The academic week came to a close with a special homecoming convocation that took place on Friday, Nov. 2 in T.H. Harris Auditorium. The theme of the event was “The Power of One” and all alumni, students, and others were invited to join.
The presentation began with a selection from the GSU Choir which was then followed by prayer. Students, faculty, and students were given a special surprise as the Mayor of Grambling, Edward Jones, presented the greeting to the audience. Following Mr. Jones, President Richard J. Gallot, Jr. presented his own morning greeting. Guests then heard from Grambling’s two most well-known students- Adarian Williams, whom serves are the Student Government Association President, and JaMariea’ Davis-Miller, who serves are Miss Grambling. Since the event was focused around homecoming, students and guests were also introduced to Russell LeDay, Grambling State University’s National Alum (GUNNA) President. Onshala Alexander, a junior education major from Wisconsin, and also President of Women’s Empowerment, had the honor of introducing the guest speaker, Dr. E. Faye Williams.
Dr. Williams, who is a native of Alexandria, La., is National President and CEO of the National Congress of Black Women. She is former counsel to the U.S. Congress’ District of Columbia Subcommittee on the Judiciary and Education. She also served President Barack Obama as a member of his Presidential Scholars Commission. She holds a Phd in Public Administration, a Masters of Public Administration; a Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law, and Administration and Supervision credentials from UCLA. She completed her doctorate of Ministry degree at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Williams is also an author, and has published three books on political and foreign affairs. She was the first African-American to run a viable political campaign for the U.S. Congress in Louisiana and also worked briefly as White House Liaison to the U.S Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration. Dr. Williams has also made multiple radio and television appearances on networks suchs as BET, CBS, CNN, and more. She holds life memberships in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The National Congress of Black Women, and the NAACP. A speaker, a doctor, and an educator- her biography is extensive and her many accolades show for it.
Best of all, Williams is a graduate of Grambling State University and also served as President of the Grambling University National Alumni Association for nearly 10 years.
Dr. Williams gave the audience a brief intro, being more humble than imaginable considering all of her success and awards. Her main message to the students was that success begins and ends with determination.
Williams spoke confidently and assured the audience they can be anything and do anything as long as they get started and stay consistent after doing so.
One quote Dr. Williams strictly enforced was “service guarantees success.”
She explained that if you are not serving the people, you are not doing what God put you on this earth to do. She made sure to share her knowledge on what helped her reach her own success and her uplifting words earned her a standing ovation from the crowd.
Succeeding the main presentation, GUNNA administered a personal shoutout to the women of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. followed by recognition from Russell LeDay given to certain members who hold life memberships.
The Class of 1978 was given a special shoutout as well, considering it was their 40th year anniversary. Scholarships were presented by GUNNA Vice President, Cathy Conwright and GUNNA Scholarship Chair, LaTari Fleming and any students present were asked to stand and be recognized.
The Homecoming Convocation closed out with the singing of the university’s alma mater as the aura of success and determination filled the auditorium.