Local environmentalist to serve as keynote speaker at Nicholls 100th commencement

Photo submitted by Jonathan Foret

THIBODAUX, La. — Environmental advocate and educator Jonathan Foret will serve as the keynote speaker during the 100th commencement ceremony at Nicholls State University.

Nicholls will award more than 650 degrees during the annual ceremony held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, in John L. Guidry Stadium.

A Nicholls alum, Foret grew up in Chauvin working on a shrimp boat and speaking Cajun French. After graduating from Nicholls in 2001, Foret taught English in Houma and Brooklyn.

Foret then joined the Peace Corps and served in the Kingdom of Tonga for two years as a community development coordinator where he taught the native Tongans English as a second language and how to use a cast net.

After a brief stop back in the United States to work with several nonprofits, Foret moved to Bangladesh to work with disabled individuals and later with the United Nations all across Asia.

He returned to his native Louisiana and received his master’s in public administration from the University of New Orleans. He spent a year as the grants and program administrator with the Louisiana State Museum before coming home to serve as the executive director of the Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center in Houma. Among Foret’s many achievements with the center, he created the Rougarou Fest, a family-friendly festival that celebrates bayou folklore each year around Halloween. The festival was ranked as one of the Top 10 Costume Parties in the country by USA Today, a Top 20 Event in the month of October by the Southeast Tourism Society and Best New Event in the state by the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals.

In the event of bad weather, commencement will be moved to Stopher Gymnasium and split into three ceremonies: the College of Education and College of Business Administration at 9 a.m., the College of Arts and Sciences at noon and the College of Nursing and Allied Health at 3 p.m. Tickets will be required only if the ceremonies are relocated to the gym.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2016

CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@www.nicholls.edu

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