Nicholls Honors Outstanding Alumni, Community Members

Alumni Awards for Excellence 2020 (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University) 9/27/20

THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls Alumni Federation honored the achievements of Nicholls alumni and the community during the annual Awards for Excellence ceremony held Sep. 27. 

President of the Nicholls Foundation Board Chris Riviere (BS ‘78) received the James Lynn Powell Award, South Louisiana Bank the Corporate Mark of Honor and Dean of the College of Business Administration Dr. Marilyn Macik-Frey the Honorary Alumni Award. 

Typically held in the spring, the awards ceremony was delayed to the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alumni Federation recognized award recipients and outstanding graduates in a ceremony held in the Cotillion Ballroom. 

“It is an honor to recognize the people who contributed so much to our university, community and the Alumni Federation,” says Katherine Mabile, director of Alumni Affairs. “Nicholls is growing as an institution, and the passion and commitment from each of these men and women have played a part in that. I can’t thank them enough.”

Thibodaux native Riviere has been practicing law for nearly four decades and taught law at Nicholls for nine years. He received an economics degree from Nicholls in 1978 before receiving his law degree from Tulane in 1981. In 2008, he was elected to the Nicholls Foundation and has helped increase community support of Nicholls ever since. He and his wife, Brenda, are long-standing supporters of the university and deeply involved in the community. The James Lynn Powell Alumni Award is the highest recognition given to a Nicholls graduate. 

South Louisiana Bank is a stalwart in the Bayou Region and Nicholls communities. Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune selects the Corporate Mark of Honor recipient for being a strong supporter of the university and its mission. The bank employs several Nicholls alumni, and they have maintained a commitment to the university by sponsoring campus and athletic events. They created the South Louisiana Bank Scholarship to help lower the cost of attendance for Terrebonne Parish students.  

Dr. Macik-Frey joined the Nicholls faculty in 2007 and was named dean in 2016. Since that time, she has overseen the expansion of business curriculum preparing undergraduate and graduate students for an ever evolving environment. During her tenure, Nicholls competitive business teams have regularly competed and defeated larger universities at regional and national competitions. 

In addition to the awards, the alumni federation honored the 2020 Outstanding Graduates from each college. This year’s recipients are: 

  • College of Liberal Arts – Keitha Nelson-Williams (BA ‘04)
  • College of Sciences and Technology – Dr. Eric Geist (BS ‘75)
  • College of Business Administration – Ryan Hutchinson (BS ‘02)
  • Chef John Folse Culinary Institute – Dr. Darryl L. Holliday (BS ‘05)
  • College of Education and Behavioral Sciences –  Dr. Kimberly Reynolds (BS ‘98, MEd ‘05)
  • College of Nursing – Lloyd “Bubby” Olsen (BSN ‘97, BGS ‘03)

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