Alumnus of the Week

“Grambling gave me the foundation to do what I needed to do and gave me the tools to compete with other people from all across the country.”
— Fred Payne

Grambling State University is home to many successful alumni, but have you heard of Fred Payne? He graduated  from Grambling with a B.A. in political science and went on to further his career, earning an M.A. in geography at the University of Northern Iowa as well as a J.D. from Indiana University.

Specifically after leaving Grambling as an undergraduate student, Payne hit the ground running. He was determined to compete at a higher level and showcase the skills and knowledge that he learned while studying at Grambling.

Payne  said one of the things that benefited him was his support system, such as his advisors, professors, his parents and his brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.

“Grambling gave me the foundation to do what I needed to do and gave me the tools to compete with other people from all across the country,” Payne said. “I had certain professors who challenged me to learn my craft and to always keep a professional demeanor at all times.”

According to Payne, it all started with knowing his craft. He liked the way the law(s) changed society and that is something that motivated him to pursue law.
Payne was a part of a co-op program with other students working with the Central Intelligence Agency.

“That gave me a lot of exposure to people in Washington D.C.,” Payne said. “I was offered a full-time job post graduation, but I chose graduate school instead and they actually helped finance some of my education.”

Payne’s hard work and dedication has paid off in a lot of ways. Since 2003 he has been heavily involved with his career as an attorney and corporate leader.
Payne has continued to progress in his career with Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC, earning such titles as senior administrator and assistant counsel, general counsel – secretary  and manager of Corporate Affairs, general counsel – secretary and manager of Corporate Affairs and Administration, and even chief administrator.

“Grambling kind of instilled and helped nourish a competitive nature in me that pushed me to excel at any level,” Payne said. “My peers were all competitive, everyone was competing.”

Aside from his regular job duties, Payne also started the company Honda Manufacturing of Indiana’s Legal division and founded their Office of Inclusion and Diversity.

“Throughout all of that, I had to have the resolve to know how to go about each of these things,” Payne said. “To accomplish tasks, stay on task, and make tough decisions.”