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Nicholls State University Athletics announced the construction of its Henry J. Lafont, Sr. Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at a ceremony on the Ray E. Didier Baseball Field. The creation of the fieldhouse was made possible through a $1 million donation from Kim and Henry Lafont Jr., with $500,000 going towards the baseball fieldhouse and $500,000 going towards a College of Liberal Arts Excellence Fund.
“This new building will be a game changer in regards to recruiting and player development. Providing our student-athletes with adequate facilities will help continue the growth and momentum our program has had over the last two years,” said Mike Silva, Nicholls Athletics head baseball coach. “To consistently pursue championships, college athletics has turned into an arms race in regards to facilities. Henry and Kim LaFont have championed this facility, and we can’t thank them enough, along with our administration, as we continue to move the needle forward in regards to the growth of our baseball program and university.”
“I shared a special bond with my father in those evening games of catch after he had finished long days of work. For Kim and I to be able to honor his name on this baseball facility at the university we both love so dearly truly is special to me,” said Henry Lafont. “We are so blessed to be able to support Nicholls athletics and academics in these donations and challenge others to support the institution that gave so many of us our start.”
Henry and Kim have always been avid supporters of Nicholls. Henry J. Lafont Jr. is a local attorney, community leader and former assistant and adjunct professor for Nicholls’ Department of Government. Lafont was named “Mr. Nicholls,” and inducted into the Nicholls Hall of Fame in 1976. He was also named Nicholls’ College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus in 2014, and more recently, awarded the Nicholls State University’s Honorary Doctorate in 2022. Kim Lafont, CEO of Nu-Lite Electrical Wholesalers, has been recognized with the 2016 Nicholls Honorary Alumna Award for her dedication at Nicholls fundraisers and athletic events, even hosting Nicholls events at her home. Kim and Henry believe in helping students make their college dreams a reality and supporting higher education.
In conjunction with the $3.6 million dollar Henry J. Lafont, Sr. Fieldhouse project, which will create a new Colonel Baseball Operation Center, the Nicholls State University Foundation and Colonel Athletic Association has created a campaign to allow donors to name all areas of the facility while providing current and future needs. The goal is to name all areas of the new facility in an effort to raise at least an additional $365,000. Each new room or area will be permitted to be named after an individual, family and/or corporation as per guidelines set forth by the state of Louisiana, Nicholls State University and the donor gift agreement. There are also naming rights to 46 lockers available to purchase at $1,500 each and can be paid monthly over the course of a year. To view a list of the possibilities for naming rooms or lockers, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colonel Baseball is coming off the program’s first Southland Conference Regular Season Championship since joining the league in 1992. Nicholls then went on to claim the Southland Tournament Title, its first since ’98, securing the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Red and Gray nearly knocked off regional host Alabama in a 4-3 setback, falling short of the program’s first Division I NCAA Regional victory.
Nicholls Athletics relies on the generous support of donors to support each of its 17 Division 1 sports teams, cheer squad, athletic trainers and 350+ student athletes. Every donor makes a difference and each gift, regardless of size, has a direct impact on all student-athletes here at Nicholls. For more information, visit GeauxColonels.com.