Nicholls to Host Three Fall 2023 Commencement Ceremonies

THIBODAUX, La. – Nicholls Fall 2023 Commencement Ceremonies are set for Saturday, Dec. 16 in Stopher Gymnasium. Each session will feature all summer and fall 2023 degree program candidates from the academic departments across our five colleges and a keynote speaker. 

Session I begins at 9 a.m. and features the Colleges of Business Administration and Nursing. The keynote speaker is Dr. Karen Lyon, CEO of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. Dr. Lyon is a RN and an APRN Adult CNS in the state of Louisiana and an APRN Adult CNS in the state of Texas. Dr. Lyon received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas System School of Nursing in El Paso, Texas, and a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at El Paso where she studied Medical Surgical Nursing. 

Dr. Lyon went on to obtain her PhD from New Mexico State University as well as an MBA from New Mexico State University. She is involved in the American Nurses Association as well as her participation in community service boards. Dr. Lyon has several professional and creative publications and has funded multiple grants for medical institutions. 

Session II at noon will feature the College of Liberal Arts, including the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute. The keynote speaker is Mr. Henry J. Lafont Jr., owner and attorney at law for Henry J. Lafont, Jr. Attorney at Law. Lafont is a former assistant and adjunct professor for Nicholls’ Department of Social Sciences.

Lafont has held numerous positions in public office, committees and boards while also being part of several professional and civic organizations. Lafont was named “Mr. Nicholls,” and inducted into the Nicholls Hall of Fame in 1976. He was also named Nicholls’ College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus in 2014, awarded the Lafourche Chamber of Commerce Community Hero Award in 2021, and most recently, presented Nicholls’ honorary doctorate at last fall’s commencement ceremony. 

Session III begins at 3 p.m. and features the Colleges of Educational and Behavioral Sciences and Sciences and Technology. The keynote speaker is Nicholls alumna Ms. Susan Testroet-Bergeron, retired director of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program. Testroet-Bergeron has worked in the wetlands community for over 20 years, spearheading education and outreach on a host of Louisiana environmental issues and working with the federal Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act’s Public Outreach Committee as a media specialist, technical writer and public outreach coordinator.  

Testroet-Bergeron taught grades 7 through 12 science and math for over ten years and has been an active member of the Louisiana Science Teachers Association since the early 1990s, and most recently, was honored with the 2023 LSTA Claudia Fowler Distinguished Service to Science Education Award. As the Louisiana Systemic Initiative Program Math and Science Coordinator at Northwestern State University, Testroet-Bergeron advocated for professional development opportunities for teachers and encouraged growth in content and instructional skills. Testroet-Bergeron is also a former member of the Governor’s Environmental Education Commission where she served two terms– one as its president.

To learn more about Nicholls State University 2023 Commencement Ceremonies, visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 6, 2023


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