September 19, 2013

Community Breakfast Brings People Together to Honor Founder

University expecting a Who’s Who Crowd Monday

Founder's Week Celebration Honors University Founder(s), Charles P. Adams.
Founder’s Week Celebration Honors
University Founder(s), Charles P. Adams.

GRAMBLING, LA – People across Lincoln Parish, Ouachita Parish and northern Louisiana are getting excited about one of the area’s most engaging, interactive who’s-who events next week.

As a part of Grambling State University’s Founder’s Week, President Frank G. Pogue is inviting the university community and the general public to attend the 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 on campus.

“It’s a once-a-year activity that continues to draw a capacity crowd, and you just never know who you’re going to see,” said Janis Bluford, coordinator of the institution’s Founder’s Week activities. “Our committee works hard to pull this off, but, frankly, local mayors, sheriffs, pastors and others bug us as early as the summer asking us for the date.”

“They come out to see everybody in one place,” added Pauline Lee, a retired university librarian who pulls together a team of people to host the breakfast, which costs $10 per person. “They love seeing each other, and they really love serving, too.”

Pogue and some members of his executive team will serve breakfast as will representatives from the Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Hill Baptist Association ministers and other community ministers, area mayors, Lincoln Parish Police Jury and other law enforcement officials. Also serving will be GSU student government leaders, faculty and staff. Athletic Director Aaron James, a Louisiana Hall of Famer and former NBA New Orleans Jazz basketball player, will call out the names of the individuals and organizations as servers wait for their turn to serve others.

“My wife and I look forward to this breakfast,” said Pogue. “It’s one of our favorite activities because we see so many people at the same time, and we actually have time to talk to them because there’s no long program.”

“Honoring Charles P. Adams for all that he did for us is one of the best, most important things we can do.”

Tickets for the breakfast are $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the university Institutional Advancement office on campus. For more information, call 318-274-2217 or email

The breakfast is one of a series of events celebrating the university’s 112th anniversary. Founded by the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association, Grambling State opened its doors on Nov. 1, 1901 as the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School. The university’s first president, Charles P. Adams, was sent by Tuskegee Institute’s Booker T. Washington to help organize an industrial school. It wasn’t until 1944 when the first baccalaureate degree was awarded in elementary education. In 1946 the university was named after P.G. Grambling, a white man who had donated land used to construct the school. Then in 1974, a new permanent name was given to the historical institution – Grambling State University.

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).
  • A Happy 112th Birthday Celebration Bash sponsored by the Student Government Association and the Favrot Student Union Board will be held Thursday (Sept. 26) at 11 a.m. in front of the Favrot Student Union Building.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



GSU Theatre to present The Amen Corner, by James Baldwin Sept. 24-27

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University Theatre will present The Amen Corner, by James Baldwin September 24-27, 2013.

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Grambling State University is pleased to announce its 2013-2014 season opener, The Amen Corner by James Baldwin at the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre, located in the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center.

Come be a part of the congregation as Sister Margaret (played by Ashley Boston) delivers us to a righteous life. All is well in the store-front church until the past “comes home.” Watch as the secrets unfold and what was perceived as merciful and good becomes scorned and ridiculed.

Directed by the Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Dept, Dr. King D. Godwin, the production staff includes Donovan Taylor as production stage manager, Brandon McKnight and Dawn Clements as assistant stage manager, John Shadowinds as set and light designer, Collin Jno-Finn as prop and sound designer, and Teshia Lincoln as costume designer.

The cast includes: Ashley Boston as Sister Margaret, Ashlee Lackey as Odessa, Anthony Broadway as David, Tiana Alexander as Sister Moore, Kedrick Smith as Brother Boxer, Melanie Williams as Sister Boxer, Kdeja Johnson as Ida Jackson, Jayla Fountain as Sister Douglas, Rachel Chinn as Sister Sally, Kadarius Gray as Brother Rice and Justin Owens as ensemble/Brother Boxer understudy.

Performances dates are September 24-27, 2013 and the show begins at 7pm. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for general. Tickets will go on sale starting Monday September 16, 2013. Box office will be open from the hours of 1pm-5pm Monday through Thursday and thirty minutes before performance time. For more information, please call Mrs. Modest at 274-2201 or

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



September 18, 2013

GSU Students Hail Taco Bell, New Upscale ‘C-Store’

As the result of a student survey, university opens a full-service Taco Bell menu; also opens the state’s first Aramark P.O.D. Market

Grambling State University Media Bureau

President and Mrs. Pogue are first in line to enjoy the food available at the new Taco Bell in the food court.
President and Mrs. Pogue are first in line to enjoy
the food available at the new Taco Bell in the food court.

GRAMBLING, LA -The Tiger Express food court was packed with students as Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue and his wife, Dorothy, stood at the Taco Bell counter ordering tacos as scores of students stood behind them.

Students made it clear last semester that they wanted this fast food option, and Tuesday’s grand opening was clear evidence. “Taco Bell will be a major attraction for the food services at Grambling State University,” said Pogue.

“This was a very big step,” confirmed LaResha Taylor, 20, a junior social work major from Houston.  “Taco Bell is maybe one of the best moves yet.”

Taco Bell opens restaurants across the country, and there are plenty of fast food options in the Grambling-Ruston area. But GSU students fought for this on-campus option – and won. A student survey was provided and Taco Bell came out on top.

In addition to Taco Bell, students were swarming Aramark’s P.O.D. Market, a new specialty convenience store offering fresh fruit, fresh smoothies, special coffees, grocery store-type products and black beauty products. There are a number of these stores on campuses across the nation, but this is the only full-service P.O.D. on any Louisiana campus.

The Pogues were the first in line at Taco Bell, then there were some of the president’s executive team. The student line stretched halfway across the Tiger Express food court floor as students anxiously waited for a turn to order.

At a general assembly in the T.H. Harris Auditorium a little earlier, students cheered loudly when it was announced that the official grand opening would be held in a matter of minutes.

“Students were not satisfied with the overall options in Tiger Express,” said Jordan Harvey, the Student Government Association president. He applauded the university’s decision to work with he and other SGA representatives to make this desire a reality.

University Director of Food Services Eddie Rushing said when he arrived in February it was obvious that the right thing to do was to work to bring Taco Bell to the campus. The restaurant replaces Topio’s Pizza, which offered combinations of pasta and pizza.
“Students said Topio’s was the lesser option they preferred,” said Carday Marshall, manager of food services.

Rushing said the GSU Taco Bell will have a full menu just like the one in Ruston with the same prices whereas other campuses have Taco Bell Express operations with an express, or limited, menu. He said they opted for a full-service menu because Aramark thinks GSU students will appreciate it.

“This gives more options to the students,” said Rushing. “They get the full Taco Bell experience.”

Rushing projects revenue of about $300,000 annually at the Taco Bell and about $210,000 weekly at the market.

The grand opening was a celebratory event. Six students had the chance to win a limited edition Bayou Classic cooler in the taco-eating contestants. Popular student deejays, the DJ Twins, entertained students and faculty with popular music mixes as people enjoyed lunch and browsed the new additions. Two roommates and softball teammates enjoyed the activities and options, especially since neither has a car. The food court is walking distance from their dorm.

“It’s very convenient,” said Alexus Brown, 18, a freshman education major from Beaumont, Tex. “The food was really good. The line was long, but it was definitely worth the wait.”  

“I love Taco Bell,” added Aayilah Lowe, 18, a freshman kinesiology major from Hitchcock, Tex.  “I mean really, who doesn’t love Taco Bell.”

Students weren’t the only ones enjoyed the afternoon.

“It brings more variety to Tiger Express,” said Joseph Price, the head basketball coach. 

“I am not a big taco eater, but these are good,” said Nettie Daniels, associate vice president of planning and institution research planning, as she enjoyed a Nacho Cheese Loco Taco with other members of the president’s executive council. “These tacos will bring me back again.”

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



September 16, 2013

Faculty, Staff Raised Miss Freshman, Freshman Class President

Daughters of GSU employees rise to leadership

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Freshman class SGA Representatives are sworn in.
Freshman class SGA Representatives are sworn in.

GRAMBLING, LA -For the first time in recent memory, the Grambling State University freshman class elections have produced GSU faculty and staff legacies as Miss Freshman and a freshman class president.

Miss Freshman is the daughter of Carolyn Marshall-Jackson, an assistant professor in the department of educational leadership, and Jamie Jackson, the technology and database manager for the university’s Alternative Teacher Certification Project (ATCP), both in the college of education. The freshman class president is the daughter of Jamicia Albritton, the assistant director of scholarship in Grambling’s financial aid office.

After a strenuous week of campaigning, the winners of those positions and others were announced Sept. 6 and the new officers were sworn in on Sept. 10.

Christian Jackson, a biology major from Monroe, won the title of Miss Freshman and Vinicia Albritton, a psychology major from Ruston, won the responsibility as the new class president.

“I’m very honored and blessed to have won Miss Freshman,” said Jackson. “I’m willing to uphold and accomplish whatever the students want…”

“I worked hard for this and I will serve it well,” said Albritton. “I would like people to know that it doesn’t matter if you are the smartest or the strongest, you have to work together for a change.” 

I feel that it is a great honor and privilege to be elected to serve as Grambling State University’s Student Government Association freshman class president (for) 2013-2014,” said Albritton. “My main goal during my presidency is to work with the retention office … to improve the retention rate for freshmen as well as develop a scholarship to award to a deserving incoming freshman (in) fall 2014.”

SGA President Jordan Harvey said the new officers would be sworn in at 12 noon on Tuesday (September 10) in the Grambling Hall auditorium. He said there would be an inauguration on Sept. 20.

Just before the announcements, Ambra Brice, Miss Grambling State University 2013-2014, said she was excited as she and others anticipated the news.  “I’m anxious to know who Miss Freshman is,” said Brice, 21, a marketing major from Gibsland. “We have so much to do before coronation, including pick out dresses.”

The Grambling Hall auditorium had dozens of SGA members, supporters, advisors and candidates’ friends waiting to hear the outcome. Grambling State University internal audit director Donna Hill-Todd read the results after Samara Flowers, the SGA elections commissioner, called the meeting to order. Flowers thanked those who ran for office and asked that everyone stay involved, no matter the results.

Hill-Todd read the results by class, starting with general SGA positions and following up with the freshman class results. By request, the room of onlookers were silent as the results were read aloud, including the names of candidates and the number of votes for each candidate.

The results were certified and sent to Dr. Pogue with copies to Dr. Duhon, SGTA President, SGA Elections Commissioner and The Gramblinite on Sept. 9.  

In addition to Albritton and Jackson, Tamara Stewart won the position of freshman class vice president; Breonna Ward was elected as the freshman secretary; Jillian Bursh was chosen as the freshman treasurer and the three freshman class senators chosen were Jerrica Newman, Kayln Manning and Elric Truvillion.

Dean of Students David Ponton encouraged the winners to be focused and committed. “To be the best,” he told them, “you have to be on point.”

Harvey, 20, a business major from Georgia said the SGA has a number of goals this academic year and he encouraged everyone in the room to be the change the university needs.  Those elected, he said, have a chance to improve themselves as well as the SGA as they help represent about 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  He asked SGA representatives to be aware of the image they project because they are representing all students.

“You were elected for this position, this position did not elect you,” said Harvey. He said he and others have to be prepared and work to do a good job because there will be naysayers waiting for failure.

“This is now a major part of your life,” the SGA president told the crowd. “As the leaders of this campus we are to focus on student involvement, awareness around campus and positive changes.

“What we portray is how we’re perceived, so represent SGA to the best of your ability.”

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



September 12, 2013

Junior Nursing Major Named Hercules Scholar

Cameroon native seeking to help others in ICU recognized with 3.71 GPA

Grambling State University junior nursing major Lionel Kilofonyuy-Sandjong
Grambling State University junior nursing
major Lionel Kilofonyuy-Sandjong.

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University junior nursing major Lionel Kilofonyuy-Sandjong is the second of four students to be recognized as a Hercules Scholar by the Tom Joyner Foundation on the Tom Joyner Morning show this morning (Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013).

The university is the foundation’s September school of the month. The foundation selects historically black colleges and universities monthly, helping those institutions raise money for scholarships by providing a national platform through the foundation and the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show. Grambling State University alumni, friends and supporters can contribute via

“I feel gratified that all my efforts alongside with those of my friends and teachers are being recognized,” said Kilofonyuy-Sandjong, 22, a native of Kumbo. “Most of all, the scholarship will spur me to continue, as well as find more innovative ways to do even better.”

He has been a dedicated member of the Student Nursing Association, a part of the university’s intramural soccer team and a member of the Cameroon Student Association. In addition, he helps students as a mathematics, biology and chemistry tutor.

“To me, nursing has always been a lifelong ambition,” added Kilofonyuy-Sandjong. “The adrenaline that comes with the busy nature of an intensive care unit in every hospital pushes me every day toward the realization of this childhood dream.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree, he plans to work in an ICU for two years then return to graduate studies to earn a doctorate in nursing and work educating future nurses.

The Hercules Scholarship was named after Tom Joyner’s father, Hercules. Candidates for the Hercules Scholarship must be male, have a grade point average of at least 3.5 and be a campus leader with a career goal of making a difference. Each scholar receives a $1,500 scholarship for college expenses.

The foundation and has been supporting historically black colleges and universities with scholarships, endowment and capacity building for 14 years. Through fundraising and donor development, $65 million has been raised supporting students attending HBCUs.


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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



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