September 25, 2013

GSU’S Only Female President: Long Live Grambling State University

Neari Warner returns, delivers Founder’s Day convocation speech

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling, LA – Long-Jones Hall has portraits of presidents that laid foundations to keep Grambling State University going. Among the nine, eight are men and there is one woman, Neari Warner.

She returned the Grambling State’s campus after four years to give the Founder’s Day Convocation address on Tuesday (Sept. 23).

During her 2001-2004 presidency, Warner successfully led the university through a probation period by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting agency for schools in the South. With hard work from students, faculty and staff, Grambling State was cleared in 2003.

“We worked not only to secure SACS accreditation, but to also ensure that all degree programs were accredited by their respective agencies,” she said. “We had to make sure that our academic programs were validated and that our school was a university of excellence.”
Founder’s Day celebrates tradition, service and excellence at Grambling State University, founded by Charles P. Adams, the university’s first president, when the school opened in August 1901.

“Adams worked, toiled and fought to ensure the reality and longevity of this school,” Warner told an audience of Grambling elementary, middle and school students as well as university faculty, staff and students. “Now you have to remember this was in the early 1900s. I am sure none of us can imagine the trials and tribulations he encountered to keep the school growing and prospering.”

Grambling State University, which started as Colored Industrial and Agricultural School, has had many presidents continue Adams’ leadership legacy. Along the way, among the leaders was Warner.

“Then something happen,” said Warner. “I vowed openly to all constituents of the university, I would do my best to ensure the tradition, service and excellence established by our founder, and all my male predecessors, that I would continue and not be compromised.” 

The Grambling State alumna had a long career tailored in Grambling’s administration. Before becoming acting president, she was provost and vice president for academic affairs, acting vice president of academic affairs, special assistant to the president, vice president for development and university relations and interim vice president for student affairs from 1994 until she became acting president.

During her founder’s day address, Warner took time to acknowledge nearly every department and degree program that was accredited during her presidency. She believes it was time for them to receive recognition for their hard work and dedication.

“When the College of Business received it’s accreditation, we wanted to announce it on the New York Stock Exchange,” said Warner. “But, we didn’t because we still had work to do.”

In addition, she was honored to be notified that seven GSU students were awarded $2,000 each from the Dr. Neari F. Warner Endowed Scholarship fund, money the students can use to cover tuition, books or related school expenses.

The World Famed Tiger Marching Band, dressed in black coats and slacks and white shirts, performed “Marched of the Heralds” as President Frank G. Pogue and some faculty and staff marched into the T.H. Harris Auditorium robed in academic regalia.

“I am honored to attend such a prestigious program,” said Michael Wells, 18, a freshman marketing major from Tallulah, La. “If it wasn’t for people like Charles P. Adams, Grambling would not still be standing today.”

Many freshmen were in attendance, in part because the First Year Experience class requires attendance at general assemblies.  Still, some freshmen see the benefit.

“First Year Experience is a great class which teaches us about the legacy of Grambling,” said Jermey Klie, 19, a sophomore computer information system from Tallulah. Among other things, the F.Y.E. class teaches students about the university’s rich tradition, the alma mater and the fight song.  

Among the convocation attendees were a couple of special guests, descendants of Adams, a great grandchild, Edward Adams, and a great-great grandchild, Christian Adams, both of New Orleans.

“As a child, I would always spend time with my grandparents when they lived in Grambling,” said Christian Adams. “I never realized the magnitude of being a descendant of Charles P. Adams until today.”  This was his first founder’s convocation and he said he appreciated the experience and the respect for his great-great grandfather.

“This is a great recognition of the Adams family,” added Edward “Terry” Adams. 

One of the most sentimental moments of the convocation was the placing of the flowers. Three kindergarten students from Alma J. Brown Elementary School placed bright yellow flowers on stage near Adam’s pictures while the crowd watched, smiled and awed. 

There were also students from Grambling Laboratory Middle and High Schools in attendance. Adarian Williams, 17, a senior who is the student government association president at Grambling Lab High School, shared an inspiring poem about Adams dedication to the university. Williams said Grambling State University is one of his top picks for college next year.

During the assembly, the university choir sang several selections, including “Life Ev’Ry Voice and Sing,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and “Daniel, Daniel Servant of the Lord,” arranged and directed by Undine Moore and Natorshau Davis.  

This week, students will tour the campus, including historical highlights including landmarks including the Adam’s home and his burial site. Founder’s Week Tours for the general public are scheduled for Thursday (September 26) at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., leaving from the front of Brown Hall on the campus.

# # #

Additional Information:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



GSU is First HBCU, First in State With P.O.D. Market

Fresh fruit, juices and ethnic hair products bring students alternatives, joy

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling, LA – Grambling State University has a new addition at the Tiger Express. GSU is the only HBCU and the first Louisiana university with the new store.

What was once the empty space in a corner of the of the food court is now home to a Provisions On Demand Market, also known as the P.O.D Market; gives students the access to healthier food alternatives. The store hosted a grand opening on Sept. 17, and the store was busy with new customers, games and more.

“I need coffee in my life,” said Faith Lyons, 17, a freshman. “There should have been a Starbucks but I am happy there is a P.O.D.” Though coffee is a priority, there are other reasons she’s happy with the new store. “Now I don’t have to go all the way to Wal-Mart in Ruston to get cereal.”

Aramark created the P.O.D Market concept with three stores — Brandeis University, University of Tennessee and University of Toledo – and the number of stores has grown to about 350 stores, including 250 on college campuses. Grambling State will be the first university in Louisiana to have established a P.O.D market.

Savon Belton 18, of Monroe, has watched the construction since early in the semester while working in the Tiger Express. He will be working in the P.OD for work study. The hours, which are posted just outside of the glass window, say the P.O.D is open all week. They are open as early as 7am and close as late as 9pm.

With ten refrigerators on the wall, an aisle for hair products and tub of ice that cools a variety of Minutemaid juices, the new store offers quite a variety of products. Students did not hesitate to use the blending bar, “F’Real Milkshakes and More.”

Tiger Express assistant retail manager Melvin Johnston, 27, a 2008 Grambling alum who attended school without such a store, said he’s excited about the new addition. Johnston said he is “looking forward to seeing the students happy.”

# # #

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



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.

Click here for PDF.

# # #

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

# # #

Additional Information:

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



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


Click here for PDF.

# # #

Media Contact:
Will Sutton



« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress