I love Grambling State University a lot and I look forward to supporting and giving back to Grambling throughout my life, but it pains me to read all of the madness and drama that my university and alumni association is going through. Situations like this make it hard for me to look at prospective students and their parents and tell them to send their child to a historically Black university.
I truly feel that the foundation and purpose of the alumni association has forgotten why they are in existence. Every year HBCU enrollment decreases, and every year schools like Grambling have to rely on the government for funding. There are a lot of Grambling alumni who do not live in the surrounding area who can and would like to help Grambling grow and take its position back into the higher education world, but until the association and the university demand a diverse pool of officers, makes programming and communication a top priority, Grambling will continue to sink further into destruction.
It baffles me that members of the African American community give more financially than any other group, but our schools that were created for us, by us, are struggling because they can’t take care of business in an efficient and productive manner. Times have changed, and old thinking must step out of the way. There is so much that Grambling is leaving on the table and it is a shame.
Mr. Clark, it is nice of you to inform alumni of the proceedings that are occurring, but I truly wish that this was not the first set of university information I received. I wish that this came from the university on university letterhead, signed by the interim president, I wish that I received quality e-mails and marketing materials that encouraged me to join the association. I wish I received phone calls or Facebook updates about the great things students are doing on campus. It is sad that others will take time to report the bad, but I can’t even get a call back or a proper, professional e-mail about participating in something great.
I appreciate your time and trying to make things right, but I hope that with the influence you have on others at Grambling and the association that you relay my message that it is time to push all madness aside, and get down to real business because white schools are taking our black students and black students are suffering and not receiving the nurturing and guidance they need because our school is too busy trying to figure out who has the right to do as they please.
If you try to look up any record of me, you will find that I have never been a paying member of the association, due to the lack of a quality system in place for me to give. I am aware of the giving option online, but that is not what I mean by a quality system. Also someone may ask why don’t I give of my time and do something about it, and my response would be, I have been waiting for the opportunity, but I can’t get a call back. All I get are last minute invites to programs from various departments on campus, who don’t have a clue on where I live or what I am doing in my life.
If anyone is serious about changing Grambling for the better then purchase multiple copies of the book ” Fund-Raising from Black-College Alumni Successful Strategies for Securing Alma Mater ” by Marybeth Gasman, and participate in the next CASE conference that will be held in Kansas City this year.
A True Gramblinite
Jessica Elmore Smith, MBA
Robert Clark, Monroe alumnus