” food drive.

Employees volunteered an estimated 9,497 hours on these projects, and Nicholls students clocked an estimated 118,659 volunteer hours, for a total of 128,156 volunteer hours spent by Nicholls students and employees on service projects for the community.

If you or your business are interested in partnering with Nicholls on a community service project, call 985-448-4012.

CUTLINE: Sarah Daviet (left), an education junior from Lockport, and Brooke Pregeant, a nursing sophomore from Cut Off, paint playground equipment in Peltier Park during the 2012 Homecoming Week of Service.

Nicholls Students Chosen for “Who’s Who” Honor

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University will be represented by 90 students in the 2013 edition of “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”

The junior and senior honorees were selected as national student leaders by a campus nominating committee and editors of the nationwide annual directory. Nicholls selects the top one percent of its student leaders for inclusion in Who’s Who.

“The university is proud of the accomplishments of these outstanding students,” said Dr. Eugene Dial, vice president for student affairs and enrollment services. “Each of the students named to Who’s Who have made significant contributions to campus life and the general community.”

Click here for a list of the selected students.

Nicholls Lab Dedicated in Honor of Dr. Marilyn Kilgen

Marilyn Kilgen Lab Dedication 2013

THIBODAUX — A Nicholls State University microbiology lab has been named for retired biology department head Dr. Marilyn Kilgen. The lab was dedicated in a ceremony Friday, Nov. 2 at Gouaux Hall.

“We dedicate labs in honor of the achievements made in those labs,” said Dr. John Doucet, dean of the Nicholls College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s a place to learn and create science, and hopefully achieve things that have never been done before. Today we have the honor of naming our lab after Dr. Marilyn Kilgen.”

Kilgen, who retired last December, began her career at Nicholls as a student, earning a biology degree in 1966. After leaving to pursue her doctorate in microbiology from Auburn University, she returned home to Thibodaux to teach as a member of the Nicholls biology faculty.

In her 45 years at Nicholls, Kilgen taught and advised thousands of students. A nationally renowned microbiologist and seafood safety scientist, Kilgen has received more than $7.5 million in research funding. During her 12 years as the head of the Department of Biological Sciences, she recruited and mentored 16 new faculty members, helped the department win one of only 17 Departmental Excellence through Faculty Enhancement awards and led the push to develop the university’s Master of Science in Marine and Environmental Biology degree program. Though retired from teaching and administration, Kilgen will continue her scientific research at Nicholls.

Kilgen, a native of Lafourche Parish, said she never anticipated her career bringing her back to Nicholls, but her achievements in teaching and building the department assured her it was where she was meant to be.

“I was back here with my family, and a whole new family I built here at Nicholls,” she said. “This is my home.”

PHOTO: Professor Emeritus Dr. Marilyn Kilgen (far right), reacts to the unveiling of the new plaque outside the microbiology lab in Gouaux Hall dedicated in her honor. Dr. Gary LaFleur Jr. (far left), associate professor of biological sciences, stood on an ice chest and read aloud from a scroll a list of achievements and great qualities of Kilgen prior to the unveiling.

Nicholls Hosts Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 11

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University will commemorate Veterans Day with a public ceremony in the campus quadrangle at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11.

Hosted by the Nicholls Veterans Organization, the event will feature a speech by U.S. Marine Sgt. Jonathan Fryer, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Several Nicholls student veterans will also take part in the patriotic program along with the Thibodaux High School JROTC, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, and students from the Generations Teaching Generations preschool and MAX Charter School.

Following the ceremony, Nicholls will provide lunch for all veterans.

“Honor, courage and commitment are the basic warrior ethos that all service members will forever embrace,” said Gilberto Burbante, Nicholls coordinator of veteran services and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “We invite you to join us in paying respect to our brave warriors of yesteryear and those of today.”

Earlier this fall, G.I. Jobs magazine named Nicholls a Military Friendly School for the fifth consecutive year. The university has made recruiting and retaining military students a priority as well as helping the veteran population adjust to college life.

For more information on the Veterans Day program or Nicholls veterans services, call 985-448-4208.

Nicholls Presentation Focuses on Climate Change

THIBODAUX — You can learn more about the impacts of climate change at a 6 p.m. event hosted Thursday, Nov. 7 in Peltier Auditorium at Nicholls State University.

Melting glaciers caused by the continued warming of our climate directly impact south Louisiana, which has one of the highest rates of relative sea level rise in the world. The presentation will discuss climate change and its potential local impacts, and give attendees some ideas about how to lower their own carbon footprints. The event is the result of a partnership between a graduate-level biology course at Nicholls and Catholic Charities of Houma-Thibodaux.

For more information contact Dr. Allyse Ferrara at 985-448-4736.