Presidents from Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana at Monroe joined other ULS institution presidents to sell the value of higher education “up north”
Legislators shake hands with President Pogue and other
university presidents as they visit the capitol to gain support.
By Grambling State University Media Bureau
GRAMBLING, La., BATON ROUGE – Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue was one of several university presidents at a morning jazz breakfast hosted by the University of Louisiana System at the state capitol courtyard Monday, quietly garnering quite a bit of attention. As a three-man New Orleans jazz band played, Pogue and other executives mingled, and dozens of participants sought out Pogue to wish him well.
Pogue announced Friday that he is retiring from his role as GSU president on June 30, so this was the first chance for a number of his ULS and legislative colleagues, fans and supporters had to personally shake his hand, tell him what a good job he’s done and wish he and wife Dorothy Pogue well as they return to their Delaware home.
When asked about the attention, Pogue chose to focus on the purpose of the day. “Quite honestly, this is a perfect day for the UL system. It was a perfect day for all nine of the campuses, and a perfect day for Grambling,” said Pogue, who started working at GSU as a consultant in fall 2009. “We had an opportunity to say thank you to the legislators, and we did it together. And it was an opportunity to inform those who may not understand what we do every day, preparing these young men and women for future work in the state of Louisiana, in the nation and in the world.”
ULS President Sandra Woodley decided months ago that the system’s nine universities needed a special day at the state capitol to showcase what the system, and each individual institution, means to the state of Louisiana. Working with her staff, they pulled together Thursday’s special event, including a show-and-tell of tables and university representatives in the capitol rotunda.
The state capitol sees “days” of all kinds from time to time featuring schools, systems, universities and all types of associations and organizations. Capitol information desk volunteer Ruth Gillen said they see one nearly every day when the legislators are in session, and it’s always good for attention when exhibitors bring food. Each university featured special guests. GSU featured Y.W. Reddy, who leads some of the university’s most important STEM programs, including….This day was different because the ULS president had her Baton Rouge staff and each of the nine ULS universities had a president or a provost and a host of university leaders and representatives mingling with a host of Louisiana’s state representatives and senators.
There was candy, cookies and mints as well as Cajun bacon from McNeese State University and some state-famous GSU popcorn, pulling people over to the tables throughout the morning. Some lucky rotunda visitors walked away with a coffee mug, a mouse pad or even homemade soap.
Each university featured special guests. GSU featured Yenumula Reddy, Program Coordinator of a $1.8 million U.S. Air Force grant research program in Grambling State’s computer science department.
“This is a fantastic day for us to get out and give our message to our legislators and our people in the Baton Rouge community (about) what great things are going on at Louisiana Tech,” said Louisiana Tech President Leslie Guice, taking a moment from Tech table visitors who sought a chance to chat with him. “We want them to know that we are committed to developing this state, as a great economic engine for jobs and economic growth for the future prosperity of our citizens.”
The University of Louisiana at Monroe chose to feature its pharmacy school, which graduates about 80 percent of the state’s pharmacists, and its strong online program, including 27 online degree programs. ULM President Nick J. Bruno said it was more than a show-and-tell. “It allows us to share the expertise we have and …it’s an opportunity to show off what we have in north Louisiana,” he said in between visiting exhibits and talking with constituents. “It gives our institutions a chance to show off and be better exposed statewide…so they get a better picture of what we’re doing up in north Louisiana.”
GSU Presents exhibits at ULS special event at the state capitol.