Sticking close to her roots and staying close to tradition, the general manager of Grambling’s Black and Gold radio station, 91.5 KGRM, did not hesitate to host the second annual Radiothon during Homecoming Week.
On Friday, from sunup to sundown, people of all kinds made their way to the second floor of the Washington-Johnson Complex to give back to Grambling State University and to raise money for student scholarships.
According to people who helped with the Radioton last year, they were pleased with the amount donated.
“We are not able to provide an exact total of funds received in that donations are still being received; however as of 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 we had received over $30,000, which exceeded last year’s donations toward the Radiothon. More information will be provided at a later date,” Institutional Advancement said in a release.
Wanting to start his morning off with a generous donation, GSU President Frank G. Pogue and his wife, Dorothy, walked inside the radio station at 7:45 a.m. to start the pace of the upcoming donations.
“Dot and I were pleased to be the first on-air donors to this year’s Radiothon, and I enjoyed kicking the day off talking with Joyce Evans (general manager of 91.5 KGRM) about all the wonderful things going on at Grambling State University,” said Dr. Pogue.
He then said the amount of money donated from people is irrelevant because “the idea is that we all contribute to the success of this great institution.”
The purpose of the Radiothon is to raise funds to allocate to scholarships.
“A great deal of the work done on Friday was all about helping our students with scholarships,” Pogue said.
Throughout the day, several students and faculty members were seen volunteering during the event, and encouraging friends and others to either donate or contribute their assistance.
One of the many memorable moments during the event was catching up with others; one in particular was Dr. Leon Whitaker. He was a member of the last freshman class enrolled in then Negro Normal Industrial Institute in fall 1945.
Whitaker was also Grambling’s dean of students in 1970. He was also the general manager’s dean during her undergraduate tenure.
Smiling from ear to ear, alumnus Kedron Dotson spent almost the entire day assisting everyone and catching up with his former professors and classmates.
He saw the Radiothon as a perfect opportunity for student scholarships at Grambling State University, and welcomed donations of any amount to be given.
A current Tulsa, Okla., resident, Dotson described the university’s historical tradition. On Friday, Dotson said he realized on his way to Grambling that he was on his way back home to his family.
“This is not work for me, this is home for me,” said Dotson, who graduated in 2005.
Another familiar face seen at the Radiothon was Wendy Calahan, who recently retired from her administrative assistant position in the Department of Engineering Technology.
After making her donation, Calahan proudly walked into the radio booth to go on the air live. She wanted to inform listeners on the importance of the annual Radiothon.
“It is all about the students at Grambling State University,” said Calahan. “It is not about me, and it is not about Ms. Evans.”
Local alumni chapters also stopped by and donated during the event. Mary Ricard, vice president of the GUNAA Ruston Chapter, came on behalf of the chapter president Dr. Liz White and the organization.
While on the air, Ricard informed listeners of the chapter’s donation. “We’re donating $1,000 for student scholarships,” she said with a smile.
Miss Brown and Gold also came by the Radiothon to make a donation, and to encourage Grambling State students to echo her actions. Elizabeth Eddy, who is the first to be crowned and represent the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., said she loves GSU.
“I want to be the backbone that holds the school together,” said Eddy. “It is not one person who can help the university. It needs to be a collective effort… We are Grambling.”