The Douglas L. Williams (DLW) Chapter of the Grambling University National Alumni Association, Inc. hosted its annual crawfish boil/fish fry scholarship fundraiser in early June at the Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center in Houston. The inaugural fundraiser was held in May 1991 at Deussen Alexander Park.
This effort was led by Khadijah Polly and her “dream team” composed of Fonda L. Chapman, Gerald Thomas and Angela Wheaton. The committee’s motto was “where teamwork makes dream works.”
As a result of this event, the chapter awards book scholarships yearly. Six scholarships were awarded during the 2012-2013 academic year. In the past four years, the chapter has awarded approximately $25,000 in scholarships.
Chapter president Felicia Henry said, “This event has grown significantly over the years to close to 500 attendees/tickets sold. The main purpose of this event is to raise money to assist area high school students as incoming freshmen attending our beloved university.”
To offset costs, members of the chapter donated items. Door prizes were donated by Rosalyn Lewis, GSU bookstore manager; David “Rusty” Ponton, GSU dean of students; and Miss Cover Girl 2013-2014, Tiara A. Thomas.
“Beyond the crawfish, fish, and high school relations, this event also serves as an opportunity for the Grambling family and community to come together. Many alums look forward to this event every year to reconnect with old college friends, form new relationships/networking and meet future tigers,” said Henry.
During the College Prep seminar, GSU admissions and financial aid representatives were also on-site to complete the registration of area students.
There are vendors, performances from community groups, children’s activities, snow cones and high school volunteers participating.
Henry said, “The DLW chapter hosts many service and social events throughout the year to support and network with our Grambling family and friends. Giving back to Grambling through time, money, and recruiting is the central focus of the organization.”
Some of the chapter’s upcoming events include participating in the GUNAA Annual Convention, hosting an August school supply drive, participating in the Inaugural Black Heritage Day for the Sugarland Skeeters Baseball team, Adopt a Block Clean-up and Quarterly Chapter Church Visit/Fellowship in September, and bringing a record number of students to High School Day in October.
Besides Henry, other officers of chapter are Wilbert Freeman, vice president; Minranda Robinson-Davis, secretary; Chantail Comeaux, assistant secretary; Gerald Thomas, treasurer, Fonda Chapman; financial secretary; John Taylor, sergeant-at-arms; Dorothy Hall, parliamentarian; Ricky Stoner, chaplain; and Kenya Jones, business manager.
The DLW Chapter has been GSU’s Houston area alumni voice for over 20 years. Sylvania Paul, a former Miss Grambling, was the first president of the chapter, when it was chartered in July 1990.
The organization’s purpose includes facilitating better communication and relationships between GSU, graduates and friends; to encourage the highest type of professional ethics and scholarship among the alumni and students; to stimulate school loyalty, devotion, and responsibility, and to promote a “Greater Grambling” through the work of the alumni association.