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Nicholls State University

Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, is a comprehensive, regional University serving south central Louisiana. Tax supported and coeducational, it opened its doors September 23, 1948, as Francis T. Nicholls Junior College of Louisiana State University. In 1956, the Louisiana Legislature separated Nicholls from Louisiana State University and authorized it to develop full four year curricula. Thus, in September 1956, the former junior college began operation as Francis T. Nicholls State College. It was granted its present name, Nicholls State University, in 1970 by Act 93 of the State Legislature. The 210 acre campus, once part of historic Acadia Plantation, fronts on Bayou Lafourche, about fifty miles southwest of New Orleans and sixty miles southeast of Baton Rouge. Nicholls is located in the heart of Cajun country, an area rich in tradition and culture. It is also located in the heart of the Mississippi River Delta, allowing easy access to the river, its distributaries, Louisiana’s wetlands, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Nicholls State University commits itself to offering an excellent comprehensive education that meets the needs of the communities it serves. Through quality teaching, research, and service, the University strives to achieve accreditation in all eligible programs, evidence of its commitment to south central Louisiana and beyond. In an effort to fulfill its mission, Nicholls has developed a set of strategic goals. First to advance knowledge in higher education. Second to increase opportunities for student access to and success in higher education. Third to promote responsible citizenship and leadership within an increasingly diverse population. And finally, to promote the social, cultural and economic development of the region.

The principle of “Excellence in Education with a Personal Touch” has become embedded in the organizational culture of the University. This principle promotes an academic and social environment where students interact with caring faculty and staff and receive individualized attention. With more than 90 degree programs of study, Nicholls allows you to fully explore your educational and career options. The University holds national accreditation for 100 percent of all eligible baccalaureate degree programs. The University sets a standard for excellence and prides itself of the personal attention given to students and the family atmosphere experienced. Further, Nicholls has been named to a select group of “Colleges that Develop Character.”

There are nearly one hundred student organizations on campus and most Nicholls students participate in extracurricular activities. There are also eight national social fraternities and six sororities for students interested in Greek life. Located in the center of campus, the Student Union is the heart of student life, providing students with racquetball courts, a theater, a game room, a foot court, and a coffee shop. In addition, intercollegiate athletics plays an integral part in campus life at Nicholls. Whether it’s cheering on the Colonel’s basketball team or spending a Saturday night in Guidry Stadium, there is something for everyone when it comes to Nicholls State University.

Nicholls State University provides a quality institution of higher education, dedicated to meeting the unique geographic and multicultural needs of south central Louisiana and beyond. Nicholls is the college where students achieve their dreams. With the help of a strong and committed faculty and staff and the choices needed to make a name for yourself, Nicholls State University is committed to giving their students the best possible “education with a personal touch.”

Find out more at the Nicholls State University Web site >>



Dr. Bruce T. Murphy has been chosen to serve as the fifth president of Nicholls State University.

Murphy was the vice president for academic affairs at Air University in Alabama for the past eight years. He was elected to serve on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, the regional accrediting body for institutes of higher education, and currently serves on its appeals committee.

In prior years, Murphy was founding dean of the School of Business at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He was also founding director of the graduate program in organizational leadership and chair of the Walker School of Business at Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania. Murphy served as a professor of military science and director of the Army Officer Education Program at Vanderbilt University. Before that, he taught leadership as an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Murphy, a retired lieutenant colonel, spent 23 years in the U.S. Army, serving in Germany, Panama and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He also earned a Master of Arts from Teachers College at Columbia University and a Doctorate in Education from Vanderbilt University.

Murphy has one daughter and one granddaughter, and is married to retired U.S. Army Col. Jeanne Picariello Murphy, a former intercollegiate and international athlete who served on the U.S. Olympic Committee. 

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