The sound of music filled the air as Grambling State University began its annual Founder’s Day Fellowship Breakfast. The event was held Monday in the schools Black and Gold Room with many of GSU alumni, employees and community members in attendance.
The school observed its 114th anniversary with a week-long celebration. Celebrating a long, rich history and honoring leaders who came before us. Dr. Willie Larkin, the current president of the university, chose the theme — “One Grambling: honoring history, keeping promises and fulfilling dreams.”
The food was served by community leaders as gospel music played and a montage of historical moments in the school’s history could be seen on a backdrop while attendees ate.
“It breaks my heart to see how Grambling as fallen,” said Larkin.
The president was also the keynote speaker for the event, suggesting that his becoming president of the university was divine because, like him, Charles P. Adams, the founder of the university, was also a graduate of Tuskegee University.
Dr. Larkin also encouraged attendees not to be afraid to donate money to the university, saying ,“If you had a bad experience here, don’t let that determine if you going to give back.” He also assured that the money would be in good hands, stating that there will be transparency with handling the school’s money.
He also motivated current students, asking them to be serious about their education and asking teachers to help students achieve their dreams. The school has not had the best few years, but Larkin insisted that he would not give up on the mission of bringing the school back to its former glory. He also asked that the media reports truthful stories about the school.
The inspirational speech comes to no surprise as he is quickly gaining the support of current GSU students. Many students feel that he is genuine in having their best interest.
Many of Grambling’s alumni was also in attendance for the event. Alumnus Otha Anders, who graduated from Grambling in 1965 and is currently the president of the Lincoln Parish School Board, stated “I love supporting Grambling during Founder’s Week, and meeting with other alumni.”
Founder’s Week gives us time to reflect on our past and bring the community together as a whole. “It’s bridging the gap, it’s great,” said Lawanda Sykes, the director of academic enhancement at the university.