Celebrating 110 years

Grambling State University kicked off its 110th anniversary with a breakfast. The breakfast was held Friday in GSU’s Black and Gold Room.GSU president Dr. Frank G. Pogue spoke of the school’s rich history, heritage and future.

GSU has grown from 200 acres to 444 acres, from one main building too over 100 buildings, from no internationals to over 400, from no out-of-state to now students from 42 states. Nine of its buildings are historic landmarks.

“GSU was founded to educate men and women who want to learn, regardless of their race,” he said.

Pogue said if people have access to equitable education, it will improve the quality of their lives forever.

“We are preparing for the next 110 years right now by maintaining the character of our institution and not having it changed by external forces,” he said.

Pogue, Grambling’s Mayor Edward Jones and SGA Vice President William Burge read a proclamation from the city. Pogue recognized ULM’s president, Dr. Nick J. Bruno, and provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Stephen Richters.

“I have the utmost respect for what Dr. Pogue is doing for the university to protect its history and heritage,” said Bruno.

One person who knows about Grambling’s history is Dr. Leon Whittaker, GSU Professor Emeritus. Whittaker was GSU’s first dean of students, vice president of student affairs and career placement director. He retired as dean of Graduate Studies after being employed at GSU for 28 years.

He said the celebration was outstanding and in proper order. “It was a good beginning for the celebration. I was really excited about the attendance. As usual, the president had some challenging and encouraging remarks.

“Grambling is going to be here. It may change some. Eliminating unproductive programs happens all over the country,” he said.

Freshman Azania Briggs said she attended the breakfast because she thought, “How many times is my college going to celebrate 110 years?”

Briggs said it was a really good experience. “I liked Dr. Pogue’s speech.

“I listened to what he said about the school, funding programs and the many changes made since 1901,” said the New Orleans native.

Ashton Arceneaux, a 6-year-old first grader at AJB said he was excited because his school had a chance to release the 110 black and gold balloons after the breakfast.
Arceneaux enjoyed the band. “They are great players, and I liked the cheerleaders,” he said.

He said he is going to attend GSU because it is a great school. He, like many of his schoolmates, put one finger in the air as the band played GSU’s alma mater.

Rosalind Russell, principal of AJB, said she was honored they were invited by the president’s office. “We were given the honor of releasing 110 balloons,” she said.

Russell and her faculty explained GSU’s history to the students. “It is essential for our children to understand the existence of Grambling State University,” she said. “We, the lab school, are a part of Grambling State University.”

Russell is a 1967 alumna of Grambling High School and a 1975 of GSU. She said, “As long as Grambling is standing, there is an opportunity for other children to survive.”

KGRM manager Joyce Evans served as mistress of ceremonies, and the invocation and benediction were given by Kevin Sly, director of Student Success.