As we celebrate Black History Month, we reflect on those who made a difference on the campus of Grambling State University and in the city of Grambling.
Ruby Weekly Billups served as the registrar for 22 years before retiring in 1986, and she had previously served as assistant registrar for 13 years, and student assistant for four years, totaling 35 years working in the Registrar’s Office. She unquestionably earned the right to hold her current designation as Registrar Emeritus.
“It is such a blessing to hear the many stories of Gramblinites who tell of the positive, life-long impact that she made in their lives,” said daughter Susan Billups Wiley.
“So many Gramblinites have told me how much she helped them while they attended GSU. My mom always says that ‘I was just doing my job.’ ”
Billups recalls from her years of “doing my job” at GSU the outstanding administrative leadership, cooperative spirit among co-workers, and how the university was student-oriented with good customer service practices.
She is a native of Vidalia, graduating as valedictorian at Concordia Parish Training School in 1947. She entered Grambling College, now known as Grambling State University, in the fall of 1947. She graduated magna cum laude, receiving the bachelor of science degree in Elementary Education.
In 1955, Billups was awarded the master of arts degree in Higher Education from New York University, and further study was done at Louisiana State University.
She has numerous organizational affiliations, include Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.; the American Business Women’s Association; Grambling Unit of Retired Teachers, serving as president for six years; and a member of the Grambling State University Alumni Association.
In 1987 she was inducted into the GSU Hall of Fame, received the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), Humanitarian Award from the Grambling Unit of Retired Teachers and the Drum Major for Justice Award in 2006. Awarded in 1989 was the Registrar Emeritus Award.
She takes pride in the city of Grambling by being a good citizen and always supportive when called upon.
New Rocky Valley Baptist Church is her membership, were she serves as Deaconess, chairperson of the nominating ministry, historical committee and member of the beatification ministry.
To commemorate Black History Month, Billups notes to “Always remember the struggles of our fore-parents and leaders to make life better.
“We must keep striving for continued progress. Remember the words of Horace Mann: ‘Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.’ “
Billups is the widow of the Rev. Oliver W. Billups, who was an elementary school teacher and pastor. She is the mother of two children: Rodney Claude Billups, an account executive for Sirius Computer Solutions in Dallas, and Wiley, director of Retention and Special Populations at Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe. Billups has three step children, five grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.
She has touched the lives of many in many ways, her daughter can attest to how her mother’s impact and how it help her to become who she is today.
“I love and appreciate her wisdom so much,” Wiley said. “No matter what a situation may be, she always sees the positive.”
She encourages other who are trying to succeed in life to “Never give up, always keep God in your plans.”