A sizable donation from two Morgan City restaurateurs is set to benefit over 350 student-athletes at Nicholls State University, according to a news release from the school.
Brenda and Gregory Hamer Sr, owners and operators of B&G Food Enterprises, have donated $100,000 to Nicholls State University Athletics. The Hamer family has a history within the Thibodaux and Houma region and with Nicholls State University itself, as their grandson, Garret LeBlanc, is a former Nicholls Football player.
Hillary Charpentier, director of the Colonel Athletic Association, said of the Hammers’ donation, “as the lowest funded school in the Southland Conference, donor dollars allow Nicholls Athletics to compete on the same or higher level than our peer institutions. Support like this has a direct impact on all student-athletes here at Nicholls. Our student-athletes must receive the support they need to compete and succeed at the highest level both on and off the field.”
Previously in 2021, the Hamers had donated $50,000 to the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute so that state-of-the-art kitchen and cooking equipment could be purchased and maintained for Nicholls Students. As a result, the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute’s student lounge and culinary library was named the Gregory and Brenda Hamer Family/Taco Bell Student Lounge and Research Center. Gregory Hamer Jr, the couple’s son, was in the first graduation class of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute.
Gregory Hamer Sr. remarked to Nicholls press that he and his wife had plenty of reasons to support the university in saying, “we have one grandson who played for the football team, and we have another who plays for them now. We also have businesses in Morgan City, Thibodaux, Houma, and Matthews. It just makes sense for us to support Nicholls. We’ve been proud to support this university for years, and we’re happy to be able to help them with this incredible facility.”
As a sign of their appreciation, Nicholls Athletics has proposed that the Tight Ends Meeting Room be named after the Hamer’s grandson and former Nicholls Football player, Garret LeBlanc, and their business, B&G Enterprises, pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
The naming within the Boucvalt Family Athletic Complex is a part of a naming campaign that began in 2020 to raise money for current and future needs within Nicholls Athletics. The campaign’s initial goal was to name all areas within the facility, and each may be named after an individual, family, or business as per the guidelines set forth by the state of Louisiana, Nicholls State University, and the Donor Gifts Agreement. Funds accumulated from the naming campaign are used as both an endowment and for upkeep and maintenance within the athletic department.
Nicholls Athletic Director, Jonathan Terrell, commented on the recent donation by saying, “every student-athlete benefits from this. For them to be able to give from the heart is incredible because of how many people it’s going to help. We have this excellent new building, and with these dollars will be able to keep it in the best shape possible.”
B&G Food Enterprises, which was initially created in 1982 by the Hamers when they opened their first Taco Bell location in Morgan City, now operates over 150 Taco Bell locations across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas and is the largest Taco Bell franchise in Louisiana. Gregory Hamer Sr. is a Trustee of the National Restaurant Associationand the past chairman of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Hamer Sr. also served as the president of the Louisiana Restaurant Association and was elected to the association’s Hall of Fame in 2002.
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