Mayors, faculty, students, others honor GSU founder connecting with each other
By AZANIA BRIGGS
Grambling State University Media Bureau
Grambling, LA – Grambling Mayor Edward Jones thinks he’s attended nearly all of the Grambling State University Founder’s Week community breakfasts. Jasmine Hill attended her first.
The annual Founder’s Week Fellowship Breakfast was held in the Black and Gold Room at the Favrot Student Union on Monday morning. The large room with black and gold tile was filled with 25 tables which were dressed with large, white tablecloths. Attendees feasted on pancakes, grits, eggs, biscuits, sausage, Canadian ham, fruit salad and potatoes, all served on faux porcelain plates.
“I’ve been here practically every year,” said Jones, a former teacher who worked at GSU for 25 years. “This function mainly gives the university and the city the opportunity to come together, join forces and create a better environment for not only the city, but for the university as well.”
Hill, a senior accounting major from Duarte, Calif., attended the breakfast because her supervisor gave her a ticket, and she was glad to have the experience. “The breakfast is a great way for people to fellowship and start off founder’s week,” said Hill.
The annual breakfast was coordinated by Janis Bluford, senior assistant to the president, and Pauline Lee, a retired dean of library services. “We started Founder’s Week in 1979 which means we’ve had a breakfast, but not at this level of participation,” said Lee. “The participation has grown every year that we’ve had the breakfast and it’s the fellowship and the spirit of the people that make it what it is today.”
Attendees were served breakfast by representatives from the Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Hill Baptist Association ministers, Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue’s executive council, university faculty representatives, athletics department officials, Lincoln Parish police and Sheriff’s Department officials and Lincoln Parish School Board members.
“The most important part of the community breakfast is the community,” said Pogue, just before serving a spoonful of scrambled eggs to Jones. “It is so wonderful to see familiar faces coming together — elected officials, faculty, staff, alumni, students — all supporting Grambling State University and recognizing the importance of the founder of this institution.”
Grambling State University was founded by the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association on Nov. 1, 1901 as the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School. The university’s first president and founder was Charles P. Adams, who served from 1901 until 1936.
As Athletic Director Aaron James called their names, the breakfast servers lathered on hand sanitizer and put on aprons and gloves before taking their respective places to serve others. Some ate before serving. Others ate after. James offered the opportunity for seconds, too.
“The president of the school board invited us to attend and I think it’s an honor that we were asked to come and be part of GSU’s Founder’s Day,” said Danny Hancock, a Lincoln Parish School Board member who attended the breakfast for the first time. “It’s a wonderful thing.”
“The best thing about the breakfast is that we get to see people who really care about Grambling come together,” said Eddie Allen, president of the Inter-denominational Alliance of Ministers, Inc. in Grambling.
“It is always important that Grambling continues its long tradition of connecting with the local community,” said state Rep. Patrick O. Jefferson, 44. “This breakfast is something that is looked forward to by so many individuals and I think it helps to keep the connection.”
“I’ve been coming for a number of years and I think that it is an outstanding opportunity as it related to Founder’s week for Grambling State University,” said Jamie Mayo, mayor of Monroe. “Two of my children graduated from GSU and I feel very much a part of the family and I look forward to this time of the year. I love Grambling State University and I want to support it in every way that I can.”
# # #