Gerald “Gerry” Nichols, a Louisville native, pledged Beta-Nu after Joseph Kirchdorfer ‘51, a friend of his who had pledged encouraged him to do likewise. Nichols joined the Engineering Department of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in 1958. He managed the design and construction of Louisville’s Osborn Yard, a major classification center for switching rail cars. In the ensuing years he compiled a stellar record in a number of operations and staff functions culminating in involvement on the team that created CSX Corporation, centered in Richmond, Virginia.
In 1980 he was elected Vice President and Executive Assistance to the Chairman of the Board and President of CSX Corporation. He was elected Senior Vice President in 1984 and was part of the task force that merged the Chessie and Seaboard Systems Railroads that created CSX Transportation, Inc., Jacksonville, Florida. In 1995 Brother Nichols was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CSX Transportation Inc. He was named Vice Chairmen, January 1, 1998 and held the position until he retired on December 31st of the same year.
Nichols is a Registered Professional Engineer, a member of the Dean’s advisory board of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. In April 1996, he was honored by the University of Kentucky with his induction into the College of Engineering Hall of Distinction.
He is also a member of the Advisory Board at the University of Louisville College of Business. In 2002 he received the University of Louisville College of Business Alumni Fellows Award in recognition of his career achievements.
He and his wife, the former Jacqueline Wilson, reside in Jacksonville, Florida. They have two children, son, Mark, and daughter, Kathryn. They also have two granddaughters, Kendall and Taylor.
Brother Nichols credits Kappa Sigma with helping him form lifelong friendships. “The camaraderie I experienced with my brothers meant a lot.” He also encourages the current members to get involved. “The beautiful building does not make the chapter. The current brothers must participate in all phases of campus activities, and should enjoy their time as an active member.”