Kelly Ann FalgoutAugust 14, 2023
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This September, Nicholls State University is celebrating their 60th Anniversary of Integration on their campus with a special ceremony and dedication.
Nicholls State University shared the official story of their campus integration via their website: “On September 17, 1963, seven Black students changed the course of history on the Nicholls campus by staring adversity in the face and choosing to press forward for their own education and the education of those for years to come.
“Despite opposition, they persisted toward their academic goals, removing barriers for future Black leaders. Their footsteps led to this place of solace where they shared laughter and light at a bench under an oak near Elkins Hall. This tree was not only the place they gathered to escape the animosity and hatred of the times, it was also a place to rest. Although racial slurs were carved into the trunk of the oak, it could not uproot the peace they shared in this sanctuary.
“Decades later, the graduates would return to this tree to reflect on its importance. Now, we reflect on this historic day, a symbolic bench for us to sit and marvel at the growth of progress branching deep into the soil and high into the air. Thank you for planting seeds for our future at Nicholls State University.”
The Nicholls Student Government Association expressed that along with the support of the entire campus, they will commemorate this historic day with a plaque at the tree where those students found solace. A bench will also be placed at the tree for all to come and pay respect to the brave step those students took for the future of Black students for decades to come.
The dedication will take place on September 17, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. on the lawn in front of Picciola Hall. The university is currently seeking to raise $2,500 that will go directly towards the dedication ceremonies and programs that will be held to celebrate this anniversary. Interested parties can donate as much as they wish here.