October 23, 2012

Grambling Names Campus, Buildings in Honor of Historic Contributors

The University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors approves requests to name west campus, president’s home and KGRM annex building

GRAMBLING, LA -Grambling State University received approval from the University of Louisiana System (ULS) Board of Supervisors to name its recently acquired Grambling State University West Campus Annex as “Grambling State University West Campus: R.W.E. Jones Annex” in honor of the institution’s longest serving president. The changes were approved by the system board earlier today.

President Ralph Waldo Emerson  JonesPresident Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones, often affectionately called “Prez,” was Grambling State’s second president from 1936 until 1977 – and that was after working 10 years as a math professor, band director, baseball coach and dean of men. “His legacy is one of honor and respect among Grambling alumni and students and all who came in contact with him,” said Frank G. Pogue, Grambling’s president. “He led this university during a time of scarce resources and built a strong foundation on which we continue to build our academics today.”

Lula  Young JohnsonIn addition to naming the 157-acre west campus after Jones, the ULS Board approved the university’s request to name the president’s home “Johnson Place,” in honor of the late Lula Young Johnson, a Grambling alum and the wife of the university’s third president, Joseph B. Johnson. The Johnsons were the first residents in the 4,940-square-foot home, built in 1984. The Johnsons served the university as president and first lady from 1977 until 1991. During her time as first lady, she did double duty, also working as a counselor at the Alma J. Brown Elementary School on campus.

Dr. Allen WilliamsThe ULS Board also approved the university’s request to name the building attached to the Washington-Johnson complex, which houses KGRM-FM (91.5), the “Allen Williams Annex” in honor of the late Allen Williams, former chair of the Department of Speech and Theatre at Grambling State. Before Williams retired in 2004, he built a stellar academic record, and one of his most notable achievements was adding a student-run radio station that provides hands-on learning experiences while area listeners enjoy a variety of music and other programming. “Dr. Williams’ determination and perseverance were key to making this happen, and his broadcasting legacy continues today,” added Pogue. “Having the annex housing the radio station named the Allen Williams Annex is a befitting tribute to the legacy of Dr. Allen Williams.”

The university will have naming ceremonies in the coming months. Campus and community members will be invited.

Coach Eddie G. RobinsonIn addition, Pogue said he is happy to announce that the university will add the full name of Eddie G. Robinson to the university’s football stadium, making it the “Eddie G. Robinson Stadium,” recognizing the winningest football coach in Division I history.  Edward Gay Robinson coached Grambling State’s football team for 57 years, from 1941 until 1997.  He died in 2007 at 88 years old.  The Robinson Stadium opened in 1983. Board action was not necessary for this change.

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Will Sutton
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