January 25, 2013

Tigers Release 2013 Football Schedule

GRAMBLING, LA – The Grambling State University Football Team will have four games and a trip to Kansas City as a part of the 2013 schedule.

This year, the Tigers will begin the 2013 season at home welcoming Alabama A&M University. Game time for the home opener is at 6 p.m. Following the home opener, the Tigers will hit the road.

September will be a busy month for the G-men as they will be on the road for three consecutive weeks before returning to Robinson Stadium. The month will begin on September 7th at 6 p.m. with the Tigers taking a short drive on I-20 to Monroe. They will take on the University of Louisiana at Monroe in Warhawk Stadium at Malone Stadium. Grambling will take their longest trip of the season on September 14th when they will travel to take on Lincoln University at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The G-Men will step back into conference action on September 21st and play their final game of the three-game road swing against Alabama State in Montgomery. Rounding out the month, the Tigers will return home to the confines of Robinson Stadium as they face Lamar University on September 28th at 6 p.m.

October will start off at a familiar destination for Tiger fans as the G-Men will face Prairie View A&M in the State Fair Classic in Dallas on October 5th at 6 p.m. Grambling will travel to Lorman, Mississippi, on October 12th to take on the Braves of Alcorn State University. The Tigers will travel back to the Magnolia State on October 19th to face Jackson State University.

Following another long road trip, the Tigers will have two consecutive games in Grambling. High School Day will be observed on October 26th at 2 p.m. against Texas Southern, and Homecoming will be celebrated on November 2nd against Mississippi Valley. The Tigers will travel to face the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on November 9th, and the regular season will conclude on November 30th when Grambling and Southern will play in the Bayou Classic.
For more information on the 2013 football season, please contact the GSU ticket office at 318-274-2625.

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Media Contact:
Grambling State University Sports Information
Contact: Santoria Black – Director
Phone: 318.274.6562
E-Mail: blacks@gram.edu
Will Sutton



January 23, 2013

UPDATE: GSU’s Marching Band, Students Return from Inauguration at 11 a.m.

UPDATE (10:46am): KSLA-TV from Shreveport and KNOE-TV from West Monroe are on campus. They’ll be heading to the student union for the arrival of the spectator buses in about 20 minutes. They are rolling beyond West Monroe now. Please get the word out. Please help get a few folks to the union to welcome them back, with shakers, banners, black and gold.

Original Posting (9:30am)We have been informed a few minutes ago that our World Famed Tiger Marching Band will return to campus about 10 a.m., arriving at the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Building near the Eddie G. Robinson Football Stadium. Band director Larry Pannell, assistant band directors and some band members will be available to talk about the educational experiences of participating in a presidential inauguration parade which was broadcast internationally and about a Sunday night appearance on CNN with anchors Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer.

Two Grambling State University spectator buses with students, faculty and staff will return to campus a short while later, about 10:15 a.m. at the Favrot Student Union.

Please call ASAP if you’re interested in covering this story.


Additional Coverage:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



January 18, 2013

Tiger Marching Band to Play Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C.

By Justin Madden
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling State University’s World Famed Tiger Marching Band and students, faculty and staff are busy preparing for the 57th U.S. presidential inauguration as “goodwill ambassadors.”

“We are ambassadors for the state of Louisiana, Grambling State University, the town of Grambling and all the other HBCUs,” said Larry Pannell, who is leading the band for a third presidential inauguration parade since he became band director. ““It feels good the second time around.”

Grambling State’s band played during President Obama’s first inauguration parade in January 2009, and the band is the only Historically Black College and University participating this time. The band is only one of two marching bands returning for a second Obama inauguration; the other is the president’s Hawaii high school.

“It felt extremely good the first time to have a president of color and you’re asked to perform,” added Pannell, who’s a GSU graduate, “but the second time around is even better now that you’re the only HBCU.”

The 200 band members, two drum majors and band faculty and staff won’t be the only ones representing Grambling State University.  The band is busy practicing getting ready to pack four, 55-passenger buses and an equipment truck for the 20-hour drive from Grambling to Williamsburg, Va., where they will stay because they couldn’t get accommodations any closer once they got the good news about the parade in late December.

With a waiting list of nearly 50 students, joining the band will be more than 100 university students, faculty and staff in two more, 55-passenger buses, costing over $12,000 each. Students were offered the chance to attend the inauguration for $150, including transportation and two nights in a Williamsburg, Va., hotel, where the Favrot Student Union Board has reserved 33 rooms. They will leave Saturday at 4 p.m. The band leaves separately on Saturday.

Students will be traveling in style as they go about the long journey to the East Coast. “These are executive coaches. Our kids will be comfortable,” said Rusty Ponton, dean of student activities. “They are very comfortable buses. They have Wi-Fi, plug-ins for the cellphone, and for students to use their laptops.”

Ponton, commonly known as “Coach P,” anticipates having a greater experience this second time due to a student getting lost for an hour back in 2009, which he said was the scariest hour of his life. “We learned some lessons from then that we will now bring forth this time,” said Ponton. “This year we will a buddy system and set points where group leaders will check in.”

However, there are some worries heading into the 2013 Inauguration parade, since there will be thousands of people in attendance. While patting his black and gold sweatshirt, Ponton encourages students to wear GSU paraphernalia so it will be easier to identify university spectators.

Classes at the university started after the holiday and winter break on January 7, so there hasn’t been much time to get ready. All of last week and all of this week, including during a couple of cold, wintry days with freezing drizzle and rain, the band has been practicing – indoors and outdoors.

A former Tiger Marching Band member when he was a student at Grambling State, Pannell is known as a demanding, strict, music-focused band director. He’s had band members practice — and exercising – more than 20 hours each week.

“Practice has been very intense and challenging as far as weather conditions,” said drum major Prince Gray Jr., a senior marketing major. “This experience itself will help motivate the band to preserve and accept the challenge of this milestone achievement.”

Gray has been with the band for four years and played in the 2009 Inauguration parade and he said that he’s most excited about the experience this second time.

“What I’m expecting the most is a mark in history that is about to be made amongst HBCU bands,” he said. “When I think of the 2013 inaugural parade I can forever say I led the World Famed Tiger Marching Band.”

Students, faculty and staff have heard the inauguration parade warm-ups each afternoon and evening as the band bundled up and marched along campus streets, often with campus police escorting them with horns honking and lights.

It’s not the same as being a movie spoiler – and Pannell freely shared the game plan – so Washington, D.C. spectators can expect a musical change from the band’s 2009 inauguration performance of Stars and Stripes Forever.

While sticking with traditional military marches such as Them Basses and Our Directors March, the band will groove the crowd with the 1982 hit Early In The Morning by The Gap Band.  Pannell got the idea came from the fiscal cliff negotiations when President Obama and other government officials worked into the night and early morning hours to get a deal. He said that he thinks the president will understand the message.

“I know the president, having some soul in him , will understand that it’s The Gap Band and that he will have to get up late at night and early in the morning to deal with the economy and bipartisanship,” said Pannell.

Even with honor of playing for the president comes at a cost.  Trips like this one with the band are are not paid with state funds. It will cost a minimum of $125,000. President Frank G. Pogue established a specific band travel fund for alumni, friends and others can donate whatever they can to help the band make history. The school is continuing to request donations.

This is the third presidential inauguration parade for which Pannell has led the band as director. The World Famed Marching Band also played for the Inauguration Parade of George W. Bush in 2001. This trip is emotional and personal.

A few weeks before the 2009 performance, Pannell lost his 50-year-old wife to lung cancer on Nov. 4, 2008, the same day President Obama was elected president for his first term. Pannell recalled his ailing wife asking him about her absentee ballot days before.

Referencing biblical text, Pannell recalled, “I gave up on God. I wrestled with him like Jacob.” He cried to and from Washington D.C. in 2009.

This 2013 parade is more therapeutic. “This time I’m Job,” he said. “I’m going back with the patience and as man knowing that God doesn’t make mistakes.”

GSU Tiger Marching Band Plays in the 2nd Inaugural Parade for President Obama


Media Contact:
Will Sutton


President Pogue Keynote at Martin Luther King Event

By Trent Brown
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Dr. Marting Luther King Jr. EventThe Union Parish community will remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the late Nobel Peace Prize-winning civil rights leader with its first memorial celebration Saturday.

Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue will be the keynote speaker. Parish officials declared Jan.19, and each Saturday before the 3rd Monday in January in future years, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Farmerville and in Union Parish.

According to Willie Payne, this event is long overdue.

“It came about after conversation with myself and Reverend Willie Simmons and I told him, ‘Look, let’s make this happen,’” Payne, chairman of the Union Parish MLK Planning Committee, said about a chat with Simmons, pastor of Mount Union Baptist in Marion, La.

Each year Payne participates in the Lincoln Parish MLK march and celebration and he would wonder why Union Parish doesn’t have its own King celebration. The Farmerville resident said he realized someone had to get it going.

“After the light clicked on last year, we formed a diverse committee and from that day on, we worked extremely hard to bring this special program to people,” said Payne, a retired police officer and former mayor of Pontiac, Mich. “Though his death took place over 50 years ago, it remains important for residents and people to learn about (him).”

Payne said members of the community, local business people and organizations are invited to participate in the free celebration. He said the committee chose Pogue as “the clear favorite” to deliver the first keynote address about the celebration’s theme, “Legacy through Me.”

“The fact he is a qualified lecturer and served as president at several institutions of higher learning was a plus,” explained Payne. “He understands the importance of continuing the legacy of Dr. King.”

Farmerville Mayor M. Stein Baughman Jr. meet and greet the crowd before the opening reading of the parish proclamation at 9 a.m. in front of the Union Parish Courthouse, 100 West Bayou Street in Farmerville.  Zion Hill Baptist Church’s pastor, the Rev. Tommy Carr, and the pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmerville, the Rev. Kurt Auger, will pray for peace and unity.  The national anthem will be played by the Farmerville High School marching band and the colors will be posted by ROTC from Carroll High School.

After those program segments, the committee has planned a Unity March down Martin Luther King Drive to the Willie Davis Jr. Recreation Center, 116 Cox Ferry Rd. At the center, thanks to some corporate sponsors, participants can enjoy hot jambalaya and observe a talent group act out dramatic narration’s of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” The event ends at 1:30p.m.

The sponsors include Coca Cola Foster Farms, Union Trust bank, First National Trust Bank, Brookshire’s and the Union Parish Police Jury. Other than Payne and Simmons, other organizers include Kristy Auger, Rebecca Andrews, Mary Barrios, Stan Elkins, Muriel Finley and Verdel Ventroy.

Payne said the committee has had numerous inquiries and thank you’s, “not just around Grambling, but around Lincoln Parish and the Shreveport area. Everyone can be involved and we are excited.”

“The goal was to bring the strength of diversity to Lincoln Parish,” added Payne. “We just organized it the best we could.”


Media Contact:
Will Sutton


January 15, 2013

University Closure Due to Inclement Weather

Grambling State University’s three lab schools close at 11 a.m.; the university closes at 12 noon

UPDATE: University Closed Wednesday

The university campus will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013.The university campus will open Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013.
Campus dining hours will be normal.
No classes Wednesday, with classes resuming Thursday.
Registration, scheduled to end on Wednesday, will be extended through 5 p.m. Friday.

Grambling, LA – Effective at 11 a.m., Grambling State University’s lab schools will be closed.  Effective at 12 noon, Grambling State University will be closed.

Alma J. Brown Elementary School, Grambling Middle Magnet School and Grambling High School will close at 11 a.m. Students will be transported along their normal routes, and parents and caregivers can pick up elementary, middle and high school students with normal procedures.

The university campus will close at noon, including most offices. All classes are cancelled. On-campus students can enjoy meals with regular food service hours.

The university plans to be open for regular business on Wednesday, pending weather conditions.

“We want all of our students, faculty and staff to be safe in this weather,” said Frank G. Pogue, Grambling State’s president. “It’s best that we do what’s necessary to be healthy, safe and warm so we can take care of educating our youth and providing the services expected.”

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