Grambling, La. - Former Grambling State University Sports Information Director Collie J. Nicholson died on Wednesday morning in Shreveport after a lengthy illness at the age of 85. Nicholson served as the universitys first sports information director and was credited with developing Grambling States world-wide reputation. "We would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support," said Carl Nicholson, the son of Collie J. "We would particularly like to thank the GSU family, administration and especially the Robinsons (Uncle Eddie and Aunt Doris) for all that theyve done. He (Collie J.) loved dear old Grambling with all of his heart and soul." Nicholson, who was fresh out of the Marines following a three-year stint during World War II, joined the Grambling State University staff in 1948 under former president Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones. During his 30-year tenure at Grambling State, Nicholson put the Grambling State name on the map as he helped arrange for the band and football team to appear in venues across the world. He also arranged for the first-ever televised game between two black colleges on ABC in 1968 and was the brainchild of the highly successful Bayou Classic between Grambling State and Southern. In addition, Nicholsons legacy was honored at Grambling State this past summer as the pressbox at Robinson Stadium was renamed in his honor. During a campus-wide staff meeting on Wednesday morning, Dr. Horace A. Judson, President of Grambling State University, paid homage to Nicholson. "He was a legend," said Dr. Judson. "We are deeply saddened by his passing and would like to express our deepest sympathies to the Nicholson family. He was instrumental in making Grambling State University an internationally-known institution." At press time, funeral arrangements were pending.