I have struggled tirelessly with the words to describe the heartache I feel when I hear negative comments directed toward my great university. I am further irritated when I hear those words coming from people who call themselves Gramblinites, die-hard Grambling fans, supporters that bleed Black & Gold, or true Tigers.
How can I express these feelings without adding to the noise that is currently polluting so many social media sites? How can I present my opinion in a positive light?
Then I had a thought. What if her walls could talk? What if Grambling State University, the institution itself, had a voice to speak out on its own behalf?
What if it could address questions and concerns that so many students, faculty, staff, and alumni seek? What if her walls could talk? If her walls could talk they’d say:
“Have you forgotten who I am? Do you think that I am a beginner? I am over 100 years old. Three, four, and even five generations have walked through my doors.
I am anything but ordinary. In MY house, everybody is somebody!
You need not worry about the color of your skin, the size of your wallet, or the geographic location of your motherland.
I welcome you with arms outstretched knowing that when you leave me you will never be the same. I have created leader after leader.
These leaders have gone on to represent me at the local, state and even at national levels. I have greeted presidents, congressmen, judges, senators, and governors. I am known throughout the United States and internationally.
There is NO other like me. I have often been imitated but never duplicated. Even with all of my many accomplishments, I’ve seen my fair share of disappointments.
The one thing that I must remind you is that there is only one leader, one dictator, one governing body who can determine when my days are done. HE is the only one who can judge right from wrong and impart real change when my foundation becomes rocky.
So when I see signs of turmoil I simply stand firm and lift my eyes up to the hills where my help comes from. I remind myself that what I see now is only temporary.
When the enemy approaches my yard, in an attempt to break me, I again stand firm, unmovable, knowing that this too shall pass.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other supporters remember the words that are written in my alma mater. We’re loyal to thee our dear ol’ school. We’ll fight for thee forevermore. Will you fight for me?
Will you stand for me again? Will you join together in unity, uplifting one another instead of tearing each other down? Will you remain loyal even after you’ve walked across the stage and your time with me is nothing more than a distant memory?
Will you use your talents, resources and Tiger spirit to educate, encourage and inspire future leaders of this great institution?
Will you pass on a message for me? “I am STILL Grambling, the place where everybody is somebody.”
Christy Hamlin is an IT Project Manager with Rent-a-Center Inc. in Plano, Texas.