November 26, 2013

GSU 2013 Fall Commencement Features Alum

Alumnus Birdex Copeland has been selected to speak at the upcoming graduation in December

GRAMBLING, La. – With fall commencement just around the corner, Grambling State University is proud to announce a familiar and prominent person as commencement speaker, Birdex Copeland.
 
“Dr. Copeland is a respected educator, an accomplished businessman and a dedicated civic contributor, and, most of all, he’s one of our own; he’s a Gramblinite,” said GSU President Frank G. Pogue. “We’re grateful that someone of his quality and stature is available to challenge our graduates about what they  will face when they leave us, and what we expect from them.”

Pogue said he has asked Copeland to specifically challenge the graduates to be good, strong alumni, telling them what that means, how to contribute to the success of the university and how to use their various platforms to show what Grambling State has to offer.

This year’s graduation is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on campus.

A Grambling resident, Copeland is a 1965 graduate of what was then Grambling College.  He worked at the university for more than 30 years, including time spent in the position of dean of the School of Social Work from 1993-2001, when he retired.

Copeland is serving his fifth term as a member of the Grambling City Council, and he has been chairman of the board of directors of the Shreveport Federal Credit Union.

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

 

 

November 20, 2013

Popular Rapper Wale Donates $5,000 to GSU

The Washington, D.C. performer promised a contribution during homecoming earlier this month

By TIERRA SMITH
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Popular rapper from Washington D.C., Wale, provies financial assistance to GSU in the amount of $5,000.

Popular rapper from Washington D.C., Wale, provies
financial assistance to GSU in the amount of $5,000.

GRAMBLING, La. – Well-known rapper officially donated $5,000 to Grambling State University on Tuesday.

Wale, a musician from Washington, D.C., pledged to help the university’s football team with new uniforms and equipment during a Nov. 7 homecoming concert. In the midst of his crowd-pleasing performance, he announced to students and fans he wanted to help the historically black university.

 "I heard about the Wale pledge after the homecoming concert, and I heard that our students went wild when they heard that such a popular rapper was willing to help our university,” said Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue. “We’re grateful to Wale that he made such a wonderful pledge and we’re excited that he made good on his pledge with a $5,000 donation. It will be put to good use."

The donation did not come with a specific designation, so Grambling State’s administration will contact Wale and his management to determine, in writing, whether he wants to direct the money for a specific purpose.  “We want to make sure that every donation goes to the place the donor designates,” said Debra Johnson, interim associate vice president for institutional advancement and director of alumni affairs.

Wale’s donation comes after the football team received national media attention for refusing to attend practices and forfeiting the Jackson State University football game during JSU’s homecoming weekend.

The team argued that athletic facilities were inadequate and pushed for the return of their head football coach, Doug Williams, who was released on Sept. 11. Grambling’s football has hit lowest point in school history, going 2-20 last year and this season.

Johnson said Wale is the first celebrity to donate money to Grambling in many years.  The athletic department did receive 384 cases of Muscle Milk since the football team’s strike and the university is still accounting for a number of other donations. Wale sings “Bad,” “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “Ambition,” three of his popular recordings.

Some Grambling State students and athletes are excited for the donation and hope more people get involved.

“I would like to thank Wale on behalf of the students at Grambling State University,” said Jordan Harvey, the GSU student government association president. “Wale’s contribution speaks volumes about the character he possesses and the support he has for HBCUs and higher education.”

Naquan Smith, a graduate student who plays strong safety on the football team, said he was not aware of the Wale donation until contacted Tuesday night but he appreciates Wale’s offering to help the university, and specifically the football team.

"Wale can be a good example for other celebrities and other young people,” added Pogue. “Giving back includes financial giving."

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

 

 

GSU Presents Exhibition Entitled “Don’t Quote Me”

California artist uses legible, illegible approaches with figurative images

GRAMBLING, La. – A Grambling State University digital arts major is hosting an exhibition in the university’s Dunbar Gallery, located on Hutchinson Street on campus through Nov. 22.

DeJanee’ Mitchell grew up in Camarillo, Calif., pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in digital art. Her style is conceptual, using a lot of text — some legible, some illegible — along with figurative images. “My purpose for creating these pieces is so that no one should have to feel so alone in their emotions,” said the artist. “Too often people feel like they are the only person who feels this way or has been through a certain situation.”

The public is invited to attend a Nov. 21 reception for the artist from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Dunbar Gallery.

Gallery hours are from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. – 12 noon on Friday. Accommodations are available for large groups and people with special needs. This exhibition is sponsored in part by GSU’s “Friends of the Arts.”

For more information about the exhibition, call Donna McGee at 318-274-2274 or e-mail her at mcgeed@gram.edu.

Click here for PDF

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

 

 

November 14, 2013

University Appeals SWAC Decision

Athletic Director Aaron James: ‘We disagree, ruling is excessive’

GRAMBLING, La. – In response to a ruling by the Southwestern Athletic Conference on Wednesday, Grambling State University Athletic Director Aaron James said the conference ruling was expected but is excessive.

“This isn’t a surprise at all. We’ve been working with our conference and our friends at Jackson State so we knew this was coming. It’s been a friendly and business-like series of conversations and exchanges and while we appreciate the desire and the intent, we disagree with this action and we have appealed.

“We notified the SWAC office today, filing an official appeal, making it quite clear why we think the fine and game decisions are excessive,” James added. The university provided the conference office with a seven-page letter of appeal specifically outlining the university’s concerns about the decisions, which include a $50,000 fine and requiring Grambling State to visit Jackson State University to play football games in each of the next three years. James said the university’s decision to appeal was made in consultation with the university attorney.

“Neither our president nor I have done anything to abdicate our responsibilities and our commitments and there are no grounds for such rulings,” said James. “We support the rights of our students to voice their opinions, but the university was not responsible our inability to field a team to travel to Mississippi. Their actions pale in comparison to the overwhelming severe penalties imposed by the conference.”

“If allowed to stand, the conference ruling would mean that Grambling State University would have to pay as much as $305,000 once the $50,000 fine and travel costs at about $41,000 per trip to Jackson and related expenses are included. That’s completely unacceptable.”

The university and the football team  are preparing for its next and final football game against Southern University at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, Nov. 30. For more information, see www.mybayouclassic.com.

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

 

 

November 5, 2013

Saluting Coach Rob, 1983 Players Unite

By TIERRA SMITH
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling, LA - Five players from the 1983 Grambling State University football team that played in Robinson Stadium as it opened 30 years ago returning to their alma mater as the stadium was officially renamed the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.

“It’s great day for Grambling,” said Robert “Big Bird” Smith, a defensive end from Bogalusa,  La., who played for Robinson’s  ‘83 team. 

Robinson, the late legendary GSU football coach that won 408 games was named the most winningest coach for the NCAA Division I universities, coached dozens of players to professional football careers and success in life, including former NFL greats Willie Brown, Buck Buchanan, Willie Davis, Charlie Joiner and Doug Williams, who won the NFL Super Bowl when he quarterbacked the Washington Redskins to success over the Denver Broncos.

“(He) got it all started for Grambling,” said Aaron James, Grambling State’s  athletic director.

More than 30 years ago, a lake was drained to build a stadium on campus. Under state policies, the stadium could not be named after someone living, so it was named Robinson Stadium. Robinson died April 3, 2007, and six years later he received  the full name recognition more than 400 people attending the event think he deserved long ago.

Smith and his teammates played their first game on Sept. 3, 1983 against Alcorn State University. They G-Men won 28-0.

“I would have had the first interception in this stadium, but it was called back for roughing the passer,” said Edward “Eddie” Scott, a New Orleans native who played three years under the late Eddie G. Robinson. “I started the first game here in this stadium and I started the last game in the old stadium.”

Smith and Scott were teammates and also played professionally. Scott played United States Football League for the Louisiana Express in 1984-19985 and for the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL in 1987.  Smith played from the USLA’s Arizona Outlaws and the NFL’s Cowboys and Vikings.

Smith did not plan to speak at Saturday’s pre-game event, but, to surprise his two Grambling State student daughters — Joiyia and Chelsea Smith – he did.

The large crowd roared approval when Smith ended his remarks outside of Gate 2:  “Everyone needs to remember these words: W e are Grambling.”

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

 

 

 

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