November 6, 2012

Grambling High School Day 2012 was a success

By Collin B. Jno-Finn and Ebony Myers
Grambling State University Media Bureau

With ear-deafening chants of GS-GS-Uuuu and several colorful display about the school’s academics, Grambling State University hosted its annual High School Day as host to nearly 2000 high school students from as far away as Tennessee.

The Saturday event is one of the university’s primary recruiting efforts, and it seemed to be working.  “I am really considering it and the whole tour is convincing me to attend GSU,” said Niambi Simbley, a high school senior whose mother graduated from Grambling.

High school senior Jakyra Williams travelled from Bastrop to take a look at Grambling, though he has been considering a much bigger university in Baton Rouge. “I was looking at LSU, but I don’t think I want to go,” said Williams, who plans to study nursing. “I have wanted to come to Grambling since I was little.”

Simbley and Williams said the information provided was valuable, and combining the academic and social aspects such as student organizations such as fraternities and sororities was helpful and made things interesting. A deejay spun some of the latest, youthful tunes, bringing students to their feet, dancing, singing along and enjoying fashion modeling as well as Greek stepping moves at the Hodby Assembly Center.

“We showcase what Grambling State University has to offer, both from the academic affairs as well as student life,” said Connie Walton, provost and vice president for academic affairs. Walton said though she does not have statistics about how many Grambling State students choose her institution as a result of High School Day events, several high schoolers continue to show a great interest in the university after attending the event and some past participants are students now.

The students’ day started about 7 a.m. and continued through the Grambling State-Jackson State University football game. Registered students were treated to black and gold Grambling teeshirts, boom sticks and plenty of information about career and degree choices.

While some students were scouting GSU, others decided before visiting that Grambling State was their university of choice.  West Monroe High School student Ian Robinson said he knows he’s going to Grambling so his focus was on learning more about the computer information sciences program. “I plan on attending GSU because I have always wanted to attend an HBCU and I have family — at least five family members, including a grandmother — who have attended Grambling State University,” said Robinson, who added that it is easy to get around the campus.

Shellie McIntyre brought 26 high schoolers with her from a Talent Search program in Magnolia, Ark. She said the program works with students who have GPAs of 2.5 or above to motivate them to attend college, so the event is a good opportunity.  “We work with low income students … and so a lot of them find it difficult to travel far off to attend an university, so GSU is an ideal university,” she said.

Several student organizations and groups worked to showcase the best of GSU. Dexter Tardy, president of the university’s Favrot Student Union Board, said his group work diligently to ensure that all tours and other hospitality aspects were thoroughly planned and executed. “This year’s High School Day is a success,” he declared. “Students came out early and that’s a plus, and High School Day as a whole is always a great way to recruit.”

Albert Tezeno, associate vice president for enrollment management and director of financial aid, said High School Day is an opportunity to promote early application.  “We are pushing early awareness to apply for financial aid, and for parents to go ahead and file their taxes because the sooner the better” for college financial aid options, he said.  Tezeno said students were provided information about how much it costs to attend as well as funding options.

Grambling Vice President for Student Affairs Stacey Duhon said last year’s High School Day attracted about 1,00 students and this year’s event brought more than 1,500 participants and some same-day registrations may push that number closer to 2,000. She said Grambling State is working to increase the number of high school visitors in part by finding sponsors to reduce the cost of registration, $35 per person.

Several fraternities and sororities participated. “I am glad we were extended the invitation to come out and spread awareness of our sorority,” said Cietra Stroughter, secretary of the university’s Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority chapter. “It gives students the chance to see other aspects of the college life.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fratnerity, Alpha Kappa Alphas Sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Delta Sigma Theta also participated. Valencia Chaffold, president of the Delta chapter on campus, said
Greek participation allows the fraternities and sororities like hers to meet possible members before they attend college while helping “spread the awareness of academic excellence.”


Additional Coverage:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



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