Criminal Justice honors local women

Grambling’s Criminal Justice Department commemorated women with a Celebrating Women in History program, presented in the Betty Smith Nursing Building Auditorium on April 9.  

Originally scheduled for March during Women’s History month, the program was postponed due to inclement weather.  

Five women who have impacted Grambling State University, as well as the community, were honored and presented plaques, certificates from Sen. Rick Gallot and their own key to the city.    

To Montgomery-Scott, women’s committee coordinator, it is important to  have a program that recognizes ladies who play a vital role in the fabric of the Grambling community.  

“They do so much for the community and the school, they need to … and should have been recognized,” said Montgomery-Scott.  

This year’s honorees were Nelda Baisy, Joyce Evans, LaWanna Gunn-Williams, Delores Smith and  Frances Staten.

Gunn-Williams, a GSU retiree after 38 years in the Psychology Department, is grateful, not only for being honored, but for the rewarding feeling her efforts have given her.    

“That grounding link was the connection with the students,” Gunn-Williams said, “Seeing students come into the university and watching them as they matriculated through the university and seeing them as a finished project was just so rewarding.”

Baisy, an honoree and home-grown product of Grambling was acknowledged for her contributions to the community; including the time she and her husband, former NFL player Walter Baisy, spent providing Grambling’s football team and staff with snack bags before road trips.  

“One day I noticed football players were getting ready to go on a trip out of town,” began Baisy, “One young man had something from Subway, and the other didn’t have anything”

After that, Basisy decided to sponsor nearly a 100 bags of food for the players for thier awat games.

“They got to the point where they looked forward to it,” she said.

“If I had a child or a son somewhere who was not only going to school, but also giving their talent, I would probably want somebody to do the same thing.”

After just three years of the awards program, 17 women have been honored, including the posthumous recognition of the matriarch of Grambling Nursing Betty E. Smith and Grambling native and state Rep. Pinkie Wilkerson.

“We are going to build it up and do more,” said Montgomery-Scott, “These women have so much history, every year we want to recognize as many people as possible.”

The other Women’s History committee members include instructors Mae Conley and Lurie Thomason.