Upon his retirement in 2007 as Hanover's 14th president, he immediately stepped into the role of Interim President at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn., where he will remain until Tusculum identifies a new president.
Born and raised in Crawfordsville, Ind., young Nichols earned his bachelor's degree in 1963 from Wabash College and added his master's degree and doctorate from Purdue in 1967 and 1975, respectively.
After early career stops at Granville-Wells High School (1963-64), Wabash College (1964-73), Eastern Illinois University (1973-75), and Hillsdale College (1975-87), Dr. Nichols was named President of Hanover, Indiana's oldest private college, in 1987.
During his tenure at Hanover, the 179-year-old institution experienced unparalleled growth in both quantity and quality as recognized by peer institutions and leading publications. The academic ability of incoming Hanover classes, as evidenced by SAT scores, increased more than 15 percent, or nearly 180 points, during Dr. Nichols’ tenure while fund-raising increased six fold to $20 million in gifts from alumni, parents and friends. Dr. Nichols oversaw a $45 million investment in campus construction and facilities renovation.
In recent years, Hanover has been listed as one of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S News and World Report and is consistently ranked as one of the best educational values in the U.S.
Active in civic affairs, Dr. Nichols is an ordained elder of Hanover Presbyterian Church. In 2006-07, he was one of 28 Indiana residents appointed by the Indiana governor to the Indiana Education Roundtable, a forum to consider policy decisions affecting students in pre-school through college.
Dr. Nichols served as president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (2001-03) and was president of the Indiana College Athletic Conference President's Council (1997-98). For more than a decade, he was a member of the executive committee of the Independent Colleges of Indiana and the executive committee of its foundation.
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