Home Sweet Home
There’s always something special about coming home. On January 1, 2018, Dr. Jay Clune will return home and accept his dream job, becoming the sixth President of Nicholls State University.
“Coming home is special,” shares Dr. Clune. “You never think the timing is going to be right for a presidential opening and you’re going to be in the right place in your career to take advantage of that.”
Dr. Jay Clune was born and raised in Houma, attending St. Bernadette Elementary School and Vandebilt Catholic High School, before earning his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Nicholls State University in 1986. Dr. Clune finished his doctoral work at LSU but credits his time at Nicholls for giving him the skills to finish.
“At our graduation, the keynote speaker said your Nicholls’ degree is as valuable as a Harvard degree,” recalls Dr. Clune. “I thought about it for a while and realized he was indeed telling the truth. I owe everything to Nicholls.”
Having already met with staff and many student groups on campus, Dr. Clune has big plans in place for his new family at Nicholls. “What I’ve already observed is the faculty and students just want to be a part of it,” Dr. Clune shares. “They want me to be successful and I really can’t do it alone. Change doesn’t occur top down, it occurs bottom up.”
Energized by the student body, Dr. Clune believes they have practical ideas that can be implemented right away. He recognizes that Nicholls has wonderful core education paths in place and hopes that Nicholls can be more innovative in what they offer to meet the needs of the industries in this region.
Every great leader must draw inspiration from a strong source. Dr. Clune credits his wife Allison as his greatest inspiration, as well as his family, including his two daughters Gabrielle and Caroline, and his parents who still live in Houma.
“No one is self made,” says Dr. Clune. “You start thinking of all the teachers throughout your life and you realize at every point of your life so many people touched you and made things possible and opened doors. And I feel like I want to make them proud.
“I have a great role model, Dr. Galliano. He walked the campus and talked to students and shook their hands. I’m going to walk this campus. I want the students to know we are all in this together.”
Dr. Clune’s goal is to not only encourage the students and get them to graduation day, but for them to stay in the Bayou Region. He wants them to get involved in the community and truly become the face of Nicholls.
“The students are already inspired,” smiles Dr. Clune. “They don’t need Jay Clune to inspire them. I would like them to know I am standing side by side with them. They are the reason we are here.”