Nicholls State University will hold its 104th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18th in Stopher Gym. The ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences will be held at 9 a.m., followed by the ceremonies for the College of Business Administration and the College of Nursing at noon. The last ceremonies will be held at 3 p.m. for the College of Education and Behavioral Science and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute.
The ceremony’s keynote speaker delivering the commencement address will be delivered by Dr. Craig Walker, an internationally-known cardiologist who is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and interventional cardiology. Dr. Walker is a former resident of Bourg and graduated from South Terrebonne High School and earned an undergraduate degree from Nicholls State University in only two years. In reference to being the keynote speaker for the approaching ceremony, Dr. Walker said, “A college degree represents a true accomplishment, but it is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning. I’m proud to serve as the commencement speaker at my alma mater.”
From his impressive success at Nicholls State University, Dr. Walker advanced to the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans to earn his doctorate and to Lafayette Charity Hospital to complete his residency. Subsequently, New Orleans’ Ochsner Foundation Hospital and Harvard Medical School both awarded him fellowships.
In 1983, Dr. Walker returned to Terrebonne Parish to open the Houma Heart Clinic. When he first opened the doors to the clinic, he was the sole employee. However, as the years progressed, opportunities to open more facilities arose. Currently, the Cardiovascular Institute of the South has 19 locations that collectively employ 60 physicians.
Along with his extensive expansion of the Cardiovascular Institute of the South, Dr. Walker founded New Cardiovascular Horizons– a well-respected international conference that facilitates discussion on innovations and developments in cardiovascular medicine. Each year, the foundation holds 16 U.S. conferences, 4 international conferences, and consists of more than 5,000 global participants. New Cardiovascular Horizons will hold its 20thannual conference this year.
In 1997, Dr. Walker collaborated with Chef John Folse to construct a cookbook called Something Old & Something New: Louisiana Cooking with a Change of Heart. This cookbook features 200 traditional Cajun and Creole recipes alongside modified versions of the classics to make them healthier. The cookbook also features stories discussing the backgrounds of some of the classic recipes.
Dr. Walker maintains several ties in education. He currently works as Clinical Professor of Medicine at LSU and Tulane Medical Schools. He also holds the position of Clinical Editor of the news bulletin Vascular Disease Management, and holds other editorial positions on journals such as the Journal of Endovascular Therapy, Endovascular Today, and Global Vascular Digest. Additionally, Dr. Walker is a member of the Board of Directors of the Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society and has participated as an associate director at numerous medical conferences, both national and international. Nicholls State is honored to have him as this year’s keynote speaker.
Because of his numerous strides made in the medical field, Nicholls State University will award Dr. Walker with an honorary doctorate during the 104th commencement ceremony.
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