Nicholas Academic Centers Partner with Chapman University to Host “Visiting Scholar Series”


Robert G. Magnuson, 949-290-9382

Guest Lectures by Professors are Part of a Program to Build Ties with Local Universities and Expose Students to Academic Life


Billionaire Henry Nicholas is shown here outside his Nicholas Academic Center on Fourth Street in Santa Ana.

SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing their commitment to strengthen relationships with top local universities,the Nicholas Academic Centers are partnering with Chapman University to host a Visiting Scholar Series beginning on Saturday, Sept. 25. The purpose of the series is to expose NAC students to college-level learning and the academic excellence offered by highly respected universities such as Chapman.

“We are delighted that Chapman University is partnering with the Nicholas Academic Centers for the Visiting Scholar Series,” said Dr. Corina A. Espinoza, assistant executive director of the Nicholas Academic Centers (NACs). “This project speaks to Chapman’s commitment, but also is a testament to Judge Mandel’s and Dr. Nicholas’ commitment to preparing students for a college-level education and giving them the tools they need to succeed.”

Associate Professor of American Studies at Chapman, Paul Apodaca, will deliver the first lecture titled “Valuing Our Lives” and Assistant Professor of Art History, Liliana Leopardi, will speak about “Love and Magic in Renaissance Italy.” The lectures will take place monthly until December, at the Nicholas Academic Center I Annex in downtown Santa Ana. Speakers include Mildred Lewis, Hesham El-Askary, Carmichael Peters and Chapman University Chancellor, Dr. Daniele C. Struppa. The lectures are open to the community.

“When I visited the Nicholas Academic Centers, I was impressed by the community, atmosphere, and rigor of the programs. It was clear to me that the mission of Chapman University makes us singularly suited to partner with the Centers to help them succeed in their goal of preparing students for college,” said Dr. Struppa. “I look forward to the Visiting Scholar Series, and to future joint activities between Chapman University and the Nicholas Academic Centers.”

In addition to partnering with Chapman University, the Centers recently participated in a first “Day at the Bay” educational program with the University of California, Irvine. Activities included a tutorial with UCI staff at the Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach and a tour of the university campus led by now-retired Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez.

In another project with UCI, the university’s Department of Education is working with the Nicholas Academic Centers to assess the Centers’ academic performance and growth potential.

The Nicholas Academic Centers serve hundreds of students in the Santa Ana Unified School District on a daily basis throughout the school year and summer. This fall, 66 Nicholas Academic Center graduates are attending college, including some of the nation’s best four-year institutions such as Georgetown, Smith, Haverford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Irvine. Nearly all of the students have received full scholarships and financial aid.

The Centers are based on a program started by Retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel in the early 1990’s in an effort to fill an urgent need for after-school tutoring and mentoring in Santa Ana. In 2007, Judge Mandel partnered with Henry Nicholas, co-founder and former Co-Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom Corporation, to create the Nicholas Academic Centers. The first center was established in 2008 and a second center opened a year later.

About the Nicholas Academic Centers

The Nicholas Academic Centers are directed by retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel and higher education expert, Dr. Corina A. Espinoza, and were established by the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation. Located in downtown Santa Ana and on the campus of Valley High School in Santa Ana, the Centers provide free tutoring and mentoring for students, as well as computers and a safe place to study. For more information, visit Become a fan of the Nicholas Academic Centers on Facebook.

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Ashley TemmComment