June 25, 2014

GSU Gets Funding Approval for Health-Wellness Facility

Using a student assessment fee started in 2011, Grambling State University gets funding approval by the U.S. Department of Education’s HBCU Capital Financing Program

Funding has been approved for renovations to the intramural building and a new natatorium.
Funding has been approved for renovations to
the intramural building and a new natatorium.

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University students will once again have a campus facility where they can work out, attend exercise sessions and swim in a building of their own.

Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue announced that the institution has received final, official approval to renovate a 33,279-square-foot building constructed in 1993 and a natatorium. The existing intramural building continues to be used with limitations because it has not had significant renovations since it was built. The natatorium, however, is unusable with a dry swimming pool, broken windows throughout the facility and what Pogue describes as “a condition that makes a ‘horrible’ sound kind.”

“I found a lot of good things at Grambling State University when I first got here in 2009, but the natatorium was not one of them,” said Pogue. “The place has been an eyesore for years, and students complained about it all the time, and with good reason.

“It has taken a lot of work on the parts of a lot of people to get to this point, but getting all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed and making sure that every single thing was in place financially was what we needed to do to make sure that we could announce something that will truly happen. We can say that this will happen.”

The new facility will include an indoor swimming pool, an aerobics and multipurpose room, an expanded basketball court and a convenience store and juice bar. The Foster-Johnson Health Center will move into the new facility. The $7 million construction is being financed with student assessment fees that started in 2011, meaning the project has a specific funding source.

The university went through an extensive pre-construction and financing process to gain the appropriate approvals. Just last week the university received a project number, authorizing the institution to proceed to the next phase. GSU is working with state of Louisiana’s Facility, Planning and Control to select an architect for the project. A construction timetable, including a proposed opening month or season, will be provided after an architect has been approved and gets to work.

“All of these things go through a state process, and we’ll do everything we need to do to make sure this gets off to a good start and gets done,” said Leon Sanders, vice president for finance and administration, explaining next steps.

Ante’ Britten, associate vice president of finance and administration, has been charged with shepherding the project to this point, working closely with the HBCU Capital Financing Program, which provides low-cost capital to finance improvements to the infrastructure of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Britten thanked the university’s staff, attorneys and system office for assisting the university with an extensive financial process to ensure a successful  effort. “Without a well-coordinated effort, the path toward final approval wouldn’t have been as smooth as it’s been,” he said. “This project will be state-of-the-art and it allows GSU to offer a holistic health and wellness program.”

New Health and Wellness Center Photo Gallery
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Additional Information:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

June 24, 2014

GSU Bids Farewell to President and Mrs. Pogue

Faculty, friends, residents and staff say goodbye to an in-touch, down-to-earth president as he retires to enjoy consulting and family time with his bride of more than 50 years, his daughter and his two grandsons

As June comes to an end, so does the tenure of Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue. Since he announced his intention to retire June 30, Pogue has received calls, emails, handshakes and pats on the back as he continues conducting university business.

As Pogue winds down his time as Chief Gramblinite, Johnson Place, the president’s home for the last few years, is full of packed boxes and boxes being packed. Still, he continues his decades-old routine of waking up about 4:30 a.m., working out on the treadmill, checking emails and eating breakfast prepared by housekeeper Marian Crawford by 7 a.m. After spending some time with GSU’s first lady, Dorothy Pogue, his wife of more than 50 years, he kisses her gently and he is on his way to the office.

A lot of people have greeted him, some for the final time as he has been serenaded with care, concern and love. Being president requires travel, and just recently he has traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent Grambling State University.

The Pogues are leaving a memorable mark as they head into their next era of life.

Deon Jones
Grambling State University Media Bureau

Final Days of President Pogue on GSU Campus Photo Gallery
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Additional Information:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

 

 

June 20, 2014

GSU President: ‘Bayou Classic Goes On’

Grambling State President Frank G. Pogue says there are no talks about changing the Southern University and Grambling State University matchup

GRAMBLING, La. – The Bayou Classic will be played between Grambling State University and Southern University this fall — and in the future, according to Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue.

The historic football matchup pits the Southern University Jaguars against the Grambling State University Tigers on November 29 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, this time with the winner breaking the tied number of wins at 20-20. During a Wednesday meeting of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District board, concerns were raised about the Bayou Classic, an annual football matchup between two historically black universities and the only HBCU football game aired on national television.

“We know that nearly everyone is passionate about the Bayou Classic, and that includes Grambling State alums as well as people who enjoy the rivalry and all that takes place on and off the field each fall,” said Pogue. “This is a fierce, competitive rivalry in terms of football but it is nothing short of a good, strong marriage between two world-class institutions when it comes to putting on a tremendous week of activities and events on and off the field.”

“There is no discussion to change this historic matchup, and there are no plans to change this annual challenge in any way,” added Pogue.

The president noted that the Bayou Classic matches up well with other HBCU classics in terms of football game attendance and surpasses most other classics when it comes to drawing fans and supporters across the multiple-day event. The Bayou Classic annually draws about 250,000 to the Crescent City the week of Thanksgiving.

The LSED is responsible for the operation of the John A. Alario Sr. Event Center, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans Arena, New Orleans Saints Training Facility, TPC Louisiana, and Zephyr Field. The Bayou Classic is coordinated and marketed by the New Orleans Convention Company, known as NOCCI. Southern University and Grambling State University jointly own, operate and coordinate the Bayou Classic with NOCCI as its event and marketing firm.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

June 16, 2014

GSU Ruston Chapter Pledges $50,000 Scholarship

With $25, 000 in hand and an alumna pledge of $25,000, the Ruston Alumni Chapter presents $50,000 check during third annual scholarship gala on GSU campus

Dr. Janet Duncan Barnes, a 1974 GSU alumnae, has pledged a $50,000 scholarship donation as part of GSU’s Ruston alumni chapter.
Dr. Janet Duncan Barnes, a 1974 GSU alumnae,
has pledged a $50,000 scholarship donation as
part of GSU’s Ruston alumni chapter.

Grambling, La. -Grambling State University’s Ruston alumni chapter has pledged a $50,000 scholarship donation, including $25,000 already raised and another $25,000 promised by Dr. Janet Duncan Barnes.

“It’s the least we could do to help our very own place where everybody is somebody,” said Liz White, president of the Grambling University National Alumni Association Ruston Chapter and a 1966 graduate. “We all love dear ole Grambling, and we also believe that we have to show our love with the green.”

During the third annual scholarship gala event at the university’s Black and Gold Room, President Frank G. Pogue said he was thrilled that such a large donation had been pledged, one of the largest alumni chapter pledges made in recent years. White said $25,000 was raised over the last two years, originally with a $10,000 goal. She said the chapter easily raised $8,000 and then set up leadership donor opportunities, asking chapter members to donate at least $1,000 each. Those donations started coming in as well, White said. So the goal became larger, much larger. Then, the chapter set out to find a matching donor, and Barnes made an unexpected promise. “She simply said she would take care of it,” said White.

The scholarship will be named the Ruston Alumni Chapter’s Coach James Wicks Duncan Sr. Endowed Scholarship, in memory of Barnes’ father, a prominent Lincoln Parish coach and educator. “It is with great pride and genuine humility that we, The Duncan Family, support GUNAA- Ruston Chapter’s initiative…We are our Brother’s Keeper,” said Barnes.

Barnes, a successful New Orleans pediatrician and businesswoman and a 1974 GSU alumnae, said the $25,000 pledge is made easy because GSU meant so much to her as she built a strong foundation and as she watched the university during trying financial times. The institution has lost 56 percent of its state funding in just six years, including twice-annual cuts until December. Barnes, a native of Ruston, is a member of the Grambling University Foundation Inc. board of directors, and she established the Mary Rice Duncan Endowed Scholarship, named after her mother, a few years ago.

“When I sat with Liz and she told me their intention to establish a $50,000 endowed scholarship, I was absolutely amazed, thrilled because I know the needs of our students,” said Pogue, who continues as GSU president through June 30. “It is becoming increasingly more difficult to get federal and other student loans and funding, and sizeable donations like this one make a lot of difference.”

Pogue noted that alumni giving has increased from about 1.3% a year ago to about 12% in less than two years. “It means that no matter what our challenges and troubles, our alums understand the growing importance of giving to make a real difference in the lives of our students,” he said.

The Ruston chapter honored the 11 Grambling State alums that made contributions of $1,000 or more, including Ida Alexander,  retired New Orleans educator; Cheryle Buggs, Lincoln Parish educator; Ethel Drayton, Jackson Parish educator; Patricia Hutcherson, Grambling State University registrar; Debra Johnson, GSU Interim executive director of external affairs; Laverne Junior, retired GSU employee; Joecephus “Joe” Melton,  U.S. Air Force retiree; Mary Richard,  retired Lincoln Parish educator; Joe Ann Spencer, Lincoln Parish educator; Liz White, retired Louisiana Tech University professor, and Michelle Wright, executive director of the Lincoln Council on Aging.

“Dr. Barnes shared a piece of her heart, and a hefty piece of her checkbook,” added White. “What she and these other donors have done show an indescribable generosity. I see it as a challenge to others who are able and willing to give back.”

Click here for PDF.

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Additional Information:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

June 13, 2014

GSU Students Help Older Adults Ramp Up Tech Skills

Technology-savvy Grambling State University students help people 50 and older take existing tech skills to higher levels during four-day program

By Deon Jones
Grambling State University Media Bureau
 
GRAMBLING, La. - Senior citizens and seasoned citizens wanting to know how to get more out of their smartphones, laptops and mobile devices are getting some help at Grambling State University next week.

Designed specifically for people who are 50 years old and older, the university’s service learning program and the university first year experience program are co-hosting a four-day event, “Strengthening Technology Skills,” Monday through Thursday. The program will start each day at 2 p.m. in room 211 in the Charles P. Adams Building on campus. The event is free. Each day the program ends at 4 p.m.

During “Strengthening Technology Skills – a Workshop for People Over 50,” participants will learn a variety of creative and technical skills, including information about the I-Phone, other mobile devices, tablets, personal computers and more.  Participants will learn how to Skype and learn which apps are best for different types of desires and uses. One-on-one guidance and training will be provided.

“Students are getting together to finalize the curriculum, and prepare for the workshops because they will be leading the discussions,” said Dr. Ellen D. Smiley, dean of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College and associate professor of education and coordinator of military science.

Smiley said at least one student will be available each day, and each student will focus on different aspects of technology use. “The students are computer information systems major or others who have had experience working with technology,” added Smiley. She said she and Dr. Rory Bedford, director of the university’s service learning unit, will be on hand to provide some backup assistance.

Bedford said this workshop series is an opportunity for students to earn service learning credit.  “The students will experience the joy of providing service to others while sharing what they have learned from their coursework,” he said. “The first day, the students will assess the participants and determine their knowledge with regard to technology.”

“In many cases, although one may be very intelligent, using a cell phone and other technology can be challenging,” said Smiley. “The workshops will move at a slow pace so that participants will not feel intimidated by the technology.”

Participants are encouraged to bring Droids, iPhones and other smartphones as well as iPads and other tablet computers and other mobile devices.  Those interested can call 318-274-2114 or email smileye@gram.edu.

Click here for PDF.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton
318-533-5337
mediarelations@gram.edu

 

 

 

 

 

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