Baton Rouge Area Foundation Donates $125,000 to Nicholls for Storm Relief

Caption: Nicholls Foundation Executive Director Jeremy Becker, BRAF Senior Program Officer Tammy Abshire, BRAF Director of Donor Servies Lois Smyth and Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune stand in a hallway of South Babington Hall. (Misty McElroy/Nicholls State University) 

THIBODAUX, La. — The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is donating $125,000 to Nicholls State University for renovations to South Babington Hall. 

The money will restore 18 dorm rooms on the first floor of the building to provide living spaces to as many as 36 students who lived off-campus but have been displaced by Hurricane Ida. 

“While many of us are rebuilding our homes after Hurricane Ida, there are many more who do not have a home to return to,” Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune said. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Because of this gift, students will no longer have to worry about having a roof over their heads or where they are going to sleep. This is what it means to be Louisiana Strong.” 

New rooms will include refreshed or refurbished lighting, paint, ceilings, flooring and furniture. Any remaining dollars will be used for updated heating, cooling and flooring.

Rooms will be ready within a month. 

Nicholls Foundation Executive Director Jeremy Becker said this is the first step in helping students return, but there are still many more who will need help. 

“This is a tremendous gift from BRAF and it will assist many students, but unfortunately the need is still great,” Becker said. “We learn every day of more students needing not just assistance to attend Nicholls, but simply to have a place to call home. We will continue our fundraising efforts to meet that need as best it can be met.”

Created in 1964, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation aims to support causes that better the lives of the people of South Louisiana. They do that by working with local governments, partnering with nonprofits and issuing grants. 

“We understand that Nicholls State University received significant damages from Hurricane Ida, leaving many students homeless,” said Lois Smyth, director of BRAF Donor Services. “The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is pleased to support the work taking place in the Bayou region and it is our hope that this grant will assist with accommodating displaced students.” The Nicholls Foundation created the Campus Emergency and Hurricane Relief Fund to help students, faculty and staff who have been impacted by storms such as Hurricane Ida. Money from the donations will be used to help the Nicholls community recover from the storm and get back on their feet.

To donate, visit here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Sep. 24, 2021

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

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