Port Allen native awarded for half a century of service

THIBODAUX – Dr. Alfred Delahaye, a 1946 graduate of Port Allen High School, was recognized by Nicholls State University on Saturday, March 14, for 52 years of service to the university as a faculty member, administrator and volunteer.

Dr. Delahaye Dinner 2009Delahaye was honored at a banquet by friends and former students, most of whom graduated in the 1970s and 1980s in the journalism program which he established – and is today nationally accredited.

Among the speakers crediting Delahaye with their success was John Gravois, son of Lloyd Gravois, a Delahaye high school classmate, who covered the Bush I and Clinton White Houses for the Houston Post and is today an editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Former Nicholls President Donald Ayo thanked Delahaye for having long ago established the Nicholls Hall of Fame for students, the Nicholls Alumni Federation and the Nicholls chapter of the national Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

In 1984 Ayo recognized Delahaye as a distinguished service professor and, shortly after his retirement in 1990, as a professor emeritus. Delahaye still visits his Nicholls office every day as a volunteer who writes for university publications, coordinates departmental scholarships and assists students and colleagues in various ways.

Banquet speakers included a graduate who has visited Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years to produce four documentaries for national television. The audience heard of a former student who won a 1992 Pulitzer Prize. Yet another former student credited Delahaye with his success as a page one editor of the Wall Street Journal and as a writer of novels and non-fiction.

Delahaye, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by Nicholls in December, credited his Port Allen High School English teachers, Delores Genre and Berthilde Daigle Coles, with having put him on the path to journalism.

At the end of the tribute banquet, Delahaye was presented with an oak sapling, which has since been planted in the quadrangle.