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

 Click here for PDF.

# # #

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



Former GSU Football Standout on the NFL Pro Bowl Ballot

Fans can vote for Jason Hatcher into the 2013 Pro Bowl.

GRAMBLING, LA – Former Grambling State University football standout, Jason Hatcher, is on the list of potential players that could make the National Football League (NFL) Pro-Bowl.

Hatcher, who is currently in his seventh year in the NFL, is seventh in tackles among all defensive tackles in the National Football Conference (NFC); and he is on the ballot this season with 33 tackles going into this weekend.  For his career, Hatcher has 146 tackles, 15 sacks, four fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles.                                       

The Jena, Louisiana, native was a standout Defensive Lineman for the Grambling State University Tigers from 2002 – 2006; and he recorded an astounding 111 tackles and 19 sacks during his collegiate career.  Hatcher entered the 2006 NFL draft and was selected with the 28th pick in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys. 

To vote, go to , then click on the Defensive Tackle category and cast your vote for Jason Hatcher.  The Pro Bowl will take place Sunday, January 27th at Aloha Stadium, in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Click here for PDF.


Media Contact:
Grambling State University Sports Information
Contact: Santoria Black – Director
Phone:   318.274.6562
Will Sutton



December 11, 2012

Grambling’s SACS Accreditation Warning Lifted

Pogue says he’s ‘not surprised’, praises finance team’s work

President Pogue Speaks to Finance Team.GRAMBLING, LA – Coming a short time after Grambling State University received a clean audit by the state of Louisiana, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has lifted a six-month warning placed on the institution in late June.

The university was officially notified on Monday night. A formal announcement is expected today. An official letter to the university will follow.

Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue said he was not surprised that the warning was lifted because the university has done all it was supposed to do to restore financial integrity and it was only a matter of time for the state audit and the regional accrediting body to go through due diligence to find out what he already knew. Pogue predicted in June that the warning would be taken off the table, at the time calling the process a set of “administrative procedural issues.”

“As said in the summer when SACS placed our university on warning, I was perplexed because we had done and we were doing what needed to be done,” said Pogue, who received telephone notification while attending an annual SACS conference in Dallas. “Now I’m not surprised because I don’t think there were any other options since our own state authority found no findings, no cause, no reason for us to follow-up on anything. There’s nothing left to do but to keep up the good work.”

"Today’s decision by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges affirms the health of Grambling State University,”  said Louisiana System Interim President Tom Layzell.
“President Frank Pogue and his staff are to be commended for producing clean audits and establishing stronger financial controls.  The future is bright for the University of Louisiana System’s historically black university."

Earlier this year, the institution had its accreditation extended while asking the university to put in place stronger financial controls, especially movable property. Pogue noted that the university had put in place a number of financial safeguards, measures that have been in place for about 2.5 years.

The turnaround was lead by Leon Sanders, the university’s vice president for finance and administration, and a core team of his finance office. “We found weaknesses and we repaired those things immediately,” added Sanders. He said the $1.6 million that legislative auditors reported as lost or missing property was reduced to below $700,000 by mid-summer and the amount continues to be reduced.

"The findings identified in our prior management letter relating to unlocated movable property and tax penalties and interest have been substantially resolved by management,” reads the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office report, issued November 7 and released on November 12. “We did not identify any new findings of weaknesses in internal controls or noncompliance with laws in the current year."

Pogue and Sanders worked with the entire university finance team to earn the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office designation as having a clean, effective and efficient annual audit for the period ending June 30, 2012. It is the first time in recent memory that the 111-year-old university has not had any public findings with a state audit. Sanders and a core finance team lead the effort, including Moroline Washington, director of grants administration; Johnnie Faye Williams, director of property and receiving; Eric Turner, payroll manager and Raymond Abraham, a controller with more than 25 years of experience in the state auditor’s office in Baton Rouge. In addition, university staff was trained on new fiscal policies and procedures for expense reporting, payroll management and moveable property.

In June 2011, after a state legislative audit found financial control concerns, Pogue said “It took many years to get into some of the irregularities the university is experiencing and, as to be expected, it will take more than one or two years to turn things around. …This being said, while to some it may appear that auditors are adversaries, this administration embraces audits and views auditors as allies who identify potential risks to the university so that corrective action(s) can take place.” At that time, the president said he and his team would continue to “identify and eradicate risks to our financial security.”

Grambling State University is fully accredited by SACS, and 100 percent of the university’s degree programs that are required to be accredited by the University of Louisiana System are accredited by various degree-specific accrediting bodies.


Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue may be available for a telephone interview at 12 noon today. Please make interview requests in advance with name, affiliation, email address, telephone number to call and any special questions or requests by emailing AND, and copy  Pogue is attending the 2012 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges annual meeting at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, which ends today. Some television stations may be interested in coordinating with partner or sister television stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth market to do a live or taped interview since the president will not return to campus until late Wednesday. Please coordinate interview requests with Sutton at the university communications office.

GSU Finance-Accounting Department.
Pictured in the photo from left to right:    Eric Turner, Johnnie Faye Williams, Moroline Washington, Raymond Abraham, and Leon Sanders.

GSU Finance Division.
Grambling State University Finance Division.

Click here for PDF.

# # #

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



December 10, 2012

Annual Grambling Christmas Reception

By Justin Madden
Grambling State University Media Bureau

President Frnk G. and Mrs. Dorothy Pogue at the 2012 Christmas receptionChristmas is more than 20 days away, but late Thursday afternoon seemed like Christmas for a bit, absent young children and the opening of gifts.

The Christmas spirit flooded Grambling State University’s Black and Gold room and atrium as Frank G. and Dorothy Pogue, the university president and first lady, greeted and entertained students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. The rooms were filled with the sound of jazz on a stage lined with live  poinsettias and a large, brightly-lit Christmas tree stood front and center.

Invited by University President Frank G. Pogue and First Lady Dorothy Pogue, the Christmas reception featured music from the university’s music program as well as an ensemble of faculty and staff members.

In recent memory, university presidents have held a Christmas celebrations, but this one had special meaning for some as the institution starts to wrap up the first half of a challenging fiscal season. The university was blessed with its first “clean” state legislative audit recently but state funds have fallen dramatically.

“It’s not just a party. It’s a coming together at the special time of the season,” said Pogue. “We still spell Christmas, C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s, and it really means something to a community like Grambling. It means love, peace, harmony, respect and supporting each other.”

“It is really great to see the campus come together,” added Mrs. Pogue, standing by her husband at times and spending other times exchanging seasons’ greeting with campus constituents. “It really is a joyous experience.”

Supporting each other was exactly what the Grambling community did during the event as a newly-organized Holiday Ensemble wowed the more than 200 guests with Christmas carols such has “Joy to the World” and “This Christmas” along with some Baptist church seasonal favorites. The group dressed in holiday reds, greens and golds must have thought they were in a sold-out music hall the way they performed, and onlookers reciprocated with the stomping of their feet, shouting, clapping and occasionally joining in with the singing.

The Pogues enjoy bringing the  campus groups together each Christmas season, in part because different people face different circumstances. That’s the case with Lee Britt, who this past year lost his brother and his mother-in-law. Britt said the Christmas reception was emotional medicine.

“Seeing people and friends that I know is therapeutic for me,” said Lee, an assistant physics professor. “As I look around I see a lot of people enjoying themselves and getting involved. Interacting with people is good, especially during Christmas time.”

Jeannette Amos echoed the same sentiments, saying the event’s greatest moments are when individuals stop and chat with others they may not see often.

“You get a chance to interact with people in the community and you get a chance to converse with your fellow co-workers outside of the office,” said Amos, an administrative coordinator for university police traffic. “It’s a nice holiday gathering.”

Courtney Heard enjoyed the chance to mingle with the president, first lady and university leaders.“It’s only a couple of times out of the year that we get a chance to see faculty, staff and students together,” said Heard, a senior political science major. “To me this means unity.”

As a first-time attendee of the Christmas reception, freshman Justin Owens said he was glad he attended. “This is a great holiday for Grambling, because this is a loving holiday and a giving holiday,” said Owens, 21. “I’m loving the choir, it was really and it’s good seeing everyone enjoying themselves. “

GSU Faculty/Staff Carolers at the 2012 Christmas reception


Additional Information:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



December 7, 2012

University Announces MLK Event, Leadership Awards

Second Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Leadership Awards Luncheon will be held Feb. 5; leaders can be nominated for recognition

Grambling, LA - Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue will host the university’s second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award Luncheon on February 5, 2013, at 11 a.m. in the Black and Gold Room of Favrot Student Union. The president has announced that he and a MLK Leadership Awards committee will be accepting nominations for the leadership awards until 5 p.m. Jan. 7.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes and honors people who, through their service to Grambling State University, the state, region and country, exemplify King’s character, leadership and selflessness. At least two people will be honored at the luncheon based on nominations in several categories.

Each nominee must have been personally or corporately involved in making tangible, visible, and meaningful contributions to the advancement of race relations, and/or human rights causes in one or more of the following areas: Arts, Business, Education, Justice, Political, Religion, Science and Technology. The awards are presented annually, and the number of awardees to be recognized and categories will be determined by the MLK Awards Committee, with approval from the President.

Nominations will be accepted from university students, faculty, staff and alumni. All nominations must be verified with person making nomination. Those making nominations are responsible for providing all required information, including a photograph. All nominations must be submitted according to established guidelines.

A limited number of tickets to the luncheon are available at $10 per person and may be purchased by contacting Shirley Clay or Rose Wright in the Office of Institutional Advancement, 100 Robinson Street, on the Grambling campus, across from the Army ROTC Building. Or, call 318-274-2217 or email or

Watch for more information.

Click here for PDF.

# # #

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress