December 12, 2012

Grambling State Graduates First Marine Officer in at Least 30 Years

Son of two university faculty-staff members was determined to succeed

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University will graduate and commission a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps at the university’s Friday morning commencement. The Corps believes Officer Candidate Olaolu Ogunyemi is the first Marine officer receiving a commission at Grambling State in more than 30 years.

According to the U.S. Marine Corps, the last Grambling State University graduate to be commissioned in the Corps was Dave Beasley Jr., a 1971 graduate who was commissioned at Quantico, Va., in March 1973.

Today, Beasley, a Shreveport native who was a mathematics major, is a retired lieutenant colonel. “We’re proud of Officer Ogunyemi and we’re excited that Grambling State University has produced such a fine young man, said Beasley. I don’t know of another young person who has followed my steps and done what he’s done.”

"Mr. Ogunyemi is an exceptional young man, who has physically, mentally and as a leader, earned this commission. This is a special day for Grambling State, the Ogunyemi family and I am confident he will be an outstanding officer and leader of Marines." said Major Jonathan Hamilton, commanding officer of the recruiting station in Baton Rouge. “This is a historic moment for the university.”

Major Gen. Ronald Bailey, commanding general of First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif., will render the oath of office to Ogunyemi after he receives his degree on stage at the 10 a.m. program in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Connie Walton, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said “Ogunyemi is a fine young man. He is to be commended for his hard work and dedication that has led to his completion of the Bachelor’s degree in computer information science and completion of officer candidate school.”

Grambling does not have a Marine Corps ROTC program, so Ogunyemi did his own research, talked with a recruiter, determined what he needed to do to be considered for officer training and followed up.

After his graduation and commissioning, Ogunyemi, a graduate of Simsboro High school in Simsboro, La., will report to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Va., where he will learn the art and science of Marine officer military tactics and planning processes prior to his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) School.

Ogunyemi is the son of two Grambling State University family members, Arnita Ogunyemi, director of institutional research, and Olatunde Ogunyemi, acting department head of educational leadership. His academic advisor is Gary Poe, in the university’s College of Business, where the dean is Carl Wright.

The Marine Corps Recruiting Command has had a strong commitment to the annual Bayou Classic featuring Grambling State University and Southern University.

Ogunyemi, his parents, his academic advisor and his dean may be available for interviews on Wednesday or Thursday. Please make interview requests in advance with name, affiliation, email address, telephone number to call and any special questions or requests by emailing U.S. Marine Corps Captain Adesina Aladetohun of the United States Marine Corps Officer Selection Station in Baton Rouge can be reached at 225-928-4705 or 225-806-5162. Or, email the captain at

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



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