May 20, 2013

Grambling State University Plans Second Annual Radiothon

Fall radiothon raises designated and unrestricted funds to help students

Joyce Evans of KGRMGrambling, LA – Grambling State University will host its second annual KGRM Radiothon this fall as a part of the school’s homecoming activities. The day-long radiothon, which will be broadcast on the university’s radio station, KGRM 91.5 FM, will help raise designated and unrestricted funds for academic and athletic scholarships, recruitment and retention efforts. The radio station is hosting the event with the Office of Institutional Advancement on Friday, November 1.

The radiothon will feature KGRM’s general manager, Joyce Evans, regularly called “The Voice” of Grambling State University. Evans, a 1974 Grambling State University graduate, worked in the Department of Speech and Theatre Department, where the radio station was housed, as a student, and returned to run the radio station in 1996. “We welcome all Gramblinites, including graduates, friends and supporters,” said Evans. “This is no time to sit back and listen to others; it’s time to step up and provide for the place Where Everybody is Somebody.”

Radiothon chair Kimlin Hall said in addition to Evans, the radiothon will include Melissa Bickham, president of the Grambling University National Alumni Association, a 1993 graduate, and alumni visiting for the homecoming weekend. Alums who cannot make it to the campus and therefore cannot visit the radio station that day will have an opportunity to call to make a donation.

Leon Sanders, interim vice president of institutional advancement, said the 12-hour radiothon will start at 8 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. on November 1. He said listeners are encouraged to call 318-274-2182 and area visitors are encouraged to bring contributions to the station during the live broadcast on the second floor of Washington-Johnson Complex, near the main campus entrance. Sanders noted that all donations are tax deductible. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.

The radiothon supports the university’s efforts to enhance its academic profile by promoting the outstanding achievements of its faculty and students, to increase awareness among alumni, friends, community and local businesses about the importance of giving to the university. KGRM is a 50,000-watt, non-commercial educational radio station licensed to Grambling State University with the dual purpose of operating as a student laboratory in the Department of Mass Communication and as a service to the community.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



May 10, 2013

Grambling State University Commencement

University provides guidelines, information for May 10 events

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University will have several ways that proud caregivers, parents, relatives and friends can watch the spring commencement on Friday (May 10) at 10 a.m. In addition, the university has provided some helpful information.

Those with access to a computer and an Internet connection can watch the event by using
GSU Spring Commencement Live Broadcast. An alternate link that can be used is GSU Spring Commencement Live Broadcast (Alternate Link).

Apple iPhone users can see the graduation by using
GSU Spring Commencement Live Broadcast (iPhone). Those using Google Android or Blackberry smart phones can use GSU Spring Commencement Live Broadcast (Android/Blackberry) to see the commencement.

In addition, KGRM-FM will broadcast the entire commencement live. Tune in at 91.5 FM, starting at 9:45 a.m. The station will broadcast until diplomas are awarded.

Visitors attending the commencement at the Fred C. Hobdy Assembly Center are asked to park in the designated locations. There will be a drop-off and pick-up area in front of the center for those who are disabled and those with special circumstances and special needs, but this is not a parking area.

The university is excited that such a large class is graduating this spring, just as caregivers, parents, relatives and friends are excited. Everyone attending is asked to be respectful of others who want to hear the names of their graduates called, and to see their graduates walk in the procession and walk across the stage. To ensure that this formal event is as enjoyable for everyone as possible, NO CONGRATULATORY BANNERS OR FLAGS WILL BE ALLOWED INSIDE THE ASSEMBLY CENTER.

Only university-authorized campus and external media will be allowed on the floor of the Assembly Center to shoot and film the event. Only media with university-recognized media credentials will be allowed on the center’s floor, and only authorized campus and external media representatives with university-issued MEDIA ACCESS passes will be permitted on the floor. All others will be asked to clear the area.

A commencement reception will be held in the McCall Dining Hall immediately after the event. Graduates and their family members are encouraged and invited to participate. Participants attending the reception, which will feature light refreshments, are asked to park in designated parking locations. Violators may be towed.

External media are asked to contact the Office of Public Relations and Communications no later than 3 p.m. THURSDAY (May 9) with definite, or tentative, plans to attend and cover the commencement. If there are specific external media interview requests, please make those at the same time. Please email AND call 318-274-2866.

For additional information that may develop, visit For information about 1992 Grambling State University graduate Charles Blow, the commencement speaker, a story about Blow and an op-ed column letter he wrote to Spring 2013 graduates, see

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



May 7, 2013

Shreveport Senior Receives Dance Scholarship

Byrd High School’s Angela Mitchell plans to attend Grambling State University

GRAMBLING, LA – A Shreveport high school senior has received a $2,000 scholarship from the Helen Horton Education and Performing Arts Scholarship.

 The award was announced during the Dance His High Praise VI performance at The Strand in Shreveport on Saturday (April 27, 2013). Mitchell, who attends Byrd High School, said she plans to attend Grambling State University, where she wants to major in nursing and minor in dance.

The elegant event was “A Tribute to Dianne Maroney-Grigsby,” the director of Grambling State University’s Orchesis Dance Company. Grigsby is a former Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble dancer and she toured with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre in Africa, Asia and Europe. She succeeded Virgie Broussard Pradia as the company’s third artistic director. A native of Norfolk, Va., Maroney-Grigsby won the prestigious Silver Leo Award for her choreography at the 1994 Jazz Dance World Congress and she was recognized in 1995 with a living legend award by the Nena Wideman Foundation of Shreveport.
Maroney-Grigsby had  a dance performance, "August Ascending," selected for the regional Dance America’s National Festival, Montreal, Quebec in 2012.

 “It was wonderful to see Ms. Mitchell accept the scholarship recognition during such an enjoyable program,” said Connie Walton, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Grambling State University. “Of course, it was wonderful to hear that she plans to join us at GSU. We look forward to welcoming her and working with her as she grows professionally as a nursing student. We can’t wait to see her dance at our institution.”

Orchesis is a highly competitive dance company, focused on training dancers aesthetically with high artistic standards and with a strong community awareness through entertainment repertoires. Grambling State University students audition to join the company, and they compete regularly to perform in specific performances during the football season and for other events.

Horton graduated from Grambling College in 1959. She is credited with organizing the first Dance His High Praise program, now coordinated by Vincent Williams, her son.

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Will Sutton



Grambling State Graduation Speaker Advances Speech

New York Times Columnist is Concerned for Graduates, Yet Has Hope

By Grambling State University Media Bureau

Charles M. Blow, New York Times columnistGRAMBLING, LA – Perhaps giving Grambling State University graduates a preview of his scheduled Friday commencement talk, Charles M. Blow said “finding hopeful, encouraging things to say has been exceedingly difficult, in part because the landscape at the moment — particularly for young adults — is so bleak.”

In a Saturday op-ed column in The New York Times, titled “Dear College Graduates,” Blow, a 1992 graduate of Grambling State University, noted that he will speak at his alma mater – and he’s been giving a lot of thought about what he wants to share. Grambling State University’s commencement will be held at 10 a.m. on May 10 in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Visitors are asked to arrive early and to park in designated locations. No banners are allowed.

Blow, who graduated magna cum laude, provided several key points he considers disturbing and frustrating:

  • “Being a college graduate is becoming less exceptional. …‘Record shares of young adults are completing high school, going to college and finishing college,’” as noted by the Pew Foundation, yet “college graduation rates are growing even more in other countries.”
  •  “Graduates are emerging with staggering amounts of debt and entering a still-sluggish job market. This is causing them to delay major life decisions, like marriage or buying a home or even moving out of their parents’ home.”
  • “Emerging markets, like China and India, have become major competitors for exportable jobs.”
  • “Income inequality between top earners and the rest of America has risen.”
  • “(T)he cost of basic goods has soared. For example, when I graduated from college the average price of a gallon of gas was about $1 (adjusted for inflation, that would still be less than $2), and it’s currently nearing $4. Some people now have to make desperate choices: a tank of gas, a bag of groceries or a bottle of medicine.”
  • “Our politics have become polarized to the point of paralysis.”

Blow said despite these serious issues, he has hope. “What gives me hope is that despite this dire environment, young people remain more optimistic than anyone else. Some of that may simply be the intrinsic glow of youth, but I believe that with this generation, something more is afoot.”

“I plan to tap into that optimism on Friday, and I hope to reflect some of it back at those beaming faces under square hats,” he wrote. The complete column can be read at

Blow, 42, is excited about visiting his alma mater. "I’m thrilled, and humbled, to have been asked to deliver the commencement address,” said Blow. “This is undoubtedly the most meaningful speech — on a personal level — that I’ve ever been asked to give.”

New York Times readers and television viewers may recognize the opinionated journalist. He makes frequent appearances on CNN and MSNBC, commenting on a variety of issues. He regularly uses social media, especially Twitter. Thousands of readers and viewers follow him at @charleshblow.

“Grambling is the place that nurtured me and allowed me to grow and blossom,” he added. “At Grambling I learned that potential is without limits when it is bound up with a thirst for excellence and a fierce determination.”

With his newspaper job and two television commentary jobs, Blow still finds time to write. He has an upcoming book in production with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, scheduled to be published in 2014. Blow has been a member of the Society of News Design (SND) and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). The Louisiana native joined The Times in 1994.

Sandra Lee, Blow’s mass communication mentor, helped nurture him and helped him find his visual voice. “He was a great student,” she said in an interview. “He was always eager to learn…he was always on top and went above and beyond.”

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May 2, 2013

Grad-to-be Wins National Green Campus Contest

Grambling State University Senior Corban Bell gets one-year lease on Toyota Prius, earns $5,000 for GSU

Grambling State University Media Bureau

GSU President Pogue congratulates Corban Bell for his win and his positive impact on his school and the environment.GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University student Corban Bell had an amazing month. He celebrated his birthday, colleague students approved his campus recycling initiative recently and he won the Toyota Green Initiative contest.

University President Frank G. Pogue made it official Wednesday when he announced the news to the campus community. “On behalf of this university… the faculty and staff, all of your colleagues and alumni around the world, congratulations,” Pogue said to Bell as he grasped his hand firmly and looked him in the eye. “It’s an honor to be standing here with you.”

As the grand prizewinner, Bell wins a one-year lease of a 2012 Toyota Prius. He inspected one much like the one he’ll be driving for the next year after the short GSU-Toyota TGI program in the Favrot Student Union’s Tiger Den.

As an involved Student Government Association leader, Bell, 23, proposed a university-wide recycling program, one that would have been implemented with students’ help whether he won the Toyota contest or not. In early April, students passed a bill to create a self-assessed fee of $1 per semester. That fee will raise about $50,000 to support the recycling program during the next five years. “He’s leading the charge to create a recycling program that will be self sustainable,” said Stacey Duhon, the university’s vice president of student affairs.

“I’m extremely excited to win. I worked really hard,” said Bell, who said he also gets $1,200 for insurance and gas. “That car will help me save money.”

Bell’s journey to becoming a green campus national grand prize winner started last year when he represented Grambling State University at a sustainability conference in Greensboro, N.C. Toyota representatives were there talking about the company efforts to involve historically black colleges and universities in sustainability initiatives. Duhon said Bell is a proven leader, serving as chief of staff to the SGA president and working on several committees. He was a likely candidate to represent the university.

“It all began at that conference,” said Bell, who hails from Alameda, CA, outside of San Francisco. “The core of the project will birth sustainability initiatives that go outside the scope of a traditional recycling program.”

Through the Toyota Green Initiative contest, Bell is establishing a permanent recycling program on Grambling State University campus. “My project is highly needed,” added Bell, “It’s an innovative approach to transform this HBCU.”

Bell isn’t the only winner. The university gets $5,000 to help purchase trees for the campus beautification.

 “We received so many phenomenal Green Campus Contest submissions from students concerned about the environment,” said Jim Colon, vice president of product communications for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and TGI Coalition member. “In the end, Corban Bell’s plan to establish a recycling program and lead additional initiatives, such as hosting a sustainability awareness week and expanding Grambling’s compost program, impressed the TGI program as well as voters.”

“Toyota Green Initiative (TGI) is excited to have Corban Bell of Grambling State University as the winner of this year’s Green Campus Contest,” added Colon in a statement. “Bell’s essay on implementing a permanent campus-wide recycling program and establishing sustainability initiatives at Grambling — such as renovating greenhouses and reviving its compost program — displayed ambition in improving the environmental culture at his school…”

Bell, who is scheduled to graduate on May 10 with a 3.66 GPA, has been active with the university’s beautification committee, a group responsible for discussing and determining which projects should be considered, set priorities and implement them. A major, $800,000 federal Title III-funded campus beautification project was launched earlier this month, including adding flowers, shrubbery and trees. Though the campus beautification project is not directly tied to Bell’s green campus initiative, Pogue and Duhon said Bell has been a strong contributor and his Toyota efforts will benefit the school.

“I commend Corban for not only helping himself, but also helping the GSU campus look better,” said Ante’ Britten, the associate vice president for finance and administration who spearheads the beautification efforts.

In addition to receiving a 2012 Toyota Prius, Bell also gains membership to the TGI Coalition, “a collective of environmental experts and celebrities who speak on sustainability within the African American community and relevant ways to go green.”
Bell’s contest experience leads into a summer of celebration before he starts a new job at KPMG, an accounting firm, in San Francisco, Calif., in August. His new employer was quick to tweet about their new employee this week (Tuesday, April 30, 2013): Congrats to#KPMG’s Corban Bell of @Grambling1901, the Toyota Green Initiative grand prize winner! Enjoy the Prius!”

Grambling State University Provost Connie Walton praised Bell as an example of the type of education students can get at the university where she graduated, saying the students are “competitive” nationally and internationally. “It’s not just a Louisiana thing, not just an HBCU thing,” she told Bell. “You are competitive, …and you are prepared to compete in life.”

College of Business Dean Carl Wright said Bell exemplifies the business unit’s determination to give students a well-rounded academic education as to be “socially conscious.”

Bell will retrieve his Prius from Toyota Headquarters in Torrance, CA, later this year. Bell got the chance to experience a Toyota Prius during today’s event, courtesy of Ronnie Ward Toyota of Ruston, which provided a sleek black model for the GSU-Toyota TGI event Wednesday.  Bell said the company will fly him and a friend in so he can drive away in his new Prius from Toyota Headquarters in Torrance, CA, later this year.

The TGI Green Campus Contest is an environmental competition where students at select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) can submit plans on conserving resources within their campus and/or community. After an initial selection round, each of the 10 semifinalists are provided with a $500 budget to help implement his or her respective campus program. Essays written by the two finalists – Bell and Domenio Smith of Howard University – were posted on so votes could be cast for a favorite. Bell’s essay ( received almost 1,300 votes.

According to a Toyota release, first prizewinner and runner-up Smith will receive $2,500 toward the purchase of trees for his school, Howard. The Grambling State University and Howard University trees are scheduled to be planted during a fall 2013 TGI Mobile Tour.

Bell said the contest gave him a significant boost in his last semester at Grambling State University. “I told my dad in January that, other than graduating, this contest was my biggest goal,” said Bell. “I will remember this experience fondly once I become an alumnus.”

“I put in my work and feel I’ve made my mark,” Bell said in an earlier interview.

GSU President Pogue hands over the keys for a Toyota Prius to student Corban Bell for winning the Toyota Green Initiative contest.
GSU President Pogue opens the door for student Corban Bell.
GSU President Pogue pins Corban Bell at a brief ceremony to celebrate his win.
GSU President Pogue and other administrators assemble for a small celebration for GSU student Corban Bell, to observe his success in winning the Toyota Green Initiative Contest

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