Scholarship Honors Deborah “Raz” Raziano

Deborah Raziano Headshot 2012


THIBODAUX — A new scholarship honors longtime Colonel spirit leader Deborah “Raz” Raziano, director emeritus of Nicholls State University’s Alumni Federation.

The Debbie Raziano Endowed Alumni Scholarship will be awarded annually to a full-time student who has achieved at least junior status. The recipient must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, must be a member of at least two university-sanctioned organizations and submit two letters of recommendation. The student will be awarded $1,000 over two semesters.

Endowed for $25,000 last spring, the scholarship was awarded for the first time this fall.

The scholarship will honor Raziano’s years of involvement and dedication to Nicholls. Before retiring in January 2013, Raziano championed Nicholls for 32 years in her role as director of alumni affairs. Arriving on campus as a freshman in 1969, she served as senior class president and the 1973 Miss Nicholls. Upon graduation, she worked as a consultant for her sorority, Delta Zeta, before returning to Nicholls as its fifth alumni director.

During her tenure, she led the Nicholls Alumni Federation through numerous changes including the creation of a structured membership program, the re-introduction of the Nicholls class ring, the redesign of The Colonel alumni magazine and the development of the alumni website. She created several alumni traditions, including the annual alumni crawfish boil and the Awards for Excellence ceremony.

For more information about the scholarship, or how to apply, contact the Nicholls Alumni Federation at 985-448-4111 or visit

Nicholls Commencement Scheduled for Dec. 14

THIBODAUX — More than 680 new graduates will cross the stage during Nicholls State University’s fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 14, in Stopher Gymnasium.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. for College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing and Allied Health, and College of Business Administration graduates and at 2 p.m. for University College and College of Education graduates.

The keynote address will be delivered by 1968 Nicholls alumnus Dan Borné, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association and the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance, which represent the interests of hundreds of chemical manufacturing facilities and supporting businesses in the state.

Previously Borné served as executive secretary and chief executive assistant to Governor Edwin Edwards and was a Washington assistant to U.S. Sens. Russell Long and Allen Ellender. He also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Louisiana State Senate. Borné has anchored news, sports and public affairs programming for WAFB-TV, Baton Rouge.

Before joining the Louisiana Chemical Association, Borné was vice president of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, coordinating the company’s governmental affairs and public relations activities throughout the south.

A member of the Nicholls Hall of Fame, he later received the James Lynn Powell award for distinguished service to Nicholls and its alumni federation.

Nicholls Student Athlete Graduation Rate Soars

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University’s student athletes are graduating at some of the highest rates in the state and the Southland Conference, according to statistics released by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The graduation success rate report shows that 73 percent of Nicholls student athletes who began college in 2006 earned their degrees within six years. That’s an all-time high for Nicholls and a five-point increase over last year’s rate.

“The Nicholls community is proud of the outstanding graduation rate for our athletes when compared to our peers,” said Nicholls Interim President Larry Howell. “It indicates the true mission of a regional university and its athletics programs — recruit academically prepared athletes and give them support to progress to their main goal — graduation. It not only shows the dedication of our student athletes and coaches, but the efforts of our faculty and members of our staff to strive toward that goal.”

Among Louisiana’s 11 public universities with Division I athletics, Nicholls has the fourth highest overall graduation success rate. Nicholls also ranks fourth overall among 14 Southland Conference universities, and ranks first among Southland Conference schools in Louisiana.

Designed to more accurately predict the academic success of athletes, the graduation success rate measures the proportion of student athletes who graduate and includes incoming transfer students, a regular occurrence in college athletics, in its calculations.

When broken down by individual sport, Nicholls reported the highest graduation rate success and ranked top in the state and the Southland Conference in women’s tennis, with 100 percent of student athletes graduating. Nicholls also ranked first in the state for the success of its softball (95 percent) and men’s tennis (83 percent) graduates. Among Southland schools, Nicholls ranks first in football (68 percent) and second in men’s basketball (83 percent). Additionally, several of these Colonel teams showed significant improvement over their previous performance. Men’s basketball increased its graduation success rate by 12 points from 71 percent, and football’s graduation success rate increased by 7 points from 61 percent.

For more information on GSRs, visit


GSR Infograph