Nicholls Basketball Alum Leaves Legacy Gift for Men’s, Women’s Programs

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls State University Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the Harlan and Nancy Oelklaus Men’s and Women’s Basketball Endowment. 

The Oekllaus’ legacy gift will be split between the two programs and will help fund recruiting and scholarships for players. The amount of the gift has not been determined. 

This is the second summer gift to the Foundation’s Oaks Society. Created in 2019, the Oaks Society is an initiative focused on legacy giving. 

A Missouri native, Harlan Oelklaus (BS ‘64) came to Nicholls to play basketball. He credits his time at Nicholls to opening up the doors to a successful career in business. 

“I had been told by a high school teacher that I was not smart enough to be a success in college. She instilled in me a fear of failure; but I was determined to make it,” Harlan said. “The scholarship enabled me to get an excellent education and learn leadership and interpersonal skills, which served me well throughout life. Nancy and I hope this will make a difference for some young man or woman who wants to play basketball at Nicholls.” 

Following his graduation from Nicholls, Harlan received his MBA from the University of Missouri. He spent more than two decades working for Fortune 500 companies, including time as a vice president of human resources. He has operated his own business consulting company for nearly 30 years which specializes in coaching and consulting family-owned businesses. Today, he lives in Sedona, Arizona, with his wife, motivational speaker and author, Dr. Nancy Oelklaus. 

“On behalf of both basketball programs and the department, we are very thankful for Mr. and Dr. Oelklaus generous decision to support our student-athletes,” said Jonathan Terrell, Nicholls athletic director. “We are excited to have a former athlete to be a part of our motto ‘One Team, One Goal.’ With this family’s generosity, we will continue the C.L.I.M.B together to provide and promote an environment of success on and off the court. This endowment, the first of its kind, will be appreciated for years to come by all who participate in our basketball programs. Again, we could not be more grateful.” 

Any planned gift to Nicholls, regardless of the size of the donation or the age of the donor, grants membership to The Oaks Society. Benefits of joining the society include campus recognition, special campus updates and invitations to exclusive Nicholls events and activities. 

“The Nicholls Foundation is extremely excited about this future endowment as it will be a first of its kind for Nicholls Athletics,” said Jeremy Becker, executive director of the Nicholls Foundation. “It will be such a benefit for the men’s and women’s basketball programs to know that they will be guaranteed a set amount each year to assist with their needs and we challenge others, especially former athletes, to create a similar fund.” 

If you are interested in learning more about the foundation or making a bequest to become a member of The Oaks Society, please visit or contact Becker at 448-4006.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or