(Nicholls State University is located at 906 East Highway 1 [or East First St]. The oaks on the tour can be viewed more closely by making a slow driving loop through campus—turn off Hwy. 1 onto Acadia Drive, then right on Glenwood Drive behind the administrative offices, then right again and out on Madewood Drive.)
There are forty-five live oaks on the Nicholls State University campus that were relocated there in 1950-1951 from Georgia Plantation near Labadieville. They were planted on both sides of main campus streets: along Acadia Dr. and Madewood Dr., near the main driveway into the administration buildings on Rienzi Circle, and along Audubon Avenue along the north edge of campus.
The oaks were donated to Nicholls and then planted by Mr. Leonard Lasseigne, the director of grounds for Nicholls at the time. Lasseigne was an avid gardener and live oak lover who is credited with planting many oaks in locations around Thibodaux.
Though the Nicholls State Oaks are not as old as other trees on the Live Oak Tour, they are significant for the number of oaks on campus and the role that Nicholls State has played in the local history of Lafourche Parish. The school was founded by the state in 1948 and named Francis T. Nicholls Junior College of Louisiana State University.
In 1956, Nicholls separated from the LSU system and was authorized by the Louisiana Legislature to develop a four-year curriculum. The former junior college began operation as Francis T. Nicholls State College and granted its first degrees in May of 1958. Then in 1970, through a state legislative act, the college changed its name officially to Nicholls State University.
The property on which Nicholls State University was at one time part of Acadia Plantation (described in a separate post).
The Lafourche Live Oak Tour was created through the generous support of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism. For more information on Lafourche Parish events and activities, visit their website at LACajunBayou.com.