Alumni play top role at Bayou Classic

Grambling University National Alumni Association held its annual breakfast during the Bayou Classic. Melissa Bickham, vice president of GUNAA served as mistress of ceremonies.
Bickhan introduced GSU president Frank G. Pogue. “I’ve heard so many great things about him. He is an answer to a prayer. He is a breath of fresh air. He is liked by students, faculty, staff and alumni,” she said.
Pogue told the audience that he and his wife feel at home at GSU.
“Grambling State University is doing well. We are moving forward. We are pleased with the accreditations teams’ visits. Ninety-eight percent of programs at Grambling are eligible for accreditation,” said Pogue.
“We are going to get closer tour alumni and vice versa,” he said.
Pogue said Bayou Classic is more than athletics, a football game, the band, dancers or Greek show.
He said, “This is a national event that is recognized around the world. We have to work together to uplift our academic components. We have cancer research at GSU.”
He said the alumni are the voice of GSU and other HBCU’s. “What we do together is to make all of us strong.”
Pogue recognized GUNAA secretary Bobbie Williams for exhibiting her tiger pride.
One of the highlights of the breakfast is the pinning of new life members. Financial secretary and Life Membership chair Russell LeDay and business manager Veronica Johnson introduced and pinned new life members.
Life members pay a one-time fee to GUNAA for national dues and pay dues annually to a local chapter.
New life members are Dr. Laqueta Huey, Felicia Henry, Wilbert Freeman, Darryl Freeman, William Hobdy, Agnes Edgerson, Willie Edna Johnson, Hubert Williams, Margret Watson, Willis Reed, Gale Reed, Clifton Jackson, Willie Earl Jarrett, Carlos Pennywell, Dr. Anne Watts and Lolita Copeland.
Huey, a NASA physiThecist, graduated from GSU in 2000. She said, “I want to give back to the university that is the foundation for everything I’ve achieved.”
Huey works at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. She is a member of the Birmingham alumni chapter.
Another highlight is the introduction of GUNAA’s raffle. Treasurer Bobby Rabon conducts the raffle. He has someone to pull in front of an audience. This year he was assisted by Trinity Griffin.
Winners of the raffle were Norman Johnson of Milwaukee, $100; Ellis Wade of Shreveport, $500; and Billy Rabon of Bastrop, $5,000.
The Shreveport Credit Union gave away cash door prizes. The winners were Mary Wilson, Vera Adams, Shunda Bickham and Lloyd Turner.
Senior vice president Martha Miorris said, “We always support GSU.”
Birdex Copeland, president of the Grambling University Athletic Foundation encouraged the alumni to support the foundation.
“It is very important we have support to keep athletic programs flourishing. When you come to Grambling, you should not come asking for anything but giving. If we want to continue to cheer, we have to open our wallets and purses,” said Copeland.
At the breakfast new life members were pinned. Life members pay a one-time fee to GUNAA and pay dues annually to a local chapter.
Henry Dyer spoke on behalf of the Grambling Legends. He said Grambling legends and all-Americans were made by GSU’s Sports Information department.
“Our goal is to recognize former players. We represent all athletes at Grambling, not just football. We will support the alumni. If you are strong, we are strong,” he said.
Dyer is chair and Brandon James co-chair of this organization that works to get GSU players inducted into halls of fame. Also, the group has donated $10,000 to the Eddie Robinson museum and $5,000 to GSU’s cross country team.
Lemelle said, “It is a people thing. We are all from Grambling. We are working together for the betterment of Grambling.”
“We want you to come home. Do not look at one or two members. Look at the organization. We are together,” he said.