Nicholls to award more than 650 degrees Saturday, Dec. 12

THIBODAUX – Ken Wells, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and author – and a native of Bayou Black – will be the keynote speaker Saturday, Dec. 12, when Nicholls State University confers about 650 degrees during commencement exercises in Stopher Gymnasium.


Wells will speak at 10 a.m. to graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and University College. At 2 p.m. he will address graduates of the College of Business Administration and the College of Nursing and Allied Health.

A 1971 Hall of Fame graduate of Nicholls and former managing editor of the Courier in Houma, Wells received multiple Pulitzer Prize nominations for his coverage of environmental damage to the Everglades, which appeared in the Miami Herald; coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal; and the non-fiction book “The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous,” published by the Yale University Press. Wells has also authored several novels, and he continues his journalistic career as a writer-at-large for Bloomberg News’ projects and investigations team. In March 2009, Louisiana Public Broadcasting honored him as a “Louisiana Legend.”

In addition to delivering the keynote addresses, Wells will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters from Nicholls.

The Rev. Clyde J. Mahler of Maria Immacolata Catholic Church in Houma will offer the invocation and benediction at the morning ceremony, and Bishop Hurley J. Fray Sr. of Tabernacle of Love Pentecostal Church in Thibodaux will deliver the invocation and benediction at the afternoon exercise.

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