June 26, 2014

Grambling State Presidential Transition Underway

Outgoing GSU President Frank G. Pogue helps provide smooth transition for incoming interim president Cynthia Warrick, who assumes university leadership Tuesday

Outgoing  President Frank G. Pogue shakes hands with incoming Interim President Cynthia Warrick as the university makes the transition to new leadership.
Outgoing President Frank G. Pogue shakes hands with incoming
Interim President Cynthia Warrick as the university makes
the transition to new leadership.

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue announced his decision to retire June 30 a few weeks ago but not without a plan to provide a smooth transition. That process is taking place this week as incoming interim president Cynthia Warrick splits her time between Grambling State and Baton Rouge as she prepares to start her tenure.

“It was important to me, and this fine institution, that we do something that isn’t done as often as it should happen,” said Pogue, who heads to his retirement home in Delaware soon. “It is rare in higher education that one president welcomes another, for a variety of reasons, but when it can happen it provides a wonderful opportunity for the incoming leader to hear some things directly from the outgoing president, face to face and eye to eye.”

“I decided I wanted to do that for whoever Grambling State University’s next leader would be, even before I knew it would be Dr. Warrick,” added Pogue. “But I’m glad I’ve had time to meet and dine with Dr. Warrick, and her husband, and to set up some key administration, faculty and staff meetings before she gets started and really digs in.”

Warrick, a pharmacist with extensive academic and research experience, is becoming GSU’s chief executive officer from her role as senior fellow at the Center for Minority Health Services Research at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is scheduled to be confirmed as Grambling State’s interim president by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors at its Friday (June 27) meeting.

In advance of that action and her July 1 start, Pogue provided Warrick with several opportunities to talk with and hear from various university groups and teams, including finance and administration, athletics, academic affairs, music, student affairs, institutional planning and as well as students.

“It was a nice opportunity to see many of the people with whom I will be working,” said Warrick. “I enjoyed meeting administrators, faculty and staff, especially students who are our reason for existence.”

Pogue and first lady Dorothy Pogue dined with Warrick and her husband, Jan Jasper, in the presidential dining hall Tuesday night, a quiet, quaint opportunity to more casually discuss life at Grambling State University. The Pogues are moving out of Johnson Place, the president’s home, and Warrick and  her husband are moving in.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Warrick has served as interim president at South Carolina State University; dean and chief research officer and professor of pharmacy at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina; associate professor and director of environmental & occupational health at Florida A&M University and assistant professor in the Division of Management, Policy & Community Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.

Warrick earned a doctoral degree in environmental science and public policy at George Mason University, a master’s degree in public policy from Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Howard University.

Interim President Cynthia Warrick poses with GSU students and family members as she prepares to lead the university.
Interim President Cynthia Warrick poses with GSU students and family members as she prepares to lead the university.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
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GSU Endowed Chair of Mathematics Dies at 87

A valued teacher, mentor, producer of black mathematicians leaves Grambling State University community saddened

The GSU family morns the loss of Dr. Abdulalim A. Shabazz, a distinguished professor of mathematics and endowed chair with a national reputation.
The GSU family morns the loss of Dr. Abdulalim A.
Shabazz, a distinguished professor of mathematics
and endowed chair with a national reputation.

By DEON JONES
Grambling State University Media Bureau

GRAMBLING, La. – Abdulalim A. Shabazz, a distinguished professor at Grambling State University with a national reputation, has died. He had been hospitalized at Northern Louisiana Medical Center less than two weeks ago.

“I’ve known Dr. Shabazz for many years,” said Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue. “He represented the kind of excellence Grambling is known for, and for the university it means a great deal that he was with us.”

Pogue met Shabazz when Pogue was a graduate student at Atlanta University. He said his roommate, a math student, “idolized” Shabazz.

Connie Walton, GSU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, said it was 2005 when the university hired Shabazz as a consultant to help the faculty restructure the mathematics courses, eventually increasing a standing student pass rate to above 80 percent. She said he challenged faculty and students to aim higher.

“Dr. Shabazz always said it is important for African American students to see African American teachers with a Ph.D. in mathematics,” said Walton.

Pogue recently visited Shabazz in the hospital. Shabazz passed away on Wednesday (June 25).

After his consulting work at GSU, Shabazz formally joined the Gramblinite family in 2007 as an endowed chair for mathematics. He was the first to hold this position at Grambling State University. His career included time at Clark Atlanta University and Lincoln University, among other higher education institutions. Walton said he is widely credited with training nearly half of all African Americans who have earned doctorate degrees in mathematics in the United States.

President Bill Clinton awarded Shabazz with a national mentor award in September 2000 for   excellence in science, mathematics and engineering mentoring in 2000. He also received the National Association of Mathematicians Distinguished Service Award for his years of mentoring and teaching excellence. 

Walton said Shabazz was a great example of a master teacher, being active in the campus and wider communities, representing the university at national and international events and regularly mentoring junior faculty and students.

Rod Seals, a GSU graduate student, was one of Shabazz’s recent students.  “I met him the semester before last. Everybody was telling me go talk to Dr. Shabazz, that he was a good guy, very reserved man with knowledge, brilliant, a humble man,” said Seals, 39, of Homer, Louisiana. “He always wanted to know how I was doing, and more about me. … He was very kind and I’m very thankful for it.”

“Dr. Shabazz mentored and guided me through two math graduate courses,” added Seals. “He was a man of high integrity and very courageous. He stood up for what he believed in; which in part, was to support the success of each and every student in all aspects of their lives, especially math. … He shared his time and his wisdom with me humbly, and for that I will be forever grateful.”

Shabazz was born to  Lonnie Cross in Bessemer, Alabama, on May 22, 1927 and earned a bachelor’s in mathematics and chemistry from Lincoln University in 1949, a master’s in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951 and a doctorate of in mathematics from Cornell University in 1955.

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318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

June 25, 2014

GSU Gets Funding Approval for Health-Wellness Facility

Using a student assessment fee started in 2011, Grambling State University gets funding approval by the U.S. Department of Education’s HBCU Capital Financing Program

Funding has been approved for renovations to the intramural building and a new natatorium.
Funding has been approved for renovations to
the intramural building and a new natatorium.

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University students will once again have a campus facility where they can work out, attend exercise sessions and swim in a building of their own.

Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue announced that the institution has received final, official approval to renovate a 33,279-square-foot building constructed in 1993 and a natatorium. The existing intramural building continues to be used with limitations because it has not had significant renovations since it was built. The natatorium, however, is unusable with a dry swimming pool, broken windows throughout the facility and what Pogue describes as “a condition that makes a ‘horrible’ sound kind.”

“I found a lot of good things at Grambling State University when I first got here in 2009, but the natatorium was not one of them,” said Pogue. “The place has been an eyesore for years, and students complained about it all the time, and with good reason.

“It has taken a lot of work on the parts of a lot of people to get to this point, but getting all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed and making sure that every single thing was in place financially was what we needed to do to make sure that we could announce something that will truly happen. We can say that this will happen.”

The new facility will include an indoor swimming pool, an aerobics and multipurpose room, an expanded basketball court and a convenience store and juice bar. The Foster-Johnson Health Center will move into the new facility. The $7 million construction is being financed with student assessment fees that started in 2011, meaning the project has a specific funding source.

The university went through an extensive pre-construction and financing process to gain the appropriate approvals. Just last week the university received a project number, authorizing the institution to proceed to the next phase. GSU is working with state of Louisiana’s Facility, Planning and Control to select an architect for the project. A construction timetable, including a proposed opening month or season, will be provided after an architect has been approved and gets to work.

“All of these things go through a state process, and we’ll do everything we need to do to make sure this gets off to a good start and gets done,” said Leon Sanders, vice president for finance and administration, explaining next steps.

Ante’ Britten, associate vice president of finance and administration, has been charged with shepherding the project to this point, working closely with the HBCU Capital Financing Program, which provides low-cost capital to finance improvements to the infrastructure of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Britten thanked the university’s staff, attorneys and system office for assisting the university with an extensive financial process to ensure a successful  effort. “Without a well-coordinated effort, the path toward final approval wouldn’t have been as smooth as it’s been,” he said. “This project will be state-of-the-art and it allows GSU to offer a holistic health and wellness program.”

New Health and Wellness Center Photo Gallery
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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

June 24, 2014

GSU Bids Farewell to President and Mrs. Pogue

Faculty, friends, residents and staff say goodbye to an in-touch, down-to-earth president as he retires to enjoy consulting and family time with his bride of more than 50 years, his daughter and his two grandsons

As June comes to an end, so does the tenure of Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue. Since he announced his intention to retire June 30, Pogue has received calls, emails, handshakes and pats on the back as he continues conducting university business.

As Pogue winds down his time as Chief Gramblinite, Johnson Place, the president’s home for the last few years, is full of packed boxes and boxes being packed. Still, he continues his decades-old routine of waking up about 4:30 a.m., working out on the treadmill, checking emails and eating breakfast prepared by housekeeper Marian Crawford by 7 a.m. After spending some time with GSU’s first lady, Dorothy Pogue, his wife of more than 50 years, he kisses her gently and he is on his way to the office.

A lot of people have greeted him, some for the final time as he has been serenaded with care, concern and love. Being president requires travel, and just recently he has traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent Grambling State University.

The Pogues are leaving a memorable mark as they head into their next era of life.

Deon Jones
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Final Days of President Pogue on GSU Campus Photo Gallery
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Additional Information:

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

 

 

 

 

 

June 20, 2014

GSU President: ‘Bayou Classic Goes On’

Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue says there are no talks about changing the Southern University and Grambling State University matchup

GRAMBLING, La. – The Bayou Classic will be played between Grambling State University and Southern University this fall — and in the future, according to Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue.

The historic football matchup pits the Southern University Jaguars against the Grambling State University Tigers on November 29 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, this time with the winner breaking the tied number of wins at 20-20. During a Wednesday meeting of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District board, concerns were raised about the Bayou Classic, an annual football matchup between two historically black universities and the only HBCU football game aired on national television.

“We know that nearly everyone is passionate about the Bayou Classic, and that includes Grambling State alums as well as people who enjoy the rivalry and all that takes place on and off the field each fall,” said Pogue. “This is a fierce, competitive rivalry in terms of football but it is nothing short of a good, strong marriage between two world-class institutions when it comes to putting on a tremendous week of activities and events on and off the field.”

“There is no discussion to change this historic matchup, and there are no plans to change this annual challenge in any way,” added Pogue.

The president noted that the Bayou Classic matches up well with other HBCU classics in terms of football game attendance and surpasses most other classics when it comes to drawing fans and supporters across the multiple-day event. The Bayou Classic annually draws about 250,000 to the Crescent City the week of Thanksgiving.

The LSED is responsible for the operation of the John A. Alario Sr. Event Center, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans Arena, New Orleans Saints Training Facility, TPC Louisiana, and Zephyr Field. The Bayou Classic is coordinated and marketed by the New Orleans Convention Company, known as NOCCI. Southern University and Grambling State University jointly own, operate and coordinate the Bayou Classic with NOCCI as its event and marketing firm.

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

 

 

 

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