Excellent graduates celebrated for hard work

During Grambling State University’s Spring Commencement, six students were recognized for graduating with a 4.0 g.p.a.
The students were Melissa Francis, marketing, St. Lucia; Nigel George, accounting, Dominica; Whitney Ingrid Siana Henry, biology, St. Lucia; Doria Honore, accounting, St. Lucia; Ulric Junior Joseph, computer information systems, St. Lucia; and Nonso E. Okpala, accounting, Nigeria.Henry, who gave the valedictory statement. will attend Harvard University to become a research scientist in cancer biology.

Also among this class was 2009-10 Student Government Association President Steven P. Jackson. He began by thanking Pogue for bestowing dignity and respect to the position of presidency. Then he addressed his fellow graduates, “Standing tall on the soldiers of giants such as Coach Eddie G. Robinson and Ollie Tyler, we have made it.”

He said Grambling State University is a university that gave a once C-student an opportunity to excel and become a leader among his peers and serve on its institution’s management board.

“It gave a once wide-eyed freshman an opportunity to turn big ambitions into bigger dreams,” he said. “Today affirms that the crucible of learning can be achieved.”

The commencement address was given by Dr. Muriel A. Howard, the first female president of American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In addition, she received an honorary degree from GSU.

Howard said she first heard about Grambling at age 12 because her older brothers were interested in athletics, but through the years discovered that there are more good things about Grambling.

She told the graduates that being independent is a great objective, but to try to remember that they have benefited from the support of many mentors. “People mistakenly believe that mentors are just for school and college,” Howard said.
She quoted John Crosby, who said, “Successful people turn to mentors and people who can help them.”

Pogue mentored Howard, who said he gave her the right combination of sage advice and instruction. She gave advice to the graduates.

“Establish your own board of advisors. Ask someone sitting next to you today, or look to your family,” said Howard.

She told them to never pass up an opportunity. She grew from being responsible for a classroom of 25 students and is now responsible for nearly 4 million students in her current position.

“I would not have made it had I not left myself open,” she said.

She ended by talking about commitment, utilizing strengths and giving back. She said, “Grambling has always had a great commitment to the community. Hold on to your commitment to each other, your community and your school.”

“Use the gifts and strengths you have been given to give back to the school and community that have helped you. Together, as a class, you represent the best of our future.”

Ten graduates of the class of 1960 received their golden reunion certificates and had a chance to walk across the stage again.