October 31, 2013

University High School Day A Success

By AZANIA BRIGGS
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling, LA - Grambling State University was the first school Dajah Taylor visited on her search to find the college of her choice before she graduates in May 2014.

Hundreds of young students from various schools filled the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center in celebration of High School and Transfer Day at Grambling State University on Saturday.

The day began at 6 a.m. and continued through the G-Men’s football game against Texas Southern University.  Registered students and transfers learned about the university’s career and course offerings during a campus tour.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in Grambling,” said Taylor, 17, from Maumelle High School in Maumelle, Ark. “It’s really big and is also the first college I’ve visited.”

Grambling State University has hosted High School Day for at least 20 years in an effort to get more students interested in becoming Gramblinites.

In the Assembly Center, high school students and potential transfer students devoured ham and turkey sandwiches, turkey sandwiches  and potato chips while listening to popular music spun by DJ Twin. GSU clubs and organizations presented themselves to the eager crowd of students, advisors and teachers.  Attendees witnessed the World Famed Tiger Marching Band dance and play their instruments as the school’s nationally ranked cheerleaders performed backflips and acrobatics.

“I’m thinking about coming to Grambling because it’s close and my mother Erin Walker works for residential life on campus went here,” said Kenneth Walker, 18, a senior at Ruston High School, as he watched members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity execute a fast-paced stroll on the arena floor.

According to university officials, more than 900 people participated in the event.

“We brought a group of 43 kids here so they can experience Grambling college life,” said Marcia Menyweather, 48, a 1986 GSU graduate and member of the Grambling University National Alumni Association’s Dallas Chapter. “We’ve been coming to High School Day for the past nine years in hopes that one student will come here.”

“I love Grambling!” exclaimed Marquie Jones, 17, a senior at J.A. Fair High School who visited GSU for his  fourth High School Day. “My mother graduated from Grambling and it feels just like home to me.”

Faculty and staff from Peabody High School and Arthur F. Smith Middle School attended the event with 56 students in tow.

“We’re sister schools that have been coming here for the last seven years, but I remember going to Peabody High School in 2000 and going to High School Day in Grambling,” said Carletha Stewart, 30, a paraprofessional at Peabody High School in Alexandria, La.

“Because we are a low socio-economic school, I think Grambling will give students a sense of pride and let them know that they can do something after they graduate high school, said Stewart. “My mother is (an) alumnae and my sister is an alumnae of Grambling.”

“The Mildred S. Jones Alumni Association sponsors the majority Black schools in Alexandria to come to GSU’s High School Day,” said Renisha Beaudion, 35, a teacher at Arthur F. Smith Middle School and an assistant instructor of kinesiology at GSU.

“Some of our students get their degrees from Grambling, then come back to Alexandria to do good things for the community, said Beaudion, a 2000 GSU leisure studies graduate.

“It’s nice all over Grambling,” said Jacorey Sanders, 15, from Clark High School in Plano, Texas, who visited Grambling for the first time. “I was surprised at all the African American people I saw because I’ve never been at a black college until now.”

“We grew up around mostly Caucasian people but Grambling is very turned up,” said C.J. Wall, 14, from Clark High School. “It’s too early for me to go to college, but it seems like a very fun school.”

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

October 30, 2013

Grambling State Students Gather, Huddle, Support Football Players

University’s Miss Senior says students must rebuild proud tradition of student support

By TIERRA SMITH
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling State University’s student section for football games is increasing. There were more than fifty students dressed in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to support the Tigers against Texas Southern University. In an overtime thriller, Grambling lost 23-17.

One finger pointed up and arms extended in the air, Grambling State students, alumni, cheerleaders, band and football players stayed united, even when an oh-so-close game had ended and they sang the school’s alma mater. Some players fought back tears.

“They played really hard and showed a lot of heart,” said Desmond Stegall, 20, a junior mass communication major from Atlanta. “Even though they lost, they did it the Grambling way, with pride.”

The strength of the new student section should grow and the “Tiger Pride” movement should engage everyone, according to Jalendra Traylor, 23, a senior kinesiology major from Dallas. “It’s okay to have one section, but the players feed off” everyone.

The student section is coordinated by Miss Senior, Alexandra Perry, a former Grambling State cheerleader who has made the support of Grambling athletics a part of her reign responsibilities.

“I think the student section went great,” said Perry, 21, a senior therapeutic reaction major from Alexandria. “When it came down to the end of the game, everyone was cheering on the team and that’s when it really matters.”

Perry said she’ll host another student section meeting this week to prepare for the big homecoming game against Mississippi Valley State University on Nov. 2. She wants students, alums and interested fans to follow @WhatsUpWithFSUB on Twitter and Instagram for more information. 

“We plan to get more students involved every time,” said Perry.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

October 29, 2013

Hundreds of Students Visit GSU High School Day

Grambling State University welcomes high school, community college students with education, entertainment

By TIERRA SMITH
Grambling State University Media Bureau

A junior from Magnolia High School took a 90-minute bus ride from Arkansas to participate in Grambling State University’s annual High School Day.

Her sponsor, the Educational Talent Search, is a program designed to identify students with the potential to excel in higher education. This wasn’t Tiera Grissom’s first stop on her college tour. During the summer, she visited Atlanta’s Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. “I heard about Grambling when we discussed all of the HBCUs in America,” said Grissom, 16 and an 11th grader.

Grambling State held its annual High School Day on Saturday, but it was renamed High School and Transfer Day this year to reach out more to community and technical college students. At least two busloads of students from Hinds Community College stopped at a nearby McDonald’s in Ruston then hit campus.

University students were actively involved in today’s events; meeting up with the Office of Admission at around 6 a.m. Students had the chance to take excited visitors on campus tours and share their love of Grambling.

Grisson enjoyed the experience.  "Everyone seems to be passionate about what they do, and the school seems unified," said Grissom.

After tours, the high schoolers and transfer students headed to the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assemby Center to learn about Grambling State’s different degree programs and how to apply to the university and FASFA.

Grisson said “I like Grambling,” but couldn’t find the physical training education table during the meet and greet section. Still, she’s going to look online and check GSU’s options or find a related degree program.

In the midst of hundreds of students was Jaylon Vaughn. Even though he was born to Prairie View A&M University Panthers, he enjoyed his visit so much he’s thinking about becoming a Grambling State Tiger.

His parents, Tia and Jerome Vaughn, graduated from Prairie View in Houston, but Vaughn attended the event with some of his classmates from Stafford High School in Houston – and he liked it. “This experience was very inspiring,” said Vaughn, 17, who wants to study mechanical engineering.

For most students the most exciting part of the program was entertainment from the World Fame Tiger Marching Band, the cheerleading squad, the Orchesis Dance Company and different student organizations.

“The band was live,” said Vaughn. “They are just that bad.”

Jye Jackson could only imagine what it might have been like when his mother attended Grambling State in the early 1990s.

“She can still flip some,” the Dallas native said jokily about his former cheerleader mom. Kavayshia Allison was a Grambling State cheerleader for three years before she became pregnant with him.

"My mother told me that she loved Grambling,” said Jackson, a Hampton High Prep junior who wants to major in journalism. “She always encourages me to come here.”

He said there is a seven out of 10 chance he will choose GSU, though he’s still considering Xavier University in New Orleans.

Among others, Frank G. Pogue, the university’s president, Jordan Harvey, the student government association president and Ambra Brice, Miss Grambling State University, each spoke to the students about great legacy of Grambling State University in hopes to recruit them in the future.

Click here for PDF.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

October 28, 2013

Rev. Jesse Jackson: ‘I’ll be There to Help Grambling’

GSU president invites civil rights activist to help with a period of healing, moving forward

Rev. Jesse Jackson pledges to help GSU and other HBCUs.

Rev. Jesse Jackson pledges to help GSU and other HBCUs.

GRAMBLING, LA. – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue invited national civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson to visit campus as a part of a period of healing and moving forward beyond the recent football team controversy and Jackson said yes.

“I want to do whatever I can to help Grambling at this time,” said Jackson, a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, another historically black university. “It’s important that people everywhere know that what this proud institution faces is much bigger than football and much bigger than any one person because it is indicative of what’s happening at our HBCUs everywhere.”

“I am eternally grateful that the Rev. Jackson has been encouraging, engaged and supportive of our athletics and football programs, and our university generally, and I’m thankful that he has agreed to come and help us,” said Pogue. “The truth is that Rev. Jackson and I have been talking for weeks, well before the recent series of events.” Pogue said he and Jackson started working on a “Grambling State University Day” before the recent controversy erupted.

The GSU football team boycotted practices and training sessions and forfeited a football game at Jackson State University in Mississippi to bring attention to a number of concerns, most of which are connected to the university’s declining state support. In a few short years, the university’s state funding has been reduced by 56.3%. Pogue, who launched a presidential “ask” campaign during the 2012 homecoming, re-launched the campaign a few days ago, asking alumni and others to donate $1,000 – or whatever they can afford, something he discussed on the show.

Jackson and Pogue agreed to discuss a national campaign to help Grambling State University and other historically black colleges and universities. Jackson invited GSU to attend a weekend conference in Atlanta, and Pogue said someone from the university would be attending, though he will be on campus because there are a host of homecoming weekend activities.

Pogue said there is no specific date set for Jackson’s visit but it is expected to happen soon, and definitely before the 40th anniversary of the Bayou Classic football game between Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 30 in New Orleans.

During the two-hour radio broadcast syndicated on more than 30 radio stations nationwide, Pogue discussed the week’s events with Jackson then with two other guests. Among other points, Pogue detailed several problems caused largely by a deep decline in state funding and rising tuition costs for many families that cannot afford higher costs. He said the university could have admitted at least 30 percent more students this academic year but for ACT score minimums and development education needs.

In addition to Pogue, Jackson’s guests Lezli Baskerville, attorney and president of NAFEO/National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and Barbara Arnwine, attorney and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Jackson launched his weekly radio show in 2004 with Clear Channel Communications. The show, which airs Sundays from 7 a.m.-9 a.m. Central and 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Eastern, airs on more than 30 radio stations. Learn more about the show at www.keephopealiveradio.com and see a state-by-state listing of radio stations carrying the show.

Click here for PDF.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

October 25, 2013

Grambling State President: ‘We Need Cash’

University president asks community, others for donations, pledges

GRAMBLING, LA. – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue is asking university alumni, faculty, staff, students, friends and supporters to show concern and support of the institution by making a donation.

“I am sure that you are aware of the recent boycott by our football players (which ended recently), that brought national and international attention to Grambling State University,” the president wrote in an Oct. 22 open letter. “I believe good things can come from creative tension. Creative tension can be used to bring attention to the larger needs of society.”

The GSU football team boycotted practices and training sessions and forfeited a Saturday afternoon game at Jackson State University in Mississippi to bring attention to a number of concerns, most of which have something to do with the university’s declining state support. The president notes that he launched an official, presidential “ask” campaign during the 2012 homecoming, asking alumni and others to donate $1,000 between October 2012 and this year’s homecoming on Nov. 2, 2013. “Many of you responded and for that we are grateful,” he writes. “I am re-announcing the appeal and asking for your help to improve the university.”

Pogue goes on to say that all of the national media attention shows that what the university faces is “larger than football.”

“What we are addressing today is symptomatic of something larger that exists on our campus – our financial plight. We have serious needs across the entire university,” he wrote.

In recent days the university has worked to broaden the scope of concern and interest to bring attention to a long list of concerns and needs, including “many other buildings and areas that are in need of upgrading.” Pogue says the university “will use our limited resources to respond to these inadequacies and solicit the support of alumni, corporate sponsors and our university friends to contribute to these urgent needs of the university.”

As he has done consistently on campus in various forums, in faculty, staff and student meetings, the president says in the letter that during the last six years, “the university’s state appropriation has been drastically reduced from $31.6 million to $13.8 million.”

Continuing with more detailed explanation, Pogue goes on to say “the university is operating on an annual budget that is lower than the operational budget six years ago.”

“Grambling, when compared to other University of Louisiana System (ULS) schools, is closest to declaring financial exigency,” an official form of recognizing an urgent demand or need.

“These budget cuts come at a time when the State of Louisiana has mandated annual increases in college admission standards for high school graduates; annual increases in tuition since FY 2008 have resulted in a 61% increase in tuition and fees; 60% of our parents do not qualify for education loans; the state has mandated performance measures focused on student retention and graduation rates; and, the nation-wide economy has led to excessive unemployment,” his letter continues. “These developments and others negatively impact the university’s ability to fulfill its historic mission of providing exceptional opportunities for underserved citizens, many of whom are African Americans.”

Still, Pogue says, the university will continue its commitment “to educate our students and provide them with state of the art technology and resources” while focusing on “maintaining and increasing academic excellence through quality classroom and online instruction.”

The president asks interested individuals and organizations to make donations and pledges to the Grambling University Foundation, Inc. “to ensure that the university receives your personal contribution.”

Pogue assures donors that “the university will acknowledge your contribution and ensure that it is used for the purpose you have identified.”

Donors may contact Brenda Williams in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 318-274-6032 or williamsbr@gram.edu, or by mail at P. O. Box 587, Grambling, LA 71245. All donors will be listed on the university’s website at www.gram.edu (specifically, http://www.gram.edu/offices/administration/president/donors.php).

Click here for PDF.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

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