Nichols College reopens student bar after more than a 20-year hiatus, relocates to Dudley Hill clubhouse
Nichols College President Glenn M. Sulmasy, joined by First Lady Marla Sulmasy and college officials, cuts the ribbon to the new student bar at the Dudley Hill Golf Club.
DUDLEY, Mass. – Nichols College has launched the Bison Den, a new campus and student establishment, in the newly renovated clubhouse of Dudley Hill Golf Club on Airport Road. The opening marks the first time in more than 20 years that Nichols students have had a campus bar.
“This is a historic occasion for the campus community, and especially for our students who have long sought a safe and convenient place where they can relax and socialize on the weekends,” said Nichols College President Glenn M. Sulmasy, JD, LL.M. “On our march toward greater prominence, the opening of the Bison Den is one initiative of many to provide our students with an exceptional and memorable student life experience.”
The Bison Den, named for the college’s mascot, is a throwback to its same-named predecessor, a student-run bar located beneath the auditorium that was in operation from 1969 to the 1980s and intermittently until the early 2000s. After multiple attempts over the past two decades to revive the facility to meet student desire and interest, and after the space was converted for office use, President Sulmasy eyed the Dudley Hill clubhouse as a suitable spot.
The college bought Dudley Hill in 2018 after it was previously leased to the college from 1949 to 1999 and continued to serve as home to the Nichols golf team. Today, the course and clubhouse are managed by Tri State Golf Company.
Over the past four months, the clubhouse has been transformed with new walls, flooring, furniture, and bar, and adorned with Nichols memorabilia. Overseeing the project was the college’s First Lady Marla Sulmasy, with help from the Office of the President and representatives from Student Affairs. Two Nichols College courses in hospitality management and entrepreneurship are actively involved this semester and held classes there in January.
For its ribbon-cutting and soft opening on February 8, the college invited the 30-member Senior Advisory Council to take the first look.
“It’s exciting! I’m glad to be a part of it,” says senior Maria Mironidis. “I can see having pub nights here and as a place where students can go to have lunch, dinner, or just hang out.”
Brian Edmands remembers what the space looked like before the remodel. “This is a big change,” he says. “It looks amazing, a place where students will actually want to come.”
Dylan Mitchell agrees. “It is a completely different space. It feels like a nice college bar, put together with effort,” he says, adding, “I don’t know of any other college that would sponsor its own bar and make it look this nice!”
The Bison Den is currently available for private college events, with the potential for activities such as trivia nights, karaoke, and live music. In the near future, the college plans to open the facility to the general public as well as provide experiential learning opportunities for students in business operations and sport management.
About Nichols College
The mission of Nichols College is to educate and enlighten students to capitalize on their ambitions and to become impactful, forward looking global leaders.