THIBODAUX — Family, friends and colleagues of former Nicholls State University College of Business Administration Dean Ridley J. Gros gathered to dedicate a Powell Hall auditorium in his memory Thursday, April 17.
A portrait of Gros was unveiled and hung in the recently renovated Ridley J. Gros Auditorium in the presence of his widow, Kathleen Gros, as well as his children and grandchildren. Gros passed away in August.
“My dad often spoke about the importance of leaving a legacy,” said Gros’ daughter, Monique Gros Callagy, a Nicholls alumna. “With the many hours he dedicated to Nicholls, we can be certain he left a lasting legacy behind.”
Gros, a native of Donaldsonville, had a 36-year career at Nicholls, serving as a dean and vice president. He helped the college earn accreditation by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) — a rare accomplishment for a small regional university at the time — and served on the association’s national accreditation team.
Gros was remembered as a family man and mentor who devoted himself to Nicholls.
Asked about his many accomplishments, he was more apt to talk about his family or his students, said Nicholls College of Business Administration Dean Shawn Mauldin. Gros often went beyond his role as an educator to help students with personal issues and job searches, seeing himself in the many first-generation pupils who attended Nicholls.
“He was proud he made a difference in the lives and careers of so many people,” Mauldin said.
Gros was also active in the community, achieving 42 consecutive years of perfect attendance with the Thibodaux Rotary Club and serving as president of that organization, along with the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce and the Southwestern Deans Association. He was named dean emeritus at Nicholls and boasted numerous awards from both campus and community groups.
“He was the kind of person who went the extra mile. He inspired others,” said Nicholls President Bruce Murphy. “Ridley was a true Nicholls legend.”