Tuesday, 16 April 2019 15:30

Nichols honored as Citizen of the Year at Richmond Community College Foundation Gala

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Dean Nichols, right, stands with Richmond Community College President Dale McInnis after being honored with the Foundation's Citizen of the Year award. Dean Nichols, right, stands with Richmond Community College President Dale McInnis after being honored with the Foundation's Citizen of the Year award. Richmond Community College

HAMLET — A Scotland County convenience store chain owner was honored this weekend as the Richmond Community College Foundation’s Citizen of the year at its annual Gala and banquet.

Dean Nichols, owner of the Nic’s Pic Kwik chain, was presented the award Saturday at Cole Auditorium by past recipient Wade Dunbar.

Nic’s Pic Kwik was started by Nichols’ father, Charlie, with one store in 1971. Now, he and his brothers, Ken and Phil, own and operate 16 stores throughout the Sandhills in Scotland, Hoke, Moore and Robeson counties, as well as Marlboro County, South Carolina.

He also owns Nichols Propane in Laurinburg.

A graduate of Scotland High School, Nichols attended UNC-Pembroke and Elon University before coming back home to start his business.

Nichols is “very passionate about his hometown community college and the pathway it provides people to affordable, quality education,” according to the program for the Gala.

In addition to serving on the Foundation board,  Nichols is also on the UNCP Foundation Board of directors, a past president and board member of the Laurinburg Optimist Club, past chair of the Scotland Area Chamber of Commerce and is on the local Board of Directors for First Bank.

The first Citizen of the Year award was presented in 1986 to Robert L. Cole. Other past recipients include J. Neal Cadieu Jr. (1989), Russell E. Bennett Jr. (1997), the late Robert E. Hutchinson (1998), G.R. Kindley (2000), Sen. William Purcell (2004), Kenneth and Claudia Robinette (2012), and Wiley Mabe (2015).

The Richmond Community College Foundation currently has more than 100 annual and endowed scholarships in the college’s curriculum programs and has added the Second Chance Scholarship for students in workforce education and development programs who are seeking certificates instead of degrees.

Funds raised from the Gala go toward the Working Scholarship, which assists those students who are employed and don’t qualify for other forms of financial assistance.