GRAMBLING, LA — On Monday, August 16, Grambling State University welcomed over 750 new freshmen and returning students to campus with a special candle lighting ceremony.
Under the theme, A NEW BEGINNING, the university ushered in the 2010 school year by re-introducing its candle lighting activity, which also included a pinning ceremony.
The candle lighting denoted an academic and personal bonding between the student and the Grambling State University family.
During the pinning ceremony, every Grambling State University student received a university pin to symbolize their inclusion in the Grambling family and as a reminder of their pledge.
Dr. Stacy Duhon, event coordinator and vice president of Student Affairs, said, “These efforts are a small part of our new beginning. We want our students to feel welcomed and appreciated.”
Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue greeted an enthusiastic crowd of faculty, staff, students, alumni, elected officials and community members.
Pogue acknowledged the tough economic challenges facing the university and encouraged students and community members to become a part of the future of Grambling State University by getting involved in the “Choose to Give” campaign. The campaign encourages students and future alumni to become avid supporters of the university.
Other panelist were Dr. Connie Walton, interim vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. Matthew Ware, president of the Faculty Senate; Leon Sanders, interim vice president for Finance and Administration; Dr. Paul Bryant, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Retention Services; Dr. Kenoye Eke, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement; Lamark Hughes, president of the Student Government Association; Clifton Lemelle, president of the Grambling University National Alumni Association; Dr. Mildred Gallot, member of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors; Martha Andrus, mayor of the City of Grambling; and Hazel Hunter, Lincoln Parish Police Juror. Each official made a separate pledge and commitment to new and returning students.
Students pledged that, “As a member of the Grambling State University family, I commit myself to these challenges and ideals. I will work to build a prosperous future and establish positive relationships that will foster academic and personal excellence. I am committed to the ideals of civility: fairness, tolerance, collegiality and civic responsibility.”
The event ended with a luau to celebrate a new beginning at Grambling State University.