Observing Black History Month


Grambling State University is well known as a Historically Black College and University, but some may not know that GSU also has a high school. 

Grambling State University Laboratory High School is a major part of the university with history dating back to 1901.

First named as Alma J. Brown, Grambling High has been around for more than a century. In fact, Grambling College emerged from the high school. Founder, Charles P. Adams, made an effort to start an industrial school at the request of the Farmer’s Relief Association of Ruston.

The North Louisiana Agricultural and Industrial Institute was later organized and between 1901 and 1912, the school was operated under private sponsorship but became a quasi-public school in 1912. In 1981, the school became known as the Lincoln Parish Training School.

In 1928, the institution was made into a junior college and at this point the college emerged from the high school. The program was reorganized for a venture focusing on rural teacher education in 1936. This marked the beginning of the administration of Ralph W. E. Jones, serving both the college and high school.

The institution was then changed to “Grambling” in 1944 and Grambling High School continued an as essential part of Grambling College. The registrar even served as the college registrar and principal at the same time.

A.D. Smith was appointed as the first principal of Grambling High School in 1948 after the Louisiana State Board of Education granted the college permission to prepare high school teachers. Four years later, the school was moved from the College Administration Building into a temporary structure. The present building was finished in 1954 and in 1958 Grambling High School became a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and School.

Today, Grambling is a semi-private, coeducational school located on the campus of Grambling State University operated under the joint administration of the university. The school offers students the opportunity to take college courses while still in high school preparing them for college life at the university.

Queen Lawhorne, secretary of the high school, said “The Laboratory schools have been a way of life for many Black students who have gone on to become senators, lawyers, and doctors.” She has been in the facility for years and know exactly the positive impact of its students.

“Ninety percent of our high school graduates continue their education to the university and those students have really excelled in all aspects of life,” Lawhorne interjects.