Dr. Frank G. Pogue, interim president at Grambling State University, made time to speak to alumni while attending the 36th Annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans. He attended a reception held in his honor as well as the alumni breakfast and mixer.
“The Grambling University National Alumni Association (GUNAA) cooperated with the Office of Alumni Affairs to host a reception held at the J. W. Marriott in New Orleans on Friday, Nov. 27,” said Ruby Higgins, GUNAA office manager.”We must all work together to protect the boundaries of Grambling State University. There has never been a more threatening time for HBCU’s. We must work together to protect the image of the university, to stabilize the institution. We must embrace each other in the interest of the university,” said Pogue.
Many GSU graduates were moved after Pogue’s address and decided to show their support for him and GSU. Ronnie Coleman expressed an interest in establishing an endowed chair, and his wife donated money from her company. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Clark pledged $1,000.
Jan and David Hamlin, members of the Dallas Alumni Chapter of GUNAA pledged $10,000.
“We always feel like we are fortunate, so we should give back locally, to our university,” said David.
“Grambling is unique. It gives you more than skills. Any time I get a chance to give the school that gave me the confidence to succeed, I will,” said Jan.
Perry and Monica Kennedy Jones from Chicago also stepped up to pledge $10,000. The couple said that this was an opportunity for them to show support for the president and get support from others. They said HBCU’s are going through a tough period, and it is up to HBCU graduates to support them.
Pogue stressed that no dollar amount was too small. He said that even if a group of people each pledged $1, those dollars would add up. “We will be reaching out to enhance and support our students.”
The GUNNA breakfast was held on last Saturday in the Hilton. More than 90 people showed up to hear Pogue; Steven Jackson, GSU SGA president, and the Board of Supervisor’s Elsie Burkhalter. One new Life Member was introduced, and three deceased tigers from three different chapters were remembered.
“We are excited about working with the new interim President, Dr. Pogue. We hope to build on the outstanding legacy of excellence exhibited by Grambling graduates and help those who are coming after us,” said Sheron R. Leonard, president of the San Antonio Alumni chapter.
“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Pogue, especially because he has taken seriously the fact that Gramblinites are willing to pull together to make the Institution stronger academically,” said Lisa Green.
Pogue said that graduates are valuable to their institutions and help to determine the institutions’ success. “Look at your product. That’s how your measure your success,” he said.