Investiture of President John W. Nicklow

See the ceremony

The University’s seventh leader, President John W. Nicklow, was formally installed during an on-campus ceremony on November 2, 2016.

Featured Events   See Full Schedule

Investiture Ceremony

Wednesday, November 2
2:00 p.m.
Library Quad

A formal ceremony inaugurating the University of New Orleans seventh leader, John W. Nicklow.

Distinguished Alumni Gala

Thursday, November 3
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
National WWII Museum
Freedom Pavilion: Boeing Center

A gala in honor of 2016 Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumnus Mark Romig and the Investiture of President John W. Nicklow.

Distinguished Presidential Lecture Series

Tuesday, November 1
7:00 p.m.
Sen. Theodore "Ted" M. Hickey Ballroom, University Center

The Honorable Jay C. Zainey, will lead a discussion entitled "Social Justice, Community Service and the Rule of Law."

Full Schedule | Monday, October 31

UNO Faculty & Staff Alumni Luncheon
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center Lobby

If you're a UNO graduate who works on campus, please join us for lunch and our appreciation!

Hosted by the UNO Alumni Association

Business Leaders Reception
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
UNO Nims Film Studio

Invitation only event.

Hosted by the President's Office

Tuesday, November 1

Past Presidents Luncheon
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Past Presidents of the UNO International Alumni Association and Past Presidents of the Student Government/Association are invited to an exclusive luncheon in their honor.
Invitation only event.

Hosted by the UNO Alumni Association

Presidential Portrait Unveiling
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Administration Building 101

Hosted by the UNO Founders Club

Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Presidential Lecture Series
7:00 p.m.
Sen. Theodore "Ted" M. Hickey Ballroom, University Center

The Honorable Jay C. Zainey, U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Louisiana, will serve as the 2016 Homer L. Hitt Presidential Distinguished Lecturer. He will lead a discussion entitled "Social Justice, Community Service and the Rule of Law."
Open to the public.

Hosted by the UNO Founders Club

Wednesday, November 2

Legislative Brunch
10:00 a.m. - 1: 00 p.m.
Lakefront Airport

Invitation only event.

Hosted by the President's Office

Investiture Ceremony
2:00 p.m.
Library Quad

A formal ceremony inaugurating the University of New Orleans seventh leader, John W. Nicklow. Reception to Follow.
Open to the public.

Hosted by UNO

Jazz at the Sandbar
7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The Sandbar at the UNO Cove

Open to the public.

Thursday, November 3

UNO Distinguished Alumni Gala
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
National WWII Museum, Freedom Pavilion: Boeing Center

Don't miss this festive fundraising event celebrating UNO's leadership and impact on Greater New Orleans, honoring our alumni and building community. Delicious food, open bar, silent auction and live entertainment.

Hosted by the UNO Alumni Association

Friday, November 4

UNO English Alumni Night
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center Ballroom

Dine with fellow graduates of the UNO English Department, meet current faculty and reconnect with retired faculty, celebrate the achievements of faculty and students, and reminisce about yours at UNO.

Hosted by the English Department

About President John W. Nicklow

Dr. John Nicklow is the seventh leader in the history of the University of New Orleans. He was selected President by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors on March 16, 2016. Prior to his ascent to the presidency, he spent nine months as the University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. President Nicklow brings to the position nearly 18 years of higher education experience as a faculty member and administrator with extensive experience in research, enrollment management, student success initiatives, fundraising, campus-wide collaborations and academic program innovation.

As Provost, Dr. Nicklow served as the Chief Academic Officer for the University of New Orleans and was responsible for managing academic programs and support units and the policies and practices that affect the academic success of students at the University. He oversaw undergraduate and graduate education, recruitment and retention of students, faculty affairs, including promotion and tenure, outreach to the community, information technology, and institutional effectiveness and assessment.

President Nicklow previously held the position of Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Southern Illinois University, as well as earlier appointments as Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management, Associate Dean of Engineering, and Professor of Civil Engineering at that institution. As Provost, Dr. Nicklow led an effort that resulted in increased overall student enrollment, following more than 10 years of consecutive declines. Other highlights of his tenure included two of the largest freshmen classes in 20 years, the largest international student population in 30 years and strong gains in the number of transfer students as well as rates of student persistence. Dr. Nicklow helped triple the size of the University Honors Program; grew accredited online programs and online enrollment; managed new, successful recruitment initiatives; created centralized First-Year Advisement; and established a number of cross-disciplinary and new academic programs.

President Nicklow has been widely recognized at the university level by the American Society of Civil Engineers and by industry for his teaching and research. His research interests are focused on STEM education and on environmental and water resources systems optimization. He has published more than 75 articles and is the author of four books. He is a registered professional engineer, a certified professional hydrologist, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Diplomat of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

President Nicklow earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and a Ph.D., in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University. He began his career as an Environmental Engineering Officer with the U.S. Public Health Service and was responsible for design and construction of water supply and waste disposal facilities for American Indian communities.

President Nicklow is a native of Berlin, Pennsylvania. He is married with one son.


Past Presidents

President Peter J. Fos
2012 - 2016

Chancellor Timothy P. Ryan
2003 - 2010

Chancellor Gregory M. St. L. O'Brien
1987 - 2003

Chancellor Cooper R. Mackin
1983 - 1987

Chancellor Leon J. V. Richelle
1980 - 1983

Chancellor Homer L. Hitt
1958 - 1980

The History of the University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans (originally called Louisiana State University in New Orleans) was established by Act 60 of the 1956 Louisiana Legislature in the wake of a citizens’ movement to bring tax-supported higher education to the metropolitan area.

An ideal campus site was acquired when the United States Navy abandoned its air station on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain in late 1957. A quick renovation of barracks, service clubs, and other existing facilities made it possible to begin classes in September 1958, a year ahead of the original schedule. This marked the opening of the first racially integrated public university in the South. A total of 1,460 students, all freshmen and double the number originally anticipated, arrived for this occasion.

By September 1961, when the new school had become a full four-year institution, enrollment exceeded 3,000, and the faculty had grown from the original 63 to 150 members. A Junior Division had been established for the academic administration of freshmen, and senior academic divisions had been established in liberal arts, in sciences, and in business administration. Dr. Homer L. Hitt, the first employee and the chief administrative officer, had been promoted from Dean of LSUNO to Vice President of LSU in Charge of LSUNO.

Two new permanent buildings, the Liberal Arts Building and the Sciences Building, and a central utilities plant were completed and in operation by the time of the first commencement in the spring of 1962. The initial class of graduating seniors numbered 116.

In the summer of 1962 the Vice President in Charge was designated Chancellor. This signaled the end of LSUNO’s status as a branch of the Baton Rouge campus.

In September, 1969, when the enrollment exceeded 10,000, LSUNO became the second-largest university in Louisiana. By this time it had developed into a large academic complex embracing several colleges, schools, and institutes, offering graduate work in many different fields and awarding both the master’s and doctoral degrees. In February, 1974, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved a name change, and LSUNO became the University of New Orleans. The new name more accurately defined the institution as the metropolitan campus of the LSU System.

By the fall of 1983, UNO had an enrollment exceeding 16,000 and had five senior colleges: Liberal Arts, Sciences, Education, Business Administration, and Engineering, in addition to its Junior Division and Graduate School. It also had a School of Urban and Regional Studies; a School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration; a School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering; and various centers, institutes and divisions for specialized research.

UNO suffered damage across campus during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but quickly resumed classes 42 days after the storm passed – a unique feat among area institutions during the fall of 2005. While enrollment dropped significantly, the university was able to streamline operations and refocus efforts on key programs that are nationally noted or ranked while still providing the best possible education for the people of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures hit us hard, but the story of UNO is about overcoming odds and building success at every turn. Since the storm, we have done just that.

The University of New Orleans has grown to become a major research university. Categorized as an SREB Four-Year 2 institution, as a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University-Intensive, and as a COC/SACS Level VI institution, our students now enjoy a broad range of academic programs, nearly one-quarter of which are at the master’s or doctoral level. In addition, extracurricular activities, including NCAA intercollegiate athletics, an extensive program of intramural sports, and frequent exhibits and programs in music, drama, ballet, and the fine arts round out the student experience.

On December 6, 2011, the University of New Orleans officially became part of the University of Louisiana system.

Culturally, socially, economically, and intellectually, the University of New Orleans is one of the major assets of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. The University has conferred over 70,000 degrees since the first graduating class of 116 in 1962. UNO has distinguished itself since 1958 and will continue to do so in the future.

University Mace

The University of New Orleans Mace is borne before the Platform Party as a symbol of authority in the Procession and Recession. The Platform Party is composed of the President, members of the Board of Supervisors, other University authorities, and distinguished guests.

The Mace was first presented on September 6, 1988 at the Academic Convocation commemorating the University’s September 5, 1958 opening ceremony. Commissioned in January, 1988, the Mace was conceptualized by Professor Howard Jones, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts, and refined and executed by Mr. Doug MacCash, a graduate assistant working under the supervision of Professor Jones.

The Mace’s bronze head is mounted on a mahogany shaft and has many levels of imagery. Subtle features of the artifact symbolize the composition, mission, and vitality of the University. Emblematic of authority, the Mace has the name and year of appointment of each of the University’s leaders engraved on separate bronze rings at the base of the shaft.

The President's Medallion

Traditionally, a University’s chief executive officer possesses a badge of office that he or she wears at convocations, commencements, or other ceremonial occasions. To honor that custom, the original Chancellor’s Medallion was struck and presented on the occasion of the inauguration of Dr. Leon J.V. Richelle, UNO’s second leader, in 1981. In commemoration of UNO’s 50th Anniversary in 2008, the UNO Federal Credit Union presented to the University the gift of a new Medallion to be worn by Chancellor Timothy P. Ryan and all successors to that office. With the transfer of UNO to the University of Louisiana System, the leader is the President.

The entire antiqued silver-plated four-inch medallion and chain feature The University of New Orleans seal encircled by fourteen one-and-one-half inch squares and seventeen banners. Twelve of the squares are engraved with UNO above a fleur-de-lis. Two squares are engraved with the 50th Anniversary logo. Six of the banners are engraved with UNO’s leaders’ names and dates of service. The banner immediately above the medallion bears the word President.

Variations of this medallion may be struck on special occasions to honor extraordinary and distinguished service to the University.


The inauguration will be held at the Library Quad. Parking will be available near the Performing Arts Center.