Nicholls announces 2018 African-American History Month events

This year’s events are inspired by the national African-American History Month theme: African Americans in Times of War. All events are FREE and open to the public unless otherwise noted.


Ellender Memorial Library Display
Located on the second floor of the library during the month of February.
Ellender Memorial Library presents a month-long display of library resources relating to the theme of African Americans in Times of War, including books, eBooks, government documents and archival materials. See for more information.

African-American Spotlights
At men’s and women’s basketball games in February
Video spotlights of Nicholls African-Americans athletes will be show on the video board during basketball games, posted on Nicholls Athletics social media outlets and, and aired during the Nicholls athletics show on WHNO.


African Americans in Times of War
Noon — LeBijou Theatre
African American veterans share their stories on what it takes to keep us safe. They too share how the structure of service presents both blockages for advancement and opportunities for personal growth. They share how living and working in periods of civil rights marches and monuments to persons such as Dr. Martin Luther King have provided a platform for racial understandings or shown how we have fallen short in bringing equal opportunities to us all.
Our Veterans at War:
1. Ms. Andetrie Vicks — retired US Army Veteran and Nicholls Graduate Andetrie Vicks is a mother, U S Army retiree, and Nicholls graduate. She retired after over 20 years of service to our country. Andetrie joined the U S Army in August 1986 and served until December 2006. EDUCATION—B.A., Mass Communication, Public Relations, Nicholls State University, 2016
2. Mr. Brandon Randolph — U.S. Navy Veteran and current Nicholls student.
3. Marcus Robertson a 27-year-old public relations specialist for a health firm in New Orleans. Mother is also a graduate of NSU. Marcus graduated Thibodaux high in 2008. He joined the U.S. Army in May of 2010. He deployed to Afghanistan in January of 2013 and returned January 2014. He performed numerous combat missions. Marcus received a combat action badge and a campaign medal.
4. Richard Adams — USAF retired, born and raised in Thibodaux. Graduated from Thibodaux High School, joined the United States Air Force in 1988. Retired after serving 22 years of active duty. Was stationed at a host of bases both stateside and abroad.


‘Empowerment battle- Hey leader- What are you Fighting For?’
Bowie and Lafitte Room in the Student Union
A. What a Man, What a Man—modeling character, connecting to your community and making profitable decisions. Men in the community are sharing personal stories on how to be a man of admiration. (Men only) 5:30 p.m. Community leaders including Richard Adams- USAF Retired, Anthony Lewis, Thibodaux, Attorney, and others.
B. Phenomenal Woman—modeling character, connecting to women of the community sharing personal stories on how to be a woman of admiration (women only) 5:30 p.m. Mrs. Eva Shanklin ( past NAACP president), Dr. Charlene Smith ( Nicholls Nursing), D’Lane Alexander (Nicholls Nursing), Pam Williams-Jones (Nicholls Nursing) and others.


One Room Schoolhouse
Multidisciplinary Team’s mini Presentation on important aspects of “The Black Experience.” {A group composed of members with varied but complementary experience, qualifications, and skills that contribute to the achievement of the organization’s specific objectives}

War on Poverty
9:00 am- Library Multipurpose Room (3rd floor)
Synergy Bank — Kassie Barrancotto, and Capital One — Todd Foles and Sue Morton will be the associates attending.

War on Crime
10:00 a.m., Library Multipurpose Room (3rd floor)
Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Department Major Renee Brinkley and Lafourche Parish District Attorney Representative Kristine Russell

Relate to War featuring Ed Mabrey
7:00 p.m., Danos Theatre
An open-mic event where participants share ideas based on a theme through poetry, storytelling, musical/vocal performance and dance. Hosted by students from the university’s Spoken Word Poetry course.


African American Themed Cuisine
10:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Galliano Dining Hall, $7.41 plus tax for guests without a meal plan
Oxtail Stew with Collard Greens by culinary student Ja’Cobi Simon.

Ellis Marsalis Trio Concert
7:30 pm- Danos Theater
Regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans, Ellis Marsalis has had an impressive career not only as a performer and composer but also as a leading music educator at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the University of New Orleans and Xavier University. His former students include the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard and four of his six sons (including Brandford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis) among others.
• Tickets $20.00 can be purchased at the Student Union Information Desk starting on Jan. 22, 2018, between 8 a.m. -4:00 p.m. Student ticket available at the SGA office


Dr. Stephen Michot “Civil War”
3:00 pm- LeBijou Theatre
The public story of the African American in the Civil War has been little told outside of the movie “Glory.” The African American participation, particularly west of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, is as diversified as it is rich. Caught between a war over union, and later slavery, African Americans experienced the war from both sides as civilian, slave, and soldier.

SPA Screening of “Glory” 
4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., LeBijou Theatre


“A Celebration of the Negro Spirituals”
7:30 p.m., Danos Theater
Nicholls Department of Music will host A Festival of the Negro Spiritual Concert Series featuring historical songs once sung by slaves and plantation workers. The music event will feature distinguished guest artists, faculty and students from universities across several states as well as community members.


World War II Museum Tour
Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Bus tour to New Orleans Students must sign up in the SGA Office by February 9th.


Spiritual Warfare-Town-Gown Worship Calvary United Methodist Church Services
8:00 a.m., 203 East 7th Street in Thibodaux


The War on the Missed Education with Dr. Thomas Durant, Jr.
1:00 p.m. LeBijou Theatre
Recruitment and Retention of the African American Male – Strategies to consider.

Game Show Night
7:30 p.m., Snack Bar Area in the Student Union
Nicholls Student Union presents a real live Hollywood set game show with host Orlo Azul featuring questions and answers surrounding black history. Back to campus for a third time, this game show boasts of 100% crowd participation, trivia-based, cash prizes that will keep participants on their toes. It’s fun, fast-paced and educational for all.


Hello Sweetie — College of Nursing
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Student Union Lobby-
An event screening individuals for elevated blood pressures and glucose levels.

College of Business and College of Education Discussion Panel
5:00 p.m., Ridley Gros Auditorium


African American Themed Cuisine
10:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Galliano Dining Hall- $7.41 plus tax for guests without a meal plan
Smothered Okra, Sausage and Shrimp with Cornbread by culinary student Ashle’ Turnipseed.

Creative Writing Series
5:00 p.m., Colonel’s Retreat in the Student Union
The Creative Writing Reading Series will host its themed reading: African-American Voices: A Celebration of African-American History Month


War on Disease 
5:30 p.m., Library Multipurpose Room (3rd floor)
Dr. Gregory Maidoh is a nephrologist in Houma, Louisiana and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Terrebonne General Medical Center and Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. He received his medical degree from University of Ibadan and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is one of 5 doctors at Terrebonne General Medical Center and one of 6 at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center who specialize in Nephrology.


NAACP Black History Program
6:00 p.m., Peltier Auditorium
The Nicholls NAACP chapter will recognize and celebrate the accomplishments, heritage and culture of African-Americans through monologues, poetry and musical performances.

African American Themed Cuisine
10:45am-2:00pm, Galliano Dining Hall- $7.41 plus tax for guests without a meal plan
Shrimp and Potato Stew By culinary student TaShira Green.

Nicholls awards endowed professorships during University Convocation


Photo from left: Dr. Sue Westbrook, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs; Dr. En Mao, professor of computer information sciences; Melanie Boudreaux, instructor of management; Dr. Pete Lewis, professor of nursing; Dr. James Stewart, department head of mass communication; Nicki Boudreaux, instructor of mass communication. (Misty Leigh McElroy)

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University awarded endowed professorships to five faculty members across various disciplines during spring University Convocation Friday, Jan. 19.

Funded through generous private donations, professorships help Nicholls retain high-quality faculty by providing supplemental funds for teaching, research or other professional endeavors.

This spring’s awards include:

  • The Mary M. Danps Endowed Professorship in Nursing: Dr. Travis “Pete” Lewis
  • The Candies 500 Endowed Professorship in Business: Dr. En Mao
  • The Harvey Peltier, Sr. Endowed Professorship in Business Administration: Melanie Boudreaux
  • The John Brady, Jr. Endowed Professorship in Mass Communication: Nicki Boudreaux
  • The Alfred N. Delahaye Endowed Professorship in Journalism: Dr. James Stewart


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

Nicholls campus closed Thursday, will reopen Friday

THIBODAUX, La. — Due to continued severe winter weather conditions, Nicholls State University will remain closed through Thursday, Jan. 18.

Students, faculty and staff are urged to use extreme caution when traveling. Please obey all local law enforcement for road and bridge closures. 

Campus activities will resume on Friday, Jan. 19.

The Emergency Preparedness Committee will continue to watch the weather and will take additional action if necessary. Please continue to monitor the Nicholls website, its emergency website,, and follow Nicholls social media for updates.


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

Nicholls State University to close this afternoon, Wednesday due to severe winter weather

THIBODAUX, La. — With severe winter weather in the area creating hazardous travel conditions, Nicholls State University announced that campus will close at 3 p.m. and remain closed through Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Students, faculty and staff are urged to use extreme caution traveling home. Please obey all local law enforcement for road and bridge closures.

The Emergency Preparedness Committee will continue to watch the weather and will take additional action if necessary. Please continue to monitor the Nicholls website, its emergency website,, and follow Nicholls social media for updates.


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

Nicholls awards 600 degrees at 101st Commencement

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University awarded 600 degrees to students during its fall commencement ceremony on December, 16.

Darrell Domingue and Nicolette Orgeron received the President’s Medal of Honor for graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Domingue graduated with degrees in finance and accounting, and Orgeron graduated with a degree in nursing.

In addition to Domingue and Orgeron, eight students graduated summa cum laude for graduating with a 3.9 GPA or higher and is the highest academic honor a student can achieve. Those students are Katherine Robichaux, biology and music; Amanda Boquet, elementary education; Shannon Gros, psychology; Brayah Lorraine, birth-to-5 early intervention, special education; Nicole Dupin, communicative disorders; Deseray Guillory, accounting; Bernard Wezeman, psychology and business administration; and Abby Albritton, health science.


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

Nicholls named a top five college in Louisiana

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University has been named one of the top universities and colleges in Louisiana in an inaugural report by College Consensus.

A new, online college review aggregator, College Consensus combines rankings from respected college ranking publishers with student reviews to create their unique rating system.

“While it is no surprise to us that Nicholls is among the best universities in the region and the state, it is gratifying to see the hard work of our faculty, staff and students validated publicly,” said Nicholls President, Dr. Jay Clune. “We pride ourselves in giving the Bayou Region access to an affordable, high-quality education.”

College Consensus creates a Publisher Rating, comprised of the most recent rankings from Academic Ranking of World Universities, Center for World University Rankings, Forbes, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly. The Publisher Rating is then combined with a student rating score collected from resources such as Unigo, Cappex and Niche to produce the overall score.

Nicholls student score of 76 is tied for second in the state of Louisiana and ranks among the top 200 in the country.

“As a regional university, Nicholls State University focuses on practical, market-ready degree programs in areas like nursing, teaching and business,” the report states. “Nicholls knows what the residents of Cajun country need, and have been meeting those needs for generations.”


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

Nicholls announces changes to university leadership

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University today announced changes to its administration and plans to begin a national search for a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Lynn Gillette will move from his current position as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to the role of special assistant to Nicholls President, Dr. Jay Clune. Dr. Sue Westbrook, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health, will serve as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“Dr. Gillette’s leadership brought innovative change to increase student retention and improve teaching and advising practices. I look forward to working closely with him to continue that positive momentum moving forward,” Dr. Clune said. “Dr. Westbrook is a well-respected leader who oversees some of our largest and most successful programs. Under her watch, our nursing graduates regularly pass the national licensure exam at rates greater than both the national and state average, and have a 100 percent employment rate after graduation.”

A Nicholls alum, Westbrook was named dean in 2004 after working as a nurse and an instructor at Nicholls. She was named one of The Great 100 Nurses of Louisiana in 2016.


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

Nicholls partners with Friends of Bayou Lafourche to improve bayouside

Left to right: Monique Crochet, acting director of advancement; Dr. Bruce Murphy, Nicholls president; John Lafargue, president of Friends of Bayou Lafourche; Ryan Perque, executive director of Friends of Bayou Lafourche

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University and a local nonprofit will partner to enhance more than seven acres of the university’s bayouside property.

Nicholls President Dr. Bruce Murphy signed a cooperative endeavor with the Friends of Bayou Lafourche to allow the group to develop a plan for the future of the property, which runs along La. 1 from the Audubon Street bridge to Nanny Price Road.

“Part of our mission is to be the cultural heart of this region and Bayou Lafourche is front and center in that culture,” said Dr. Murphy. “The Friends of Bayou Lafourche have some great ideas on how to enhance the image of the bayou, which serves as the front porch of this university.”

Friends of Bayou Lafourche will conduct key stakeholder meetings that will include the Nicholls community, as well as outdoor enthusiasts. From there, the nonprofit will develop a master plan and establish programming along the bayou with help from a $25,000 grant from Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. Possible projects include boat launches, outdoor classrooms, an amphitheater and “other venues that promote Bayou Lafourche.”

“Because Nicholls represents a regional effort enhancing education and culture, they were the perfect partner for this project,” said John Lafargue, president of Friends of Bayou Lafourche. “This will be real, significant improvement for the bayou side. We expect, through community input, to implement a cutting-edge design that gives the community significant access to Bayou Lafourche.”


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

Lorio Foundation surpasses $3 million in donations to Nicholls

Lorio Foundation Ribbon Cutting 2017
(Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University received a $50,000 donation from the Lorio Foundation on Tuesday, bringing the total donations from the Thibodaux nonprofit to more than $3 million.

Members of the Lorio Foundation Board toured the Nicholls campus to view the outcome of projects they assisted in funding in 2017.

Those projects included resurfacing of tennis courts, renovating the steps at the Donald Bollinger Student Union and building a pavilion at Ayo Pool.

“What’s great about these projects is that it’s not just for Nicholls but for the community as well,” the Lorio Foundation said in a statement. “We gave money thinking about the kids who use the pool and the schools that also use the tennis courts. We were thinking about student safety when we helped with the steps.”

The latest donation will provide a new van for Nicholls athletics to transport teams and equipment. That brings the nonprofits total donations to Nicholls over $3.3 million.

“These donations are important for Nicholls because they help us do things we otherwise would not be able to,” said Nicholls President Dr. Bruce Murphy. “To have an organization like the Lorio Foundation contribute means we can leverage our own abilities and go beyond that and do something important.”

Established in 1997 to honor the memory of Thibodaux resident Lloyd Lorio, the nonprofit has spent the last 20 years awarding annual grants to religious, charitable, educational and governmental agencies in the Bayou Region.


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

Capital One donates $30,000 to Nicholls

Dr. Lynn Gillette, provost and vice president of academic affairs; Dr. Bruce Murphy, president; Robbie Naquin, tri-parish market president for Capital One

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University today announced a $30,000 donation from Capital One to create a unique initiative aimed at bringing underserved high school students to campus for an extended look at what life looks like on a college campus.

Beginning this summer, Nicholls will host the College Access Conference by Capital One, a 2-day, 3-night initiative which will pair with the Bayou Educational Opportunity Center.

“When I was a junior in high school, I had no idea where I wanted to go to college. Then after visiting a college campus for a couple of days, I knew I wanted to attend that university. It did turn out to be the right decision for me, and that campus experience is one I cherish to this day,” said Robbie Naquin, Tri-Parish market president at Capital One. “The College Access Conference by Capital One is a great initiative for students and their families who may not know that college is an option for them. It provides a wealth of information about attending college, including financial-aid options. And it gets students enthusiastic about attending college by introducing the overall college experience, including living on campus. Having more of our students on a college campus is great for this region.”

Housed on Nicholls campus, the Bayou Educational Opportunity Center partners with local school districts and adult education centers to provide readily accessible college guidance to qualifying high school seniors, adult education graduates and parents of low-income, first-generation college students.

Nicholls will work with high school counselors to identify first-generation or low-income, rising high school seniors from Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes who meet the university’s admissions criteria. Those students will have the opportunity to spend June 1-3 on campus for a comprehensive and intensive academic and social experience.

Students will stay in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria, work closely with faculty in their chosen major and participate in campus activities. The students will be able to meet with the financial aid office, academic advisors and various clubs and organizations on campus.

“We want to create an environment where they can see themselves coming to a college campus and being successful,” said Dr. Lynn Gillette, provost and vice president of academic affairs.


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