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Fall commencement moved to Stopher


Fall 2005 commencement has been moved to Stopher Gym because of hurricane-related damages to the Thibodaux Civic Center.However, the dates and times of both commencement sessions will remain the same. Nicholls does not anticipate limiting the number of guests graduates can bring, and the change will not result in any additional costs to the University or students.

“There were no other alternatives because of the late date,” Geralyn Labat, academic affairs secretary, said. “We tried to contact the Houma Civic Center and Morgan City Municipal Auditorium, but everything was booked.”

Curtis Hue, director of the Thibodaux Civic Center, said experts are currently surveying what construction will be needed due to the damages to the roof, ceiling and walls in addition to mold. Current damage estimates are approximately $1.2 million.

“The Civic Center has severe damage, and we don’t know when we’re going to open again,” Hue said.

Michael Delaune, director of University Relations, said Nicholls was notified in late September that the Thibodaux Civic Center would not be usable. Letters are being mailed to graduate candidates this week concerning the changes; additional information on the changes is also available on the Nicholls website.

Labat said Stopher Gym is the backup site for Nicholls commencement. The last time commencement was held in Stopher Gym was in May 2002 when a conflict in scheduling caused the two ceremonies to be split into two days, with one in Stopher Gym and one in the Thibodaux Civic Center.

This fall’s commencement will be on Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. for students graduating in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and University College and at 2 p.m. for students graduating in the College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Allied Health and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute.

There will be no reserved seating nor will tickets be required.

According to Labat, Stopher Gymnasium has a capacity of 2,500. The Thibodaux Civic Center held approximately 3,700. Currently, Nicholls has 553 graduate candidates who completed their degree programs in July or are expected to complete them in December. Labat said Nicholls did not measure attendance at previous graduations, but she estimates that attendance, including graduates, is about 2,000 at each session.

Labat said she did not know of any plans if attendance reached more than 2,500.

Delaune said, “We don’t envision the need to limit guests. Based on previous graduation attendances, we don’t anticipate overflow.”

Labat said Balfour is reprinting all ordered invitations to include the correct location on them free of charge to the students and University.

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The student newspaper of Nicholls State University
Fall commencement moved to Stopher