Vicki and Daryl Nicholson headshot
Point Loma Nazarene University has a long tradition of honoring distinguished and committed alumni who are pursuing their own unique calling, influencing the lives of others, and impacting the university community. As these alums are celebrated and honored at Homecoming each year, our entire PLNU community receives inspiration and encouragement hearing their stories of global impact.

Vicki (71) and Daryl (68) Nicholson are known for their generosity and their willingness to invest in other people. Daryl’s successes in business and civic leadership could be the things they consider to be their greatest accomplishments. But both Daryl and Vicki value their relationships most of all.

“Most significant for me is my relationship with Point Loma and my time at Pasadena College,” Daryl said. “I stay involved with the university to give back a little of what I have been blessed with.”

“Family is our greatest accomplishment, of course,” Vicki said. “I was privileged, too, to be a teaching leader for MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) for 15 years. I’ve also been involved in Bible study leadership in our church for many years. Mentoring has been one of most rewarding parts of my life.”

Mentoring has been vital in Daryl’s life as well. He appreciates the impact his relationships with mentors and friends have had on him and, in turn, supports current students and other alumni. He served as an adjunct professor in the MBA program for 14 years, is a Point Loma Nazarene University Foundation Board member, and is a member of the Board of Trustees. Because of Daryl and Vicki’s generous contributions to the capital campaign, Nicholson Commons was opened in November of 1997. Most recently, they were deeply involved in helping PLNU obtain and purchase the Liberty Station Conference Center.

Daryl also connects with and works directly with many from PLNU.

“Relationships determine with whom I do business. Many of the partnerships are with other alums,” he said. “A large percentage are with former classmates and now students who were part of my teaching stint at Point Loma in the MBA program.”

“Daryl’s ministry is encouraging and helping both young and old with financial advice,” Vicki said. “Daryl strongly desires to mentor and help others.”

The way Daryl can help so many people is by drawing on his own experiences in business. He didn’t start out as a businessman, however. Daryl majored in physical education and spent his early career teaching kinesiology and coaching cross-country, track, and basketball – first at Pasadena College, then at Whittier College, and then at the United States Army Maximum Security Prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, after he was drafted in 1970. He went on to serve as a prison counselor as well. Then, after one more year back teaching at Whittier, Daryl launched his business career with some encouragement from another Pasadena College alum.

“Over the years, God brought people into our lives to offer wisdom, encouragement, and direction.”

“We started with an equipment rental business,” he said. “We bought a bankrupt business from a family in the church. We were able to operate it, turn it around, and build a new facility.” After 23 years, they sold that first business. In the meantime, they built Porterville Mini Storage, which they still operate.

“Daryl has a natural gift in the business field,” Vicki said. “We were both glad that God chose this path for us.”

Today, Daryl continues to partner with numerous businesses, including many related to real estate and development. He estimates that his past and current involvements total more than 100 different partnerships and projects – a large percentage of which have been with people connected to PLNU.

In addition to his business work, Daryl has concurrently given his time to public service. Among many other roles, he’s been a planning commissioner, councilman, and mayor for the City of Porterville; served as president of the Porterville Kiwanis Club and the Porterville Development Corporation; and been CEO of the Porterville Municipal Airport.

Vicki said, “My career path has followed Daryl’s. I worked part-time in our businesses and full-time at home.” Vicki was also very involved with the Porterville Church of the Nazarene and in their daughters’ school life. She has used her home economics degree, not in the classroom as planned, but in her own home and in the lives of others.

“Daryl’s ministry is encouraging and helping both young and old with financial advice. Daryl strongly desires to mentor and help others.”

The Nicholsons enjoy spending time with their family when they are not traveling. Their daughter, Amy Miller (95), serves on staff as director of women’s ministry and hospitality at the Porterville Church of the Nazarene, while her husband, Glenn, is general manager at Nicholson Enterprises. Their children are Abigail and Kate. The Nicholsons’ daughter, Stacie Fleischman (97), is an educator/ administrator. Her husband, Troy, was a mortician until he suffered a stroke in 2021. Their children, Addison (17) and her husband Will Chaney, Brock, and Caylie have been a great help during this challenging time.

“Watching their love and loyalty is inspiring,” Vicki said. “Stacie has been a great example for us. She has taught us a lot about perseverance and trusting God and taking one day at a time. We are proud of both our daughters and their families.” The Nicholsons’ faith and humility in appreciating those around them have helped fuel their generosity and commitment to help others.

“I think, often, of what my career path would have been without Coach Chalmer Cartwright, who became a father figure for me, and Dr. Carroll Land, both of whom poured their lives into me while at Pasadena College,” Daryl said. “They, and other professors and administrators that dedicated their entire lives to Pasadena College and PLNU, have made a big contribution in our lives.”

“Over the years, God brought people into our lives to offer wisdom, encouragement, and direction,” Vicki said. Now Daryl and Vicki have the privilege of investing in the lives of others, offering the same encouragement they were given.”

PLNU congratulates the Nicholsons for being honored as 2024 Distinguished Achievement Awardees.

PLNU’s the Viewpoint publishes relevant and vital stories that grapple with life's profound questions from a uniquely Christian perspective. In addition to the content offered online, the Viewpoint print magazine is published three times a year in spring, summer, and fall.