Photo by: Jessica Mouton

Nicholls to host 100th commencement ceremony

April 27, 2017

Nicholls alum, environmental advocate and educator Jonathan Foret will speak to graduates and their guests at the University’s 100th commencement ceremony.

Nicholls State University’s spring commencement ceremony is schedule to start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 13 in John L. Guidry Stadium.

Foret, the keynote speaker of the event, is a Louisiana native from Chauvin who currently serves as the executive director of the Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center in Houma.

As a reflex of increasing enrollment numbers, more than 650 students will have their degrees awarded during the ceremony.

According to University Registrar Kelly Rodrigue, his office received over 700 degree applications for the spring of 2017. This number includes associates, bachelors and master’s degrees.

“That is not the number of students. However, some students are applying for two or more degrees,” Rodrigue said.

This spring marks the fifth consecutive year with a record-breaking number of graduates at Nicholls, and will be the second time in recent years that a single commencement ceremony combining all the graduates is held.

Guidry Stadium has a seating capacity of 10,500, being 5,000 seats on the home side and 5,500 on the visitor side ,according to Stephanie Verdin, director of the University Marketing and Communications office.

“This does not include the number of chairs that are set up on the field for graduates and faculty,” Verdin said.

The total number of seats can easily accommodate the potential number of guests. For that reason, it is not mandatory for students to acquire tickets beforehand.

The ceremony procedures, as stated in the spring 2017 Commencement Guidelines and Instructions, includes the presentation of the candidates for degrees by Vice President for Academic Affairs Lynn Gillette and the conferring of the degrees by University President Bruce Murphy.

Specialist degree candidates will have their degrees conferred first, followed by master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degree candidates consecutively.

Murphy will then announce the presentation of the diplomas by college and a reader will call the name of each individual graduate. Honors graduates will be recognized when their names are called to receive their diplomas.

The university’s backup plan in the event of bad weather is to hold three distinct ceremonies at the Stopher Gymnasium, separating the graduates according to their colleges. In this case, seating is limited so students will be asked to acquire tickets for their guests.

The programming is scheduled to take place as follows: the College of Education and College of Business Administration at 9 a.m., the College of Arts and Sciences at noon and the College of Nursing and Allied Health at 3 p.m.

The previous commencement ceremony, which took place on Saturday, Dec. 17 of last year, was the first to integrate students from all the University’s colleges into one ceremony.

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