September 24, 2013

GSU Faculty Honored For Helping Students Provide Service

Motivational speaker inspires audience to continue helping students give back as “heroes”

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Service learning appreciation luncheon featured guest Harvey Alston with students.
Service learning appreciation luncheon featured
guest Harvey Alston with students.

Grambling, LA – The invigorating energy of motivational speaker Harvey Alston fired up an audience of faculty members at Grambling State University’s service learning lunch appreciation ceremony on Thursday.

He focused on stressing the importance of service, and community heroes. He reminisced about a visit to an elementary school classroom and talking to students who defined heroes as Superman, Spiderman and Chad Ochocinco, an NFL football player.

“Does anyone know what a hero is?” asked Alston. He said the older generation is to blame for the younger generation’s hero worship.

The luncheon in the university’s Black and Gold Room in the Favrot Student Union was hosted to show appreciation for and to honor the faculty, staff and community members who have helped GSU students get academic enhancement by providing service learning opportunities. All university undergraduates are required to perform academic and community service learning hours to graduate, and the service learning office relies on the generosity of faculty and staff to get it done.

The Office of Service Learning was created at Grambling State by director Rory L. Bedford, allowing students to work with faculty members to complete approved community service projects as a part of their curriculum. Bedford said it’s important to recognize those who help the university and its students give back, and Alston was a great choice to encourage and support that work.

Alston engaged the audience with a series of exercises to help them gain greater confidence, including one with the audience divided into “good,” “better” and “best” groups and each challenged to shout their given word with great confidence. Alston’s point was that he boxed them in with his comments and they chose not to break out and do even better, and one group learned by listening to and watching the other two.

He also asked a group of five students to help him, each holding different letters, including P, Y, H, A, P. He didn’t give them instructions at first, allowing them to figure it out. Once they spelled the word “happy” he walked the students, and the audience, through how everyone can be happy and successful by being inclusive and respectful of others.

We are such a selfish and greedy society that we’ve gotten away from helping other people,” said Alston. “We must understand that our destinies are tied together.”

After Alston spoke, about 124 faculty members were recognized with certificates and 11 were recognized with special plaques for going above and beyond with special service learning projects in the past year.

Loretta Walton-Jaggers, an education professor, was honored for three service learning projects in the reading and literacy graduate level courses in which students were given the opportunity to showcase what they learned and created books for K-12 level students.

“This is such an outstanding honor,” she said. “I am so very proud, not only for the recognition of myself, but also for my candidates. It’s such a pleasure to see them highlighted and showcased because they work very hard and feel a heighten sense of pride as well.”

“I thought it was creative. I thought it was excellent and I thought they did a good job with honoring everyone,” said King David Godwin, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and one of the recognized faculty members.

Larry Pannell, the music department head and band director, was recognized for a number of service learning contributions, including things the World Famed Tiger Marching Band did at two presidential inaugurations and providing post-hurricane Katrina aid. Pannell’s support includedworking with members of the band to donate sheet music, instruments and other items to three high schools in New Orleans. He also directed concerts to raise money to help New Orleanians.

“If it’s recognition for any services rendered by the music department, I would like to take that award and tear it up and give it to everybody in the music department,” said Pannell. “I just worked as a mediator to pull all the elements together.”

Alston was the featured speaker, but he enjoyed hearing about the contributions and enjoying the event.

 “Coming to Grambling was like putting a star up on my wall,” said Alston, who has spoken to business, corporate and university events across the nation. “The event was fantastic.”

During a special “Lunch, Learn and Appreciate” luncheon in the Black and Gold room, 11 individuals were honored Sept. 19 for their exemplary projects and service. The awards were bestowed through the Office of Service-Learning under Dr. Rory L. Bedford (first row, far left) and Academic Affairs directed by Dr. Connie Walton. The honorees included (first row, L-R) Grambling Mayor Ed Jones, Johnny McCarty, Rev. Kenneth Sapp, Mrs. Mary Bryant, Dr. Frances Staten, Dr. Gaylon Murray and  Eugene Taylor. Second Row: Dr. Gernerique T. Stewart, Dr. Larry Pannell, Dr. Carl  Roberts and Dr. Aaron Witherspoon.  Motivational speaker Harvey Alston addressed the gathering prior to the presentation of awards. The activity celebrated the faculty who incorporated service-learning into the curriculum.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



Grambling State Starts Founder’s Week

President, Grambling mayor pay tribute to founder Charles P. Adams

Grambling State University Media Bureau

GSU President Frank G Pogue and Grambling Mayor Edward R. Jones signed an official proclamation recognizing university founder Charles P. Adams.
GSU President Frank G Pogue and Grambling Mayor
Edward R. Jones signed an official proclamation recognizing
university founder Charles P. Adams

Grambling, LA – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue and Grambling Mayor Edward R. Jones signed an official proclamation recognizing university founder Charles P. Adams at a bust of Adams adjacent to Lee Hall.

"After 112 years, the opportunity to pause and show respect to our founder is extremely important," said Pogue, dressed in his signature black and gold suit as the proclamation was signed at 7:44 a.m. This is Founder’s Week at the university, and the president said it is a time to recognize Adams and to celebrate the university’s history, mission and heritage.

“Charles P. Adams created the ground floor for education and for blacks,” Jones said to a group of about 15 university administration, faculty, staff and students.

On November 1, 1901 the doors opened to the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School, known today as Grambling State University. Adams was sent by Tuskegee Institute’s Booker T. Washington to assist in organizing the industrial school, then he became the founding president.

"He was a genius,” said Pogue, who’s beginning his fifth year as president. Adams was president for 35 years.

 “As student leaders, celebrating the beginning of our institution is extremely important,” said Ambra Brice, 21, Miss Grambling State University.

The university’s Founder’s Week activities continue Tuesday with an 11 a.m. convocation with former acting president Neari Warner in the T.H. Harris Auditorium. Other activities continue through the week, and guests can find out more at

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September 20, 2013

President’s Fundraising Campaign Close Draws Near

University asks alumni, others to step up and donate $1,000 in the coming weeks

GSU President Frank G Pogue asks for continued generosity as campaign draws to a close.
GSU President Frank G Pogue asks for continued
generosity as campaign draws to a close.

Grambling, LA – With so many changes taking place in regard to financing for higher education, Grambling State University is looking for help from alumni and other supporters.

In September 2012, President Frank G. Pogue asked Gramblinites – alumni, faculty, staff and friends – to pledge a $1,000 donation, payable in incremental amounts or in one or two lump sum payments by homecoming on November 2, 2013.

As of late August, nearly $93,000 has been pledged and more than $6,000 in of that amount has been received. “It’s not too late. We still need donations as well as your support,” said Debra Johnson, interim associate vice president for development and director of alumni affairs. “The university will recognize all donors and all will be listed on university’s website.”

“I believe that we have many alumni who aren’t aware of the severity of budget cuts,” added Johnson, a 1978 alumna.  She noted that the university has lost about 57 percent of its state funding in the last several years, putting more of a financial burden on the institution and student families. Among other things, she said the money collected goes toward academic scholarships, athletics, the university emergency fund, chemistry equipment and supplies to help promote academic excellence.

The original deadline coincides with the culmination of homecoming activities the last week of October and the first couple of days of November, and the institutional advancement office will be collecting pledges and donations through the homecoming game against Mississippi Valley State University on Nov. 2. See for game details and tickets.

President Frank G. Pogue encourages GSU friends and supporters to contribute $1,000 or more to be among those who make contributions to the first $100,000 in his presidential “ask” campaign. “This is an important phase of the campaign as we go into the last few weeks,” said the president. “We need everyone to step up and donate or pledge. We’ll work with you to find a way to make it work for you.”

Donations can be made directly to Grambling State University to ensure that the university receives your personal contribution.  Checks, money orders and credit cards can be used to make contributions. Donors should contact Brenda Williams in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 318-274-6032 or


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September 19, 2013

Former President Returns to Address Founder’s Day Convocation

Neari Warner will talk about tradition, service and excellence at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Former GSU President,Dr. Neari Warner, returns to address Founder's Day Convocation.
Former GSU President,Dr. Neari Warner,
returns to address Founder’s Day Convocation.

GRAMBLING, LA -A familiar face and a special person in Grambling State University history will visit the campus as the Founder’s Day Convocation speaker. Former acting university president Neari F. Warner will speak on Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. in the T.H. Harris Auditorium.

"Dr. Warner played a significant role by providing significant stability and tremendous leadership at a crucial time in this university’s history, and we’ll never forget what she did," said Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue. "As we’re forced to lead and navigate this university through a challenging, difficult financial period, I can’t think of anyone better to help us remember our history and our mission."

Warner, a New Orleans, La., native, was the first woman to head the university. During her tenure she successfully led GSU through a crisis that threatened the school’s accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition to serving as an acting president, Warner is a Grambling alumna and graduated with honors as a magna cum laude when she received her bachelor’s degree in 1967. She also worked at the university as provost and vice president for academic affairs and vice president for development and university relations.

Prior to coming to working at Grambling State, she spent 26 years at Southern University in New Orleans. A noted scholar, Warner has been recognized for her work and efforts to make a difference. She has been recognized with the “Glass Ceiling Award” by the Louisiana Association of Women for Equal Opportunity and she was named a “New Orleans Role Model” by the Young Women’s Christian Association. In 2008, Warner was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame. There is a $1 million endowed student scholarship named in her honor.

Other scheduled public events for Founder’s Week include:

  • The official opening of Founder’s Week will start at “The Founder’s Bust” of Charles P. Adams with a short ceremony at the east side of Lee Hall at 7:30 a.m. Monday (Sept. 23).
  • Annual Founder’s Week Fellowship Breakfast, scheduled for 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Monday (September 23) in the Black and Gold Room at the Favrot Student Union.
  • The Department of Visual and Performing Arts will present “The Amen Corner” by James Baldwin September 24-27 at the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre, located in the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for the general public.


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Senior Music Education Major Wins $1,500 Scholarship

Kelley Hall named third Tom Joyner Foundation Hercules Scholar

By Diana Sepulveda
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Kelley Hall named third Tom Joyner Foundation Hercules Scholar.
Kelley Hall named third Tom Joyner Foundation
Hercules Scholar.

GRAMBLING, LA -Senior music education major Kelley Hall was surprised when he learned the Tom Joyner Foundation selected him as its Hercules Scholar at Grambling State University.

Hall decided on Grambling State to be a part of the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, and he has marched in the band for three years. He is also involved in several extracurricular activities on and off campus.

“I was a student leader, drill sergeant, and section leader over the tuba section,” said Hall, whose scholarship was announced on The Tom Joyner Morning Show Thursday (Sept. 19). “I also participate in the university wind ensemble, a member of the Strong Tower Gospel Chorale here in the Grambling area, and I was inducted into the Earl Lester Cole Honors College.”

Hall, who has a 3.86 GPA, has aspirations to become a middle or high school band director then a band director at the collegiate level. “When I finish my matriculation here at Grambling State University, I plan to find work at a low-income middle school,” said Hall. “The students that will be in my music program will be ‘blank slates’ that I can teach from scratch …”

On Sept. 1, Grambling State University was named by the foundation as its September school of the month. Hall, a Springhill, La., native, will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Earlier this month, the foundation awarded scholarships to sophomore Pierre L. Moore, 19, and junior Lionel Kilolonyuy-Sandjong, 22. The foundation is helping Grambling State with student scholarships by asking friends, students, alumni to participate by making donations at

Founded in 1998, the foundation has helped raised over $60 million to help students attending historically black college and universities to access more scholarships and stay in school.
The Hercules Scholarship is named after Tom Joyner’s father, the late Hercules Joyner, who was an education advocate. Scholarship recipients are chosen based on community and leadership skills, a minimum GPA of 3.5 and be a male attending an HBCU of the month.

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