The Student Leadership Initiative introduced their Cohort IV on Thursday on September 20th, 2018, their fourth annual induction ceremony at the Betty E. Smith Nursing Building auditorium. 71 new members were added to the organization recognizing their leadership in the community of the selected group.
The ceremony had begun with the invocation by Sha’Myron Morrison from Cohort III and the welcome by SLI President Makayla Hill. Musical selections and the singing of our Alma Mater were performed by Grambling State University choir led by choir director, Natorshau Davis.
“I already considered myself to be a leader but there is always room for growth, so I decided to join SLI to help me become a better leader in the community,” Kelsey Woods, a junior majoring in Kinesiology from Shreveport, La.
President Richard J. Gallot presented the charge to SLI, explaining the role of being a leader. Gallot began to share his story of what a leader looked like to him, using a drum major as the example. He went on to explain what his definition of a leader was and gave the advice “as a leader, you are going to have to say no.”
The guest speaker of the evening was Executive Director of AT&T in Louisiana, David Aubrey. He graduated from Grambling State University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration. While attending GSU he was once the president of the Student Government Association and selected to be a student member to the University of Louisiana System Board of supervisors. In 1998, Aubrey was the youngest mayor at the age of 24 and the first African American mayor of his hometown, Homer, La.
Aubrey was able to relate the new 5G speed of cellular signals to the new group of student leaders. He used the history of Grambling, when Charles P. Adams founded the institution, as the example of 1G, the first generation. He wanted to let the group know that they represent the fifth generation of leaders and to carry on the legacy of Grambling’s founder.
After listening to Gallot and Aubrey give their advice and expectations of leaders, the honorees were pinned and presented their certificates by Beverly Hill-Hercules, advisor of SLI. After special presentations, closing remarks, and the singing of the alma mater, refreshments were served in the student lounge of the Nursing Building.
“Student leadership is very important to me. Being a student leader allows us to hear the voice of our peers and voice those opinions to higher authority on their behalf,” Tony Wright, Junior from Shreveport, La majoring in Mass Communication.
After the newest members were inducted, past cohorts were recognized for their academic success from the past school year for anyone that had a 3.5 GPA or higher.
Student Leadership Initiative aims at not only incoming freshman, but student leaders. Their main goals are to teach about leadership, integrity, change, diversity, collaboration, and commitment.
“SLI is very family oriented. Everyone looks out for each other and encourages one another to succeed academically and in the leadership area,” said Wright.