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A tribute to style and grace

By BRITNEY WILLIAMS
On February 25, 2016

Grambling State University as well as the community have lost one of many legends. Mrs. Mildred Gray Moss was a key part of Grambling history. 

Her name alone carries so much weight because of her contributions and the foundation she has placed in major aspects on Grambling’s campus.

Courtesy photo Mrs. Mildred Moss stands with then GSU President Joseph B. Johnson in the Black and Gold Room.

Courtesy photo
Mrs. Mildred Moss stands with then GSU President Joseph B.
Johnson in the Black and Gold Room.

Mrs. Moss was known for creating and teaching the famous “etiquette course”.  

It was a way to teach the school’s athletes proper etiquette as they began to travel across the country to play games during the intense era of segregation. At that particular time, African American athletes faced many challenges when traveling due to the color of their skin. 

Mrs. Moss saw an opportunity to better prepare her students for the tough real world off of Grambling’s fields and courts.

Mildred Helen Gray Moss’ passion and love for Grambling was felt not only by the students but by the staff. 

“She was the epitome of class, professional etiquette and style,” said Susan Wiley, a dear friend of Mrs. Moss,  She was the “Emily Post of GSU!”

 Mildred Moss held everything to a higher standard from social activities and events, to etiquette for both students and staff. Her grace and elegance resonates through all of the work she did for Grambling State University.   

Wiley and Mildred Moss’ friendship stretched far beyond Wiley, herself. 

Her mother, Ruby W. Billups, was best friends with Mrs. Moss “for more than 60 years!” She became an aunt in the lives of Susan and her brother, Rodney. She touched the hearts of many and welcomed everyone in with open, loving arms. 

Her many contributions and additions earned her a spot in the Grambling State University Hall of Fame in 1992. She was the recipient of many other honors and awards. 

Her list of great accomplishments also included her being a member of Kappa Omicron Pi National Honor Society, Phi Delta Kappa, and Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society. She is also a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., as well as a platinum member of Links, Inc. With so many honors under her belt, she did not stop there. After retiring after 32 years of service, she took on the task of social director for then president Joseph B. Johnson.

Prior to her following her dreams of teaching home economics, she graduated from Southern University. She was then led back to Grambling, Louisiana under the mentorship of Fidelia Adams Johnson to teach home economics and applied art classes at Grambling College Laboratory High School.

Mrs. Moss dedicated countless long hours teaching and supervising student teachers across North Louisiana. She also earned her master’s degree from Iowa State University and continued her studies at Michigan State University and Syracuse University.

Being that Mrs. Moss was a longtime member of New Rock Valley Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Julius R. Sumler. 

Mrs. Moss was an integral part of GSU and she may be gone, however her etiquette, style and grace will remain a constant in the Grambling community.  Thank you Mrs. Mildred. May your smile, graceful walk, and warm personality stay forever. 

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