Nicholls Roast to Honor Dr. Marilyn Kilgen

THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University invites the community to a roast in honor of Dr. Marilyn Kilgen, former biology department head.

The fundraiser will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 in the Cotillion Ballroom of the Bollinger Memorial Student Union. Open to the public, the event will feature cocktails, tasty appetizers and a cash bar. Kilgen’s co-workers and friends will share stories, tell jokes and honor her career at Nicholls.

In her 45 years at Nicholls, Kilgen taught and advised thousands of students, and she conducted research projects worth millions of dollars.

“Marilyn was a longtime adviser to pre-medicine students at Nicholls, and she was very successful with her students. A lot of doctors owe their career to her mentoring,” said Dr. John Doucet, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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.

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.

“She’s one of the main reasons our department is so strong today,” said Dr. Quenton Fontenot, head of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Tickets to the dressy-casual event are $50 per person and should be reserved by Tuesday, Sept. 10. Proceeds will go to the Biology Student Excellence Fund to help support the activities of Nicholls biology students. To RSVP or for more information, call 985-448-4700.