Shaver Family Donates to Shaver Gym Renovations

THIBODAUX, La. — The family of Richard Shaver has donated $15,000 to renovate the building bearing his name. 

John Shaver, Richard’s nephew; his wife, Palma (BA, ‘80; MEd, ‘96); and their daughter, Mary Shaver Frey (BS, ‘14) donated $10,000. Richard Shaver’s brother, Charles Shaver, donated an additional $5,000. 

“We acknowledge the important role that Nicholls plays in our community and are honored to partner with the university as leadership continues its efforts to improve and enhance the campus,” The Shaver Family said. “We thank Nicholls for granting us the opportunity to honor and respect the legacy of a beloved family member in such a meaningful way.” 

The renovations include adding air conditioning, installing LED bulbs in the light fixtures, painting ceilings, refinishing the gym floors and the removal of old wooden bleachers. This has allowed the gym space to be used as a socially distanced classroom during COVID-19. 

Built in 1955, the building is named for Richard Castles “Squee” Shaver. Richard was a second-year freshman who aspired to become an engineer when he died during a scuba diving accident in Lake Pontchartrain. He was 19 years old at the time. Charles remembers him as a talented musician who played the drums, banjo and piano. 

“He was a joyful person who liked everything and everybody, and had many friends,” he said. “His death was a catastrophe.” 

Today, the building houses Nicholls State Veterans, the Student Access Center and, soon, the Hi-5 Mentorship Program. 

“This process has allowed Shaver Gym to go from an underutilized facility on campus to one that will be used by so many across campus and it is because of donors like the Shaver Family,” said Jeremy Becker, executive director of the Nicholls Foundation. “The university is not complete with the renovations for the gym, and thankfully the Shavers have mentioned that they will also continue to contribute to the facility for years to come.”

For more information on the Nicholls Foundation or to donate, visit http://nichollsfoundation.org

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