Mid-Semester Update

Well, it has been an exciting and busy time on The Hill. We are at midterms already, our Fall sports are continuing to show their grit on the field and court, and the campus is just breathtaking with the fall colors.

Just to note a few of the exciting things happening here: 

1) On October 3rd, we welcomed prospective families to campus for our first in-person Open House event since 2019. It was great being able to show the families all Nichols has to offer with small class sizes, world class professors and staff, incredible experiential learning opportunities, and beautiful facilities. I also attended a Guidance Counselor Reception at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA where we welcomed over 40 counselors to enjoy a beautiful dinner reception and discuss the different opportunities Nichols can offer our students. On November 7th we will welcome prospective families back to campus for our second Open House – can’t wait for that day.

2) Marla and I had a great turnout for our last Freshmen BBQ of the season. It has been wonderful being able to talk with the first-year students on a weekly basis and learn about their interests and involvement on campus. The Class of 2025 is truly an ambitious class and we are excited to watch them grow as leaders over the next four years.

President Sulmasy at First Year Student BBQ

3) Over the next few weeks, the campus will be booming with community events including our first ever Pumpkin Fest 2021, where there will be Halloween inspired food, fire pits and s’mores, pumpkin carving, and live music. We’ll wrap up the month with a haunted house in the Fels Student Center and a faculty and staff social where they will hand out candy to our students. It will be a spooky time here in Dudley.

4) Our first EVER event in the “Nichols on the Green” will happen this month with a Senior Halloween Pub Night. We will start on renovations at the golf course restaurant/bar soon creating a sports bar feel for our students to be able to enjoy watching athletic events and create memories together. Our Hospitality students will be hosting three of their fundraising events in there in November and some faculty meetings will also concur in the space. Initially, this Fall will be a soft opening but, upon arrival back for Spring semester, it will be a space used consistently for our community! Beyond exciting news for the Bison.

5) Now introducing- The Nichols College Center for Intelligent Process Automation (CIPA) where students can access cutting-edge technology and build skills to revolutionize business processes with dynamic experiential learning opportunities. I am so excited by the efforts of Professor Richards and students as this will be a game changer for Nichols.

6) Nichols vs. Bryant at Bryant University!  On October 25, we will witness Coach Erickson and the Men’s Basketball team play Division I opponent Bryant University.  Nichols fans will fill the stands (a “green out” is planned) showing their Bison Pride and singing the newly released Nichols College Fight Song.  There will be green and black everywhere.

You can feel the energy here on the Hill. The Bison are on the move, and Marla and I are looking forward to all that’s happening the next few weeks.

Go Books. Go Bison.

Convocation and Presidential Investiture Ceremony

Words simply cannot express the gratitude I have for this Nichols Community. Surrounded by my family, faculty, staff, students, Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors, alumni, and special guests, the Herd joined together as one on September 24 to start the academic year, and to welcome the Class of 2025, and for me to officially be sworn in as the 8th President of Nichols College.

Student Procession

From atop Budleigh Hill, we had the chance to observe the Class of 2025 march between a Herd of their fellow Bison from the Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024 giving high fives and cheering them on. Even a literal downpour during the procession did not stop the Herd. They embraced it. In fact, I think that elevated the Bison Pride to new heights as all were energized and engaged. The program itself included student and alumni speakers, a beautiful poem written and read by Professor Amanda (Nikki) Anderson, and remarks made by my dear friend, Joseph P. Kennedy III.   

Kennedy reflected on Nichols true grit when COVID-19 hit our campus back in March of 2020.  “This tiny virus shut down the world, but you preserved, and battled, and came back stronger than ever. This is particularly noteworthy as this has always been my perception of the Green and Black here on the Hill in Dudley – tenacious, ambitious, and willing to go the extra mile, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard… Some might even call it the Nichols Way. That is what we celebrate today- the Nichols Way.”

During the Investiture Ceremony, John H. Davis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees presided and was assisted by Samuel Saintilus ’21. My brother Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, MD, PhD, and my wife and First Lady Marla officially robed me and presented me with the Presidential Medallion and Nichols chinaware.

The events of the day affirmed my conviction to ensure that we will be known as THE BUSINESS SCHOOL OF CHOICE in the Commonwealth – for women, in particular. Every Nichols graduate will enjoy an internship or full experiential learning opportunity within a given industry or profession.  All students will have exposure to Data Science. With our Center for Intelligent Process Automation (CIPA), we will lead the way in analyst capacity – a needed tool that ALL employers will be requiring sooner than later.  We will continue to ensure that the return on investment for parents and employers is unmatched.

Each Nichols graduate will be known to be JOB READY on day 1 after graduating from Nichols, as the members of our Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors, and alumni have demonstrated through the years. This sort of effort requires “all hands-on deck”- meaning every aspect of our institution must buy into this vision- to shatter, once and for all, that notion of Nichols being the best kept secret in higher ed in New England. I ask all reading this blog to commit, together, to ensuring regional prominence, and then national prominence of this shining college on the Hill. Today and from here out, Nichols College will be recognized as not just being a good college… but BEING GREAT.

I would like to thank the Convocation Committee, especially Dean Jean Beaupre, Lynn Looby, and Kathy Langlois, Assistant to the Vice President for Business and Finance / CFO, for all their hard work and dedication

To say I was humbled by the events of the day would be an understatement. Thank you for all those involved with planning this wonderful event and to all those who attended. My family, Marla and I will cherish this day for a lifetime.

Now, onward we march!

Go Books. Go Bison.