Talk to just about any former student of Dr. E.A. "Nick" Nickerson, and they will tell you that his classes were key to their success.
Now Nickerson, a founder of UD's Journalism Program, has taken his support for students to another level, making a substantial gift to create the Edward A. Nickerson Fund for Student Success. The Journalism Program will use the gift to strengthen hands-on learning for its minors.
Nickerson, a former reporter and editor for the Associated Press, arrived at UD in 1970 as a lecturer. By the time he retired in 1991, he had become one of the program's most popular professors and a mentor for student journalists at The Review, UD's independent student newspaper.
Despite his retirement, Nickerson continued his support for students through the E.A. Nickerson Award, which honors a journalism student who demonstrates "the highest standards of the journalism profession."
With his most recent gift, Nickerson will help students gain experience in the professional world of journalism.
"Nick's continuing support for students who do journalism is a lesson in itself," said Dr. Deborah Gump, director of the Journalism Program. "Experiential learning is at the core of a strong journalism education. His tradition of journalistic excellence continues to set the standard: Get the facts, explain what they mean, use clear language and, as he still says, keep the faith."
When Nickerson retired in 1991, former students wrote tributes to him and his approach to journalism education. CAS '75 Gene Quinn, a former sports editor at The Review who went on to top editing jobs at the Philadelphia Daily News and the Chicago Tribune, thanked Nickerson for his "tough editing and eye-opening view of the world."
Quinn's respect has not diminished over the years.
"Every writer – reporter or novelist – needs a good editor. Every journalist needs a good mentor. I had a great editor and a great mentor in my teacher, Edward A. Nickerson," Quinn wrote in a recent email. "Nick's advice and admonitions followed me to newspapers and digital media, including my own start-up media company, Tnooz.com. Even so, I've buried the lead: Thank you, Nick."