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Gilberto Burbante (BS ’11

What did your time at Nicholls mean to you?

“For me, Nicholls had a huge, positive impact on my life. During my time as an undergrad, I was, unknowingly, dealing with a challenging transitioning point. I had recently left the United States Marine Corps after my honorable service and now was a full-time student facing academic challenges foreign to me. There were several times during my undergraduate career that I thought about dropping all my classes and picking up a rifle again because it just seemed easier to deploy overseas and not die than it was sitting in a classroom. Thanks to my supportive wife and family, I pushed forward and eventually found my place on campus with a great group of men that I still call my brothers, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Through SAE I was able to find not only the brotherhood that I was missing but also a drive that kept me grounded. I slowly became more involved, and Nicholls felt like home. So, what does Nicholls mean to me? It’s the place where I rediscovered myself; it’s where I redeveloped my social skills; it’s the place where I met my best friends, and it’s the place that I will forever call home.”

What is your favorite memory from Nicholls?

“My favorite memory of Nicholls would have to be one before I was even a Nicholls student. In 2003 my girlfriend Brandy (wife now) was attending Nicholls State University. I was in the United States Marine Corps home on leave, and before I left I met her on campus to tell her goodbye. This goodbye was different from others because I was on my way to my Marine Corps unit in order to deploy out to Iraq for the first time. I remember that day vividly, and every goodbye after that I would always think back to the first time we parted ways. She would go on to class, and I went off to war.”

What made you choose Nicholls?

“I choose Nicholls because of the people that greeted me my first time on campus. I honestly felt welcomed, and they treated me like their friend. I was not just another student. They took their time to get to know me and were interested in who I was and why I was at Nicholls. That same feeling is still one of the reasons I love Nicholls. I see that every day when I walk around campus or meet new students.”

What do you do now and how did Nicholls help you?

“I am now in charge of the Veteran Services Department at Nicholls State University. I have lived an exciting life, with all my military adventures, missions, and training operations I was prepared for whatever dangers were thrown at me. One thing I was not prepared for after leaving that behind was turning the high-adrenaline lifestyle off. This is where Nicholls came into play. Due to my involvement on campus and the great friendships I made through Sigma Alpha Epsilon, I slowly started to become the person I am today. Nicholls State University, along with my wife and family, played a vital role in my successful transitioning process from the military, which is why I can now effectively serve our student Veteran population on campus.”

What’d be your advice to current students of Nicholls?

“Get involved. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations so that you can grow who you are. I have discovered more about myself when I am in a situation that is beyond my control. Nicholls offers tons of opportunities for growth, and some of those may call for you to be uncomfortable, shy, or just silly. These things may be out of the ordinary for you, but take a chance, roll with the punches, and you will surprise yourself. Take advantage of this time, soak up as much as you can, and if you are daring enough, leave your mark at Nicholls.”

What does it mean to be part of the Alumni Federation Board of Directors this year?

“Serving on the Board of Directors means that I provide a voice for my fellow Nicholls Alumni. It means that I represent the individuals that helped me along the way. This is my way of telling all those people I sat next to in class, worked with on late-night assignments, and eventually walked across the stage to receive our degrees…thank you! I now have an opportunity to pay back what they did for me, so I hope they take advantage of what the Alumni Federation has in store for them.”     

What are you looking forward to the most about being on the Board of Directors?

“Meeting people. I enjoy meeting new people and learning their stories. Nicholls State University has such a diverse group of students, and I am certain our Alumni have some pretty amazing stories. I look forward to meeting as many of them as I can, and I am very curious to find out what they expect from me as their representative in the Federation.”  


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Gilberto Burbante (BS ’11

What did your time at Nicholls mean to you? “For me, Nicholls had a huge, positive impact on my life. During my time as an undergrad, I was, unknowingly, dealing

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