GSU golden graduates reflect on reunion

The spring 2010 commencement was a memorable occasion for 10 graduates from the class of 1960 who received their golden reunion certificates. They walked across the stage once again at Grambling State University. The festivities took place over the commencement weekend. The activities included a luncheon in the GSU President’s Dining Room of McCall Hall with family, friends, and GSU representatives as well as a meet and greet at the Doris Robinson banquet room in the Eddie G. Robinson Museum.

As Dr. Frank G. Pogue, then Grambling State University interim president, gave the state of the university address, he reminded the golden grads about the rich heritage and struggles facing the school.

“The institution is moving forward in so many ways, but we still have a long way to go. I am going to be asking for some advice,” said Dr. Pogue, as he talked with the group.

He encouraged them to continue to send the university their sons, daughters, grandchildren, neighbors’ children and anybody’s children.
“We have been here for 108 years and plan to be here for 108 more,” said Pogue.

Dr. Pogue urged the graduates to continue to representing the greatness of GSU in their communities and to the world.
The graduates gave GSU credit and praises for the accomplishments they made.
Johnnie Adams, from Jennings now living in Keithville, majored in social studies education while at Grambling.

The 27-year school administrator thanked God for dear ole Grambling.
“Grambling enabled me to be all I could be.”
Bobby J. Rabon attended all the Grambling schools, from elementary to college.

After the military, he lived 40 years in Abbeville, with 35 spent as a secondary math teacher, assistant principal, principal and coaching football, basketball and track.

“I am happy to be still upright and tank God for that,” Rabon said.
The advice he gave the younger generation was to appreciate those that came before and take advantage of every opportunity.
Joyce Love Williams Small, from Ruston now living in Rolling Fork, Miss., taught home economics for 34 years.
She received a master’s in education and post grad work in adult education.

“Grambling is what made me who I am today.
“I would like to tell the students of today to remember to put God first, learn all you can and impart that knowledge to others,” said Small.

Lescile Atkins Gaines-Wilkins, originally from Lake Charles now living in Tallulah, was in elementary education for 41.4 years.
“Stay focused and get your degree, don’t give up,” said Gaines-Wilkins. She said there was no other place she would rather be than with her 50-year classmates.

“I feel wonderful being here today, I owe it all to the Lord.

“If young people would put God first and pick their battles, success will come,” said Judy Lloyd Franklin, an elementary education teacher since 1960. She returned in May and still resides in Alexandria.

Adeline Lemelle Evans, from Eunice now living in Tallahassee, Fla., served as Miss Grambling for the golden graduates.
She was a speech and drama and English education professor at Florida A&M who now teaches as a speech adjunct.

Clifton Lemelle Sr., Eunice and business manager for the National alumni association attended the reunion with his sister.

“If I could talk to the students today, I would say cherish your school.
” If you love your school then you will be able to give back. Sometimes it’s money, but it could be your time,” said Evans.

Rose Mary Clark-Franklin, Lecompte now lives in Alexandria, and worked with health and physical education.
“Stay in school and try to get a job although it is a hard task now. Have a positive attitude, “said Clark-Franklin.

“It was beautiful event and I enjoyed it all. It took me a while but the faces came back to me,” said Hilda Dixon Crosby, a Harvey native now living in Marrerro. Crosby taught elementary education for 28 years.

Giving advice to the students of today, Crosby said “Stick with it, what ever it takes.”

Rev. Dr. Leon Whittaker and Ruby Weekly Billups served as advisors for the class of 1960.