By Brandon Cherry
Universities are not made by just the students within them, but also the community that surrounds them.
The community of Thibodaux combines history, culture and hospitality to create a small college town.
“I’m from New Orleans, so Thibodaux was a great change of pace for me,” says student Marianna Rocha. “The reason I moved to Thibodaux was because it was a great place to focus on my school work while still having fun downtown.”
Located in Lafourche Parish, Thibodaux has been around since the 1800s. The city lies 66 miles from New Orleans and 67 miles from Baton Rouge, making it a short drive to the two biggest cities in Louisiana.
In recent years, downtown Thibodaux has become the place for many students to hang out after class. Five bars are within walking distance from each other, making it easy to get from place-to-place. Also, plenty of bars have there own signature drinks.
Rene’s “Mind Erasers” is one signature drink downtown. The shot comes in a cup which is taken through a straw. Rocha says it is a stop everyone makes when going downtown.
The Purple People Eater at Last Call has become a staple for many students of Nicholls. Nicknamed “The Bucket”, the beverage comes in a white bucket filled to the rim with cherries on top. This beverage has become a tradition for many students to enjoy on Thursdays nights after classes.
Downtown Thibodaux is not the only place in town that supports Nicholls. Many businesses around town show their Colonel Pride through partnerships with the university.
Rouses supermarket recently opened a Nicholls State University themed grocery store. Located across the street from Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, it’s a short distance from campus. The interior of the store displays Colonel red and gray colors with the cafe featuring a basketball scoreboard.
Raising Canes also supports Nicholls with a Colonel-themed restaurant. The branch displays a Nicholls State University logo on its front doors while also allowing students to purchase meals with Colonel Cash, which is on-campus money. Alec Stieffel, a former Raising Cane’s employee and a Nicholls alumnus, says the restaurant was a perfect environment to work at.
“I really enjoyed working at Raising Cane’s in Thibodaux because of their involvement with Nicholls,” Stieffel says. “They also worked around my school schedule making it easy to maintain having a job while being in college.”
The Thibodaux community maintains partnerships with Nicholls State University as Stieffel says the city and local university contribute to one another.
Nicholls State University brings people all over the state to visit Thibodaux. The Manning Passing Academy is an annual event that has many pro and college quarterbacks visit the Bayou region. According to the Manning Passing Academy website it has been held in Thibodaux for over 25 years.
With all these traditions made in Thibodaux, the memories made from students enrolled at Nicholls State University lives on, and they look to continue as the school grows in size and advances in construction projects.