Author Archives: Greta Carter

Grambling Women Up: Courageous Local Civil Rights Legends Share

By Kathy Spurlock and Jasmine Harris

As part of its Women’s History Month observance, Grambling State University celebrates a number of phenomenal women who have helped women across the nation and the world rise. Thank you to Louisiana’s Women Warriors for helping lift Grambling Women Up.

“Women Women WarriorsWarriors: A Conversation” was a program presented to students and the community to address a much-neglected area of humanities study: the activism of women in rural communities during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s.

During the program, several women shared their experiences. Mrs. Berta Bradford Robinson, a native of Jonesboro, Louisiana, along with James Potts, is noted for desegregating Louisiana Tech University. Robinson lost her church to a fire following the news of their integration at the university. “First of all, the headlines came out before the church was burned. The headlines were Bradford and Potts integrate Tech and immediately after that headlines showed church was burned,” she told the group. Robinson spoke to the guilt her counterpart felt toward enrolling into the university, blaming himself for the destruction caused to the church.

Mrs. Bessie Dill Bradley recounted the frightening night she was sought by Ku Klux Klan members while sitting in jail. Bradley received a feeling that she explained as a divine calling for her to hide herself. The men circled the building looking for a victim and eventually left when they found no one.

Bradley, with tears welling up in her eyes, began to sing a hymn to the crowd as a show of gratitude.

“It was a special moment in the room, it felt like listening to one of your grandparents telling you about their upbringing and the trials and tribulations they went through” said Derrick Johnson, a Biology major from Atlanta, Georgia.

Mrs. Mabel Houston detailed her experience at Jackson High School, where she was only able to stay for four months. The white students treated her as an oddity. Her bullying came in the form of children separating themselves from her. While demonstrating with 12 other students against the school, they were arrested and thrown in a garbage truck to be hauled off to jail. She was only 14 at the time. “They didn’t hurt us, they just put us in jail and fed us three meals a day for a week,” Houston said.

The program was designed to open an important conversation about the women who were not written into history, and to inspire the audience to seek the unrecognized heroines in their own communities and to document their stories before they are lost to history.

These women highlighted were vital parts in the movement toward equality in their communities. Thank you, Women Warriors, for helping raise “Grambling Women Up.”

To share a story of another Grambling State woman achiever, follow and share #GramblingWomenUp on Facebook or Twitter.

Grambling Women Up: Criminal Justice Graduate Makes Dallas History

Dallas Police Chief Renee HallGRAMBLING, La. (March 16, 2018) – As part of its Women’s History Month, Grambling State University celebrates a number of phenomenal women from its community who have helped women across the nation and the world rise. Thank you to Renee Hall for helping lift Grambling Women Up.  

Renee Hall, an alumna of Grambling State’s Criminal Justice program and the first female police chief in Dallas, Texas, has a long record of helping grow her industry and women’s achievement. 

Hall, who previously served as deputy chief of the Detroit Police Department, was hired as chief in September 2017. But, that’s not where her contributions started. 

Hall received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grambling State in 1994 and master’s degrees in security administration and intelligence analysis from the University of Detroit Mercy. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, she also completed the Police Executive Leadership Institute and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  

She was recently appointed special assistant to the president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. In March 2015, she was selected as one of Michigan Chronicle’s Women of Excellence.  She has also been honored as “Woman of the Decade” by the Native Detroiter Magazine. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

As Deputy Chief in Detroit, Hall developed and implemented comprehensive community policing and mentor programs, forged partnerships and established trust within minority communities while also building strong relationships between officers of all ranks and community stakeholders. Under her leadership, the City of Detroit experienced a 40-year low in homicides and double-digit reductions in violent crime for three consecutive years.

Her responsibilities also included oversight of police services for six precincts and 720 sworn and non-sworn personnel. 

In Dallas, she has already completed a departmental reorganization to trim administrative staff, and is focused on neighborhood policing, recruiting new officers and community service. 

“Ms. Hall’s appointment as the chief of police for the city of Dallas is an achievement that reaches beyond the personal success of one person,” GSU Criminal Justice professor Dr. Karletta White said.  “Her achievement and future efforts will definitely have a lasting impact on the current and future generations of little girls and young women who would have never imagined that such a goal could be reached, and be comfortable accepting such a tremendous responsibility. “ 

Thank you, Chief Hall, for helping raise “Grambling Women Up.” 

To share a story of another Grambling State woman achiever, follow and share #GramblingWomenUp on Facebook or Twitter.  


Judge Lynn Toler Keynotes Women’s History Month Convocation

Woman Up, Grambling: Judge Lynn Toler highlights Opportunity for Grambling Today

GSU President Rick Gallot and Judge Lynn Toler“Thump to your own rhythm,” Judge Lynn Toler advised more than 300 young women during Grambling State University’s 2018 Women’s History Convocation.

Toler, well-known host of the nationally syndicated show “Divorce Court,” took to the stage with Miss Grambling, Jimmitriv Roberson, President Rick Gallot, and other student leaders to help offer advice and encouragement on how the women of GSU can “rise up.”

“As women, we have more in our arsenal than anyone thinks,” said Toler. “If we, as a people, are going to survive and create a better world we have to honor the contributions of both men and women.”

“Black women have to continue to be fearless and to go even where we haven’t seen others go,” said Toler. “There were no black women at the first or second law firms where I worked. I went anyway.”

Toler, a graduate of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, while well known for it, is much more than a judge on TV. Toler is the author of “My Mother’s Rules: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Emotional Genius,” and has worked for more than 30 years to help communities, schools, and individuals advance both on and off the screen.

Her off-screen work includes serving on the boards and as a volunteer of The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), Cuyahoga County Criminal Justice Services Supervisory Board, Goodwill’s Starting Over Program, and preventing domestic violence through

“Grambling State University has a long history of producing and engaging influential women like Judge Toler,” said President Gallot. “We are educating a generation of game-changing women and it’s an honor for our students to engage with someone of her caliber. Her success in criminal justice, women’s rights and media affirms to our students that their big visions are possible.”

To follow more of the GSU conversation with Judge Toler and learn more about historic women from Grambling State, follow hashtag #WomanUpGrambling2018 on Twitter and Facebook.

Grambling State & City Town Hall Discuss Grambling’s Future


Historic Unity Town Hall on Monday connects University & City of Grambling leaders 

GRAMBLING, LA — March 13, 2018 – President Rick Gallot and Mayor Edward R. Jones will host students, faculty, and community members at a Monday town hall to discuss the future of theUnity in the Community collaboration between Grambling State University and the City of Grambling.

Billed as a “Unity in the Community” forum, the event is sponsored by the GSU Department of Mass Communication and the Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce.

“We know that community partnership is a large part of what makes any University work. At Grambling we are fortunate enough to have a President and Mayor who have an open dialogue that fuels our historic relationship,” said Dr. Robbie Morganfield, event co-organizer and head of the Department of Mass Communication. “I’m excited that we get to publicly host and invite community members into what will be one of many conversations.”

Community residents, media, and the university campus community are invited to attend the forum.

Event Details

Town Hall: “Unity in the Community” 
Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, 100 North Stadium Drive, Grambling State University on Monday, March 19, 2018, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Community members and attendees are encouraged to submit questions for the panelists about the past, present and future of the city and university.

To submit questions or for more information email or contact Dr. Robbie Morganfield, head of GSU’s Mass Communication Department at 318.274.2189 or Dr. Reginald Owens, president of the Chamber at 318.243.4337.


New Era of Excellence Reception Raises $100k+ for Grambling State

Grambling State Alumni and Friends raise $114,000 to support Presidential Initiatives

March 9, 2018

Draped in black and gold, more than 100 GSU community members joined Jonesboro Mayor Alumni and Friends CheckJames Bradford for the second annual New Era of Excellence Reception Saturday, March 3, 2018 which raised more than $100,000 for Grambling State.

The reception, in its second year, was originally inspired by alumni who, ignited by President Rick Gallot’s appointment, who wanted to create a new way to support GSU’s growth.

“We’re thankful for the many partners and individuals that support Grambling State,” said President Gallot. “That support comes in many ways and when I see folks show up and participate in events like this, it reminds me of the privilege it is to serve our incredible students and community.”

Since 2017 the New Era of Excellence effort, led by long-time alumni and GSU supporter James Bradford, has raised almost $260,000 earmarked to go directly toward University initiatives.

“We do this, because we know that we must,” said Mayor Bradford. “If we don’t support Grambling, who will?”

Hosted by a team of students, alumni, and University staff, the event drew donations and support from some of the largest businesses in North Louisiana including Jonesboro State Bank.

“We’re excited about all of the support we continue to see for Grambling State University,” said Marc Newman, Vice President of Advancement at GSU. “It’s proof that people believe in the leadership and direction of the University.”

For more information on the New Era of Excellence and more opportunities to donate the effort, please visit and select “New Era” in the giving portal.

Grambling State University Lunch and Learn Draws Business Leaders

First National, Coca-Cola, and Others Strategize to Invest in Grambling State

March 6, 2018

Marc Newman, GSU Vice President for Advancement

Business giants in North Louisiana’s economy, including Coca-Cola and First National Bank, are actively strategizing ways to leverage their more than billion dollars in value to support  Grambling State University.

“We’ve been a sponsor for many years and have always gotten a lot out of working with Grambling State,” said Brian Smith, a Senior Vice President at First National Bank. “First National Bank is excited to be a part of the team that supports Grambling’s growing vision.

Smith and 13 other executives from companies that include Primary Health Services, Coca-Cola, and State Farm joined University leaders last Thursday to explore strategies and discuss the future of Grambling State.
“We know our President’s big vision is going to require big collaboration,” said Marc Newman, Vice President of Advancement at GSU. “That means we have to connect with partners who can help turn that vision into a sustainable reality.”

“We have a marketable product – in 2017 over 200,000 guest and fans visited campus. They are consumers who will support our local business partners. Grambling State University is truly a worthwhile investment.”

Newman and business leaders met as a part of GSU’s second annual Lunch and Learn which, in the past two years, has helped coral support for scholarships, campus improvements, and major athletics and facility projects, including recent football stadium upgrades.

This year’s lunch and learn connected 14 partners representing 11 companies whose business range from apparel sales and insurance to healthcare and hospitality. This year’s attending companies included:

  • Ruston Convention Visitors Bureau
  • Primary Health Services Center (PHSC)
  • Collegiate Shop
  • First National Bank
  • Coca-Cola
  • State Farm
  • Reali-Tees
  • I Love my HBCU
  • Fairfield Inn
  • Princeton Place Skilled Nursing & Rehab
  • Tommy’s Tees

“The economic impact of Grambling is immense and growing. It’s showing in the number of companies that show up and support us,” said Newman.

For more information on sponsoring and supporting Grambling State University, please contact

Grambling State Hosts White House Correspondent, April Ryan

CNN Analyst & White House Correspondent to Keynote GSU’s Black History Convocation

By GSU Media Bureau

April Ryan HeadshotGRAMBLING, LA — February 26, 2018 – White House Correspondent, April Ryan, who is well known for her coverage of presidential administrations and African-American issues will deliver the keynote address at the 2018 Grambling State University Black History Convocation on February 27, 2018.

The only black female reporter covering urban issues in the White House and one of only three African Americans to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents Association, Ryan is a veteran journalist who began her White House work during the Clinton era. Since then, she’s grown to become the Washington Bureau Chief for the American Urban Radio Networks and through her “Fabric of America” news blog, CNN appearances and radio content, she reaches millions of Americans weekly.

“For more than one hundred years, Grambling State’s led Louisiana in engaging and attracting those who champion the African-American vantage point in media,” said Rick Gallot, GSU’s 10th President. “We’re honored to host Mrs. Ryan to share her unique perspective with our students.”

Ryan joins a long list of notable African-Americans featured at Grambling State University events, including Roland Martin, Johnny C. Taylor, and Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III.

GSU’s Black History Convocation is free and open to the campus, surrounding communities, and media.

Grambling State University Black History Convocation, 2018
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 11:00 a.m.

T.H. Harris Auditorium, Grambling State University

403 Main Street, Grambling, LA 71245

 For media credentials or more information, please contact




About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information visit





GSU Weather Closure: Tuesday, January 16

We will be CLOSED for normal business and classes TOMORROW (Tuesday, Jan 16) in anticipation of the wintry precipitation forecast for overnight and into Wednesday.

The convenience store in Tiger Express will open today (Monday) from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm for students to stock up on supplies.   In the event of a power outage, they are prepared to provide sack lunches (sandwich, chips, cookies, fruit and soda).

On TOMORROW (Tuesday, Jan 16), McCall Dining Hall Hours will be according to the Brunch Schedule:  Brunch (10:30 am – 1:00 pm) and Dinner (4:30 pm – 6:00 pm)

We are monitoring National Weather Service reports for Wednesday and the rest of the week.

GSU advises students, faculty and staff to be careful and cautious.

Spring 2018 registration continues online via Banner.




Larry Holston Acrylic on Canvas

Larry Holston
Acrylic on Canvas



Four Grambling State faculty are sharing art work during a special show at the university’s Dunbar Gallery through late January

Grambling State University’s Dunbar Gallery is hosting the Annual Faculty Art Exhibition, SeeSaw, January 8 – 29. Artists exhibiting are Donna McGee, Rodrecas (Drék) Davis, Larry D. Holston, and Terence C. Williams II. The works in the show encompass a range from satirical discourse on social topics to introspective contemplation as an antidote to stressors in contemporary culture.

McGee, professor of art, holds a bachelor of science in art education from Mississippi State University, a masters in counseling from Mississippi State University and a master of fine arts in studio, painting and drawing from Louisiana Tech University. Her work is rooted in the belief that man is an integral part of nature. She believes that through communion with the natural world, we gain a greater understanding of ourselves.

“Drék” (pronounced Dreek) Davis, assistant professor of art, is a native of Monroe, Georgia, and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Georgia. Davis’ works address underlying meanings associated with words such as “Black” and “Magic” and the irony of such words when considered in the context of black culture.

Holston, assistant professor of art, received his bachelor of arts degree in art education from Grambling State University and a master of arts in art from Northwestern Louisiana University. His work for this is reflective of people and the way they express their identity through their physical appearance.

Williams holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in sequential art from Savannah College of Art and Design. His work is a visual commentary on various social topics and current events. He brings the art of the graphic novel into the gallery setting to capture attention and generate discussion in a different format.

The public is invited to meet the artists at a closing reception to be held in the gallery on January 25 from 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Gallery hours are from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m.-12 noon on Friday. The gallery is closed on university holidays. Dunbar Gallery is located in Dunbar Fine Arts Annex on Hutchinson Street in Grambling. Accommodations are available for large groups and special needs persons. For more information, please call 318-274-2274 or 318-274- 3462.




In higher education, every university’s history includes the gift of a few iconic leaders whose work and service grow the very fabric and trajectory of the institution.

Dr. Joseph B. Johnson, the third president of Grambling State University, was uncontestably one of our legacy’s greatest gifts. My GSU president and fellow member of Kappa Alpha Psi’s Gamma Psi chapter, Dr. Johnson will forever be remembered as a bold and progressive leader.Dr and Mrs Johnson (former GSU President)

Never afraid to speak his mind or challenge the status quo, he helped elevate our University to one of America’s most influential and recognized African American institutions.

His voice and contributions created impact that will be felt for generations to come. From his conversations with students under our “tree of knowledge” to his Whitehouse visits with various presidents, his presence helped create the change our university, nation, and world needed to see.

He and his administration’s tireless work on legacy-changing efforts included preparing the Consent Decree, which brought millions of dollars to GSU; establishing key academic programs including our School of Nursing, MBA program, and top-ranked computer science programs; and establishing GSU’s Earl Lester Cole Honors College and our doctoral program in developmental education.

Our first alumni president and the first Kappa president of GSU, Dr. Johnson will be remembered for the way he used his Grambling love to grow our University’s place in history.

He invested in our community, campus, and a long list of GSU alumni who have followed in his footsteps in shaping our world and education.

Grambling State University will be forever indebted to President Johnson. He was a fighter, a warrior and one of the voices who made sure our institution never settled for ordinary. It was an honor to call him President, mentor, and advisor.

I know I speak for all in our GSU family when I say he will always be remembered and deeply missed.  Christy and I send our prayers and condolences to the Johnson family during this difficult time.