It’s always a GSU party!

It was the best of times! It was the best of times!
I can’t explain it any better than that. The Grambling State University alumni reunion for the Classes of 1985-1990 exceeded my expectations, and probably those of many of my fellow classmates.
It was a truly awesome experience, from start to finish. Seeing all those old familiar faces filter into the Ruston Civic Center during the registration and Meet and Greet was overwhelming. I saw people I had not seen in almost 20 years. Twenty years! And yet some of them hadn’t changed much at all. My mind not being what it used to be, many names had slipped from my memory. But I never forget a face. And for most, that was all that was required to receive a welcoming hug and to start reminiscing about life on The Yard.
I received my undergraduate degree from Grambling in 1990, then I returned four years later to pursue a master’s, which I got in 1995. So I saw people from both my tenures as a GSU student. There were women who once roamed the halls of Martha Adams with me and f-olks with whom I shared classes and others who belonged to organizations in which I was (and still am) affiliated.
It was amazing to see people like Li’l C, one of the first guys I met as a freshman on campus in 1986. Li’l C was almost legendary at Grambling. Those who didn’t know him personally almost certainly knew of him. His gregarious personality made him one of the most popular students in the New Orleans crew.
I saw a couple of my former professors and mentors, like Dr. Reginald Owens, who directed The Gramblinite when I was its editor. And Mrs. Dunn, who also helped to guide me and my fellow budding journalists.
Few could forget Wayne Bradley, a former student who was all over the campus as the paper’s photographer. He was working the reunion like he did The Yard in the old days, taking pictures and capturing the occasion on video.
Cruising through the campus brought back a ton of memories, too, but I was so proud to see how much GSU has grown and continues to grow. My old dorm is no longer there, but new buildings have sprung up all around it. I can only hope that means more students are choosing Grambling to further their education.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can’t wait for our next reunion. I can’t make it to homecoming every year because it takes place when my children are in school. So the reunion, for me, was a chance to reconnect with some people who were dear to me during my college years, but due to time and circumstances, we lost touch.
From my sorors (AKA, Alpha Theta ’89), to former classmates, dorm-mates, teachers and friendly faces I passed along the way, we’ll do it again in the not-too-distant future. And let’s make it even bigger and better.
One thing’s for sure, when you get a group of Grambling Tigers together – even if they’re “old Tigers” — the party will be on. Chantay Hawkins Warren is features copy editor for the San Antonio Express-News and a mass comm. graduate.