Beacon Awards honor leaders in the community

Grambling University Foundation honored nine extraordinary individuals with awards at the Red River Classic Gala in Shreveport on Nov. 6. 

Mildred Gallot, professor and head emerita of history at Grambling State University, received the 2015 Outstanding Alumnus Award. The Beacon Award winners include Pam Atchison, arts and culture; Lamore Carter, education; Theodis Goree, education; Robert Clark, community service; Jerry Jones, community service; James Davison, business and industry; Mayor Jamie Mayo, public service; and Bonnie Moore, public service. 

“There is a quote that says: ‘We are truly greatest when we seek to serve others.’ Tonight’s winners of the Beacon Awards clearly exemplify the essence of that quote,” said Otto Meyers, III, interim vice president of advancement, research and economic development at Grambling State University.    

GLENN LEWIS/The Yearbook Beacon Award winners or their representatives are (from left) Coach Wilbert Ellis on behalf of James Davidson, Theodis Goree, Jerry Jones, Robert Clark, Bonnie Moore, Helen Godfrey-Smith, Mayor Jamie Mayo, Pam Atchison, and Greta Carter and Morgan Drain on behalf of Lamore Carter.

GLENN LEWIS/The Yearbook
Beacon Award winners or their representatives are (from left) Coach Wilbert Ellis on behalf of James Davidson, Theodis Goree, Jerry Jones, Robert Clark, Bonnie Moore,
Helen Godfrey-Smith, Mayor Jamie Mayo, Pam Atchison, and Greta Carter and Morgan Drain on behalf of Lamore Carter. 

The Beacon Awards recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding commitment to leadership, excellence and philanthropy in the categories of arts and culture, education, community service, business and industry, public service and community development. 

A new award, the Outstanding Alumnus Award, was created this year to recognize a graduate of Grambling State University who has achieved personal success, as well as excellence in his or her chosen profession to reach the pinnacle of their career, and has been involved in civic, cultural and/or charitable activities in addition to making meaningful contributions to Grambling State University through outstanding service and commitment to the best interests of their alma mater.

“All of the awards were so well deserved, in particular Dr. Mildred Gallot, who was our outstanding alumnus,” said Helen Godfrey-Smith, chair of Grambling University Foundation Board and president of Shreveport Federal Credit Union. 

“She is a 50-year plus graduate of Grambling and served locally in the university and at the state level in education. She has always represented Grambling in such a fantastic way, so we are happy to recognize and honor people who are so deserving of that recognition.” 

Gallot is a professor and head emerita of history at Grambling State University and a former member of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. As the author of A History of Grambling State University, Gallot is probably best recognized as Grambling’s “historian.”  

The city of Monroe is experiencing incredible economic development under the leadership of Mayor Mayo, who received the Beacon Award for public service. The city has seen an official fiscal year budget surplus for eight of the past nine years. Mayor Mayo is also a six-time winner of the Louisiana Municipal Association Community Achievement Award. 

“I truly thank the Grambling State University Foundation for this honor,” Mayor Mayo said. “I am proud to be a supporter of Grambling. As a public servant, my first priority is to help improve the quality of life for the people of our city, parish and region. I could not achieve anything without the support of an outstanding team. Even though my name is on this award, I humbly accept it on behalf of the men and women who work at the City of Monroe.”

Lamore Carter, who received the Beacon Award for education, is provost and vice president emeritus for Academic Affairs at Grambling State University. After a long and distinguished career at Grambling, Carter also served as president of Wiley College. Carter also served as the SACSCOC Research Fellow, dean of faculty at Texas Southern University and an American Council Fellow at Louisiana State University. As a World War II veteran, Carter was knighted by the French consul general in 2014 upon receiving the French Legion of Honor medal. 

The other 2015 Beacon Award winners include:

•    Pam Atchison, executive director of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC), has more than 30 years of experience overseeing highly accessible arts programs, including Arts in Education. SRAC’s newest partnership centers on the development of Shreveport Common, a downtown cultural community spanning nine blocks and built on the precepts of creative place making. 


•    Theodis Goree serves as the superintendent of Caddo Parish Public Schools, where he serves over 40,000 students in 62 schools. He is a veteran educator who strongly believes that education is the key to lifelong success. He has also worked as area superintendent with Mansfield Independent School District in Dallas and as an assistant principal in Fort Worth, Texas. 


•    Robert Clark is the president and owner of the Clark Company, Inc. and Blue Collar Enterprises. He is a founding member of First Tee of Monroe, a group that helps shape the lives of young people by teaching important values through the game of golf. Clark is a distinguished alumni of Grambling, who has also been honored with the GSU Charles P. Adams Outstanding Community Service Award, the MLK, Jr. Humanitarian Award and the A.D. Smith Award for Business. 


•    Jerry Jones is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University and Tulane Law School, who has been a practicing trial attorney for the past 37 years. He currently serves at the district attorney for Morehouse and Ouachita Parishes, a position he has held since 1991. Jones serves on a long list of community organizations, including the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association Board, the Legislative Committee, the Drug Asset Recovery Team and the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Board. In addition, he was presented the National Football League Alumni Association’s “Difference Maker Award for the Legends and Kids Program.”


•    James Davison owns and developed Squire Creek Country Club and Development, LLC, a planned area of 1,100 acres of rolling hills, lush landscapes and beautiful homes. He took over his father’s trucking company and grew Davison Transport, which he sold to Genesis Energy, LP in 2004, from two trucks to a fleet of over 300 trucks and 700 trailers. Davison was awarded an honorary doctorate from Louisiana Tech University in 2000 and an honorary doctorate from Grambling State University in 2008. He also serves as a Friends of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum Board Member.


•    Bonnie Moore serves as the director of the Department of Community Development for the city of Shreveport. She has a wealth of experience in social services, revitalization planning and affordable housing development. Moore is an alumni of Grambling State University, who serves on a number of boards, including the United Way, the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, HOPE for the Homeless, Northwest Louisiana Community Development Corporation, the Downtown Development Authority Advisory Board and National Community Development Association.


Grambling State University and Grambling University Foundation would like to thank the many donors and the members of the Red River Classic Planning Committee for making the Red River Classic Gala and Beacon Awards Ceremony possible.



About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System.