“GSU Under Construction: Building Toward a Brighter Future” was the theme adopted for this year’s “High School Day.” Dressed in hard hats and T-shirts with the words “Under Construction” emblazoned on the front, the High School organizers stood at the GSU entrance ready to meet and greet the throng of high school students expected at “High School Day 2008.” This year the event was held at Assembly Center. The day officially began at 9 a.m. as high school students, along with parents and some teachers, made their way among the academic and administrative departments. The departments advertised and promoted themselves on tables starting at the entrance of the Assembly Center and moving along a circle.
Some students were certain about their collegiate future. Kendall Harris of Wossman High School in Monroe stated, “I’m coming here!” Others were more indecisive like Bruce Haynes from Bastrop High School who sheepishly answered “I’m undecided” when asked what he plans to major in.
New to High School Day this year was the Excellence in Leadership Academy. “We had our first Academy on May 29, 2008,” stated the CEO and founder, Martin Lemelle, via phone conversation. Lemelle is a graduate of Grambling State University. High school students are chosen to participate in a three-day intensive program that seeks to promote leadership skills.
Students are chosen based on academic achievement, community service, extracurricular activities, independence/ maturity and off course leadership potential. This year’s academy will be held at Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge Louisiana from April 10-12. For more information call (318) 415-0628 or fax (800) 418-7031
In addition to the high school students browsing the various departments, scheduled activities were also planned to further capture the potential GSU students’ attention.
The convocation was chaired by Joyce Evans, General Manager of KGRM. GSU cheerleaders opened up the program, followed by the World Famed Tiger Marching Band who electrified the crowd with their up tempo beats and body shaking moves. The band and the cheerleaders were then accompanied by the Orchesis Dance Company who mesmerized the crowd with their acrobatics and flexibility.
After prayers have been said by Rev. Connie Breaux of Campus Ministry, the speaker, Dr. Robert M. Dixon, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, was introduced by Karen Lewis, executive director of Enrollment Management.
Dr. Dixon delivered a simple yet impactful speech which ended with his interpretation of a Langston Hughes’ poem, “Life is Fine.” He encouraged the crowd to participate by having them reply “yeah man” at the end of each line that he recited in his poem. This was then followed by the deans of the respective colleges each formally introducing themselves and their colleges to the high school students.
The program began tapering off when Nikelyia Lard and Chyree Dean began raffling door prizes. Performances by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Omega Psi Phi fraternity signaled the official end of the program. Students however, were still encouraged to linger at the various departments.
GSU registered an increase in the number of high school students present at High School Day. According to Annie Moss, a representative of the Admissions Office, 1,066 students registered, compared to 1,042 last year, in addition to a number of unregistered groups.