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Owen Nichols

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Information about Owen Nichols

Profile image of Owen Nichols

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Turkey Burgers
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
We Can Do What I Can Never Do.

Birthplace

Born:
4/8/1929
Birth Location:
Raleigh, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Turkey Burgers
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
We Can Do What I Can Never Do.

Birthplace

Born:
4/8/1929
Birth Location:
Raleigh
See how Owen Nichols is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Owen Douglas Nichols was born on April 8, 1929 in Raleigh, North Carolina. His mother was a homemaker and his father worked as a janitor at Meredith College. He earned his high school diploma from Washington High School in 1948 where he was active in the band and Glee Club and valedictorian of his class.

Nichols attended Shaw University from 1948 until 1950 on an academic scholarship. While at Shaw, he worked as a lab assistant and pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. In 1950, he joined the United States Army, and attended Officers Candidate School in Fort Raleigh, Kansas. He was also accepted in the Army Corps of Engineering program and served his country in Korea. He retired from the army in 1953, returned to Shaw, and earned his bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry in 1955. Nichols then went on to earn his master’s degree in physical chemistry from Howard University in 1958.

From 1958 until 1959, Nichols worked as an associate professor of chemistry at South Carolina State College. Leaving South Carolina State, he was a Research Chemist at the United States Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., until 1962. Nichols spent the next four years working as a physical science analyst for the Defense Documentation Center in Alexandria, Virginia. From 1966 until 1968, he worked as a deputy director for the National Air Pollution Control Administration, where he was responsible for processing technical information on air pollution. In 1969, Nichols was recruited to Howard University by his former classmate at Shaw, James Cheek, who was then serving as Howard’s President. Nichols served in various positions at Howard for nearly twenty years. When he retired in 1988 he was the vice president for administration and secretary of the Board of Trustees.

Since 1989, Nichols has served as an advisor, coordinator and organizer for the African American Festival of Academic Achievement, an event highlighting the accomplishments of Montgomery County Maryland’s youth. In 1995, Nichols was appointed to the Montgomery College (Maryland’s largest community college) Board of Trustees.

Nichols has received numerous awards and honors for his civic, community and educational achievements. He is the author of several publications including a book in memory of his father, titled Things My Father Taught Me, which was published in 1998.

Nichols passed away on May 19, 2018.

See how Owen Nichols is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Owen Nichols' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Owen Nichols lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Owen Nichols talks about his mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Owen Nichols talks about his father's birthplace and occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Owen Nichols shares two lessons his father taught him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Owen Nichols talks about his mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Owen Nichols talks about his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Owen Nichols describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Owen Nichols remembers childhood holiday traditions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Owen Nichols lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Owen Nichols talks about helping to build a bathroom for his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Owen Nichols talks about his childhood neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Owen Nichols describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Owen Nichols describes his experiences at St. Monica's School in Raleigh, North Carolina, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Owen Nichols describes his experiences at St. Monica's School in Raleigh, North Carolina, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Owen Nichols remembers changing his major from math to chemistry at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Owen Nichols describes his experiences at St. Monica's School in Raleigh, North Carolina, pt. 3
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Owen Nichols talks about his early adolescent experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Owen Nichols remembers his academic interests and aspirations at Washington High School in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Owen Nichols talks about earning an academic scholarship to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Owen Nichols talks about his interest in studying divinity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Owen Nichols talks joining the U.S. Army in 1950 and serving in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Owen Nichols talks about completing his B.A. degree at Shaw University and his graduate studies at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Owen Nichols recalls a final examination he did well on at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Owen Nichols talks about working at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Owen Nichols recalls working at the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Health and his return to academia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Owen Nichols remembers his relationship with HistoryMaker Dr. James Cheek and their professional legacy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Owen Nichols describes his work at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Owen Nichols recalls how Howard University in Washington, D.C. has changed over the years
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Owen Nichols remembers the heyday of WHUR-FM and the Quiet Storm radio format
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Owen Nichols describes how WHUR-FM has changed
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Owen Nichols talks about financial challenges at and managers of WHUR-FM
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Owen Nichols talks about Montgomery College in Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Owen Nichols talks about the African American Festival of Academic Excellence
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Owen Nichols describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Owen Nichols describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Owen Nichols reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Owen Nichols reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Owen Nichols narrates his photographs