Nicholls Names Nursing Facilities in Honor of Donepudi Family $1.1M Home Donation

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Dr. Sarat K. Donepudi’s $1.1 million home located in Twelve Cedars Crossing was donated to Nicholls State University on Thursday, May 11, 2023. To honor the family’s support, Nicholls will name two facilities in its College of Nursing after the Donepudis. In Betsy Cheramie-Ayo Hall, the auditorium on the first floor will be named in honor of Mrs. Nirmala Yalamanchili Donepudi and the High Fidelity Simulation Lab in honor of Dr. Sarat K. Donepudi.

The home will be utilized by the University for at least three years, during which the home can be utilized for guests of the president. Then, the University can decide to sell the home, with proceeds going towards scholarships.

“We always wanted to give something back to the community, and promoting education is the best way to give back to any community. That’s why we’re happy to donate to the Nicholls College of Nursing,” said Dr. Sarat Donepudi.

Dr. Donepudi began his practice in Louisiana as an attending physician at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and has over 52 years of experience in the medical field, specializing in general practice and surgery. Dr. Donepudi is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Member of both the Louisiana State and Lafourche Parish Medical Societies. He was a past president of the Lafourche Medical Society, past Chief of Staff of Thibodaux Regional Medical Center and was named Thibodaux Regional’s Physician of the Year in 1992.

Executive Director of the Nicholls Foundation Jeremy Becker said, “This gift is very exciting for a number of reasons, with the most important being the scholarships that will eventually be created. A second reason for excitement is the method of the gift being a gift of property as the hope is that other Nicholls supporters will follow the Donepudis example and consider doing something similar.”

The Nicholls Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 corporation, exists to support the mission of Nicholls State University by seeking gifts and grants and by managing those funds and other assets to support Nicholls through endowed chairs, professorships, scholarships and other enhancement efforts.


Pictured above: 

From left to right back row: Jonathan Terrell, Director of Athletics; Dr. Michele Caruso, Vice President for Student Affairs; Dr. Raquel Engolio, Dean of College of Nursing; Jerald Block, attorney; Allison Clune, Nicholls First Lady; Rebecca Lyons, Associate Dean of College of Nursing; Terry Braud, Vice President for Finance & Administration; Jeremy Becker, Executive Director of Nicholls Foundation

From left to right front row: Dr. Sue Westbrook, Provost & Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs; Dr. Sarat K. Donepudi; Mrs. Nirmala Yalamanchili Donepudi; Jay Clune, PhD, Nicholls President