My first convocation as a Grambling State University student was a Founder’s Day Convocation and it was sure enough a true blessing and a wonderful experience for me.
As a freshman I joined the GSU choir, and the Charles P. Adams Founder’s Day Convocation was my first performance with the university choir.
I felt blessed to be able to sing with the choir members to celebrate the life of Grambling State University and our very own founder Mr. Charles P. Adams.
At the time Grambling State was celebrating over 110 years of tradition, service and excellence. It is an honor to see how much the campus has grown since 1901.
My mother and aunts are alumnae of Grambling State and cannot believe the wonderful changes and growth they observe when they visit the new and improved campus.
On Sept. 27, 2011, at 11 a.m. in T.H. Harris Auditorium the faculty and students acknowledged the life of Adams and the tremendous amount of work he has done for the university.
The program opened up with Harry Sosnick’s “March of the Heralds” performed by the University Marching Band, directed by Dr. Larry Pannell. After the musical introduction the congregation stood for the reciting of the National Anthem and the posting of the colors administered by the Grambling State University Army ROTC.
Choir director Mrs. Patricia Britton-Hall then directed the choir to stand with the audience to lead in song “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Grambling State University’s founder did not just have an impact on Grambling State University, but he had an impact on the entire city of Grambling.
At the convocation students from toddlers to adults from the city of Grambling were there to support Adams’ contributions to the university. There were presentations from Grambling Laboratory High School students, musical selections from Grambling Middle School students, and a ceremonial placing of flowers by Alma J. Brown Elementary School students.
Adams also changed the lives and paved a way for our past leaders and now alumni of Grambling State University, Channing Gaulden (2011 SGA president) and Jamesia Leonard (Miss Grambling State University 2011-2012).
I learned that our founder came to Grambling in 1901, following a request by members of an organization known as North Louisiana Farmers’ Relief Association to Tuskegee’s Booker T. Washington.
Adams was one of Grambling State University’s first faculty members. The faculty consisted of three people, Adams himself, as a principal and teacher, his wife Martha, a domestic science teacher, and A.C. Welcher, a farm instructor.
Our founder, who led Grambling State University for 35 years, was born in Brusly, La. He attended Tuskegee Institute for some college. After marrying his wife Martha N. Adams, they had six children.
This University has been standing strong since 1901; I dedicate my success and my full heart-felt thankfulness to Charles P. Adams, because there would be no opportunity for me or any other of my colleagues to attend Grambling State University “Where Everybody Is Somebody”, if it were not for Charles P. Adams’ hope and faith, in not only believing in his dream, but taking the steps and accomplishing his dream one day at a time!
The Grambling State University students and faculty should feel proud to salute our founder, Mr. Charles P. Adams.
E’Vonne Gipson is a junior mass communication major from Houston.