Grambling State University Commencement

 

University provides guidelines, information for May 8 events

GRAMBLING, La. – Grambling State University is scheduled to include about 505 participants in its Spring 2015 commencement at 10 a.m. Friday (May 8) at the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. GSU is providing several ways that proud caregivers, parents, relatives and friends can watch the fall commencement. In addition, the university has provided some guidelines and helpful information.

LIVE BROADCAST OPTIONS Those with access to a computer and an Internet connection can watch the event by using  (windows media links – archived/old link removed)

 

 

In addition, KGRM-FM will broadcast the entire commencement live. Tune in at 91.5 FM, starting at 9:45 a.m. The station will broadcast until diplomas are awarded.

PARKING Visitors attending the commencement at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center are asked to park in the designated locations. There will be a drop-off and pick-up area in front of the center for those who are disabled and those with special circumstances and special needs, but this is not a parking area. Graduation participants are asked to park in the parking spaces near the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium sign closest to the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center to allow family and friends to park closest to the Assembly Center.

CONGRATULATIONS BANNERS/FLAGS

The university is excited that such a large class is graduating this fall, just as caregivers, parents, relatives and friends are excited. Everyone attending is asked to be respectful of others who want to hear the names of their graduates called, and to see their graduates walk in the procession and walk across the stage. To ensure that this formal event is as enjoyable for everyone as possible, NO CONGRATULATORY BANNERS OR FLAGS WILL BE ALLOWED INSIDE THE ASSEMBLY CENTER.

PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEO

Only university-authorized campus and external media will be allowed on the floor of the Assembly Center to shoot and film the event. Only media with university-recognized media credentials will be allowed on the center’s floor, and only authorized campus and external media representatives with university-issued MEDIA ACCESS passes will be permitted on the floor. All others will be asked to clear the area.

POST-COMMENCEMENT RECEPTION

A commencement reception will be held in the McCall Dining Hall immediately after the event. Graduates and their family members are encouraged and invited to participate. Participants attending the reception, which will feature light refreshments, are asked to park in designated parking locations. Violators may be towed.

EXTERNAL MEDIA COVERAGE

External media are asked to contact the Office of Public Relations and Communications no later than 3 p.m. THURSDAY (May 7th) with definite, or tentative, plans to attend and cover the commencement. If there are specific external media interview requests, please make those at the same time. Please email mediarelations@gram.edu AND call 318-274-2866.

For additional information that may develop, visit www.gram.edu.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

CONGRESSMAN RALPH ABRAHAM SPEAKS AT GSU

 

Congressman Ralph Abraham PR Photo

Congressman Ralph Abraham will deliver Grambling State University’s 2015 Spring Commencement speech on May 8.

GRAMBLING, La. – Congressman Ralph Abraham will deliver Grambling State University’s 2015 Spring Commencement speech. The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

“We are privileged to welcome Congressman Ralph Abraham to GSU as our special guest and graduation speaker,” said GSU Interim President Cynthia Warrick.

Abraham was elected to represent Louisiana’s 5th District in December 2014. He represents Grambling, Lincoln Parish and 23 other parishes in north, central and southeastern Louisiana.

Though he is a new member, Abraham has already become one of the leading voices in Washington in calling for reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, a rare post for a freshman to attain. He also serves on the Agriculture Committee, an important assignment since Louisiana’s 5th District is one of the largest row crop districts in the nation.

Abraham grew up in rural Richland Parish where he and his wife, Dianne, reside today. He graduated from Mangham High School before earning his degree at Louisiana State University. He graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced for 10 years before eventually seeking his Medical Doctor degree, which he earned at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. Before being elected to Congress, Abraham was a practicing family medicine doctor in Mangham. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard, a veterinarian, a business owner and pilot. He flies for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol and Pilots for Patients, a program that flies patients who cannot afford to travel on their own to places where they can receive specialty medical care.

Abraham and Dianne have been married for 39 years. They have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

Charles Guidry Will Receive Honorary Degree at Grambling State University Spring Commencement

 

Charles Guidry PR Photo

Charles Guidry will receive the Doctor of Business during Grambling State University’s 2015 Spring Commencement on May 8.

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University will award Charles Guidry the honorary degree, Doctor of Business, during the 2015 Spring Commencement at 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 at the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Guidry will receive the university’s highest honor for his accomplishments in business and success in the sugar industry. Guidry has grown his small family farm to become one of the top producers of sugar cane in the state of Louisiana, and he serves as the only African American member of the Cajun Sugar Co-Op, Inc. Board of Directors.

He was born in Abbeville, La., in 1944, the oldest of nine children. He graduated from Grambling with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1969. He fought in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star and the United States Army Air Medal for his service. After returning from the war, Guidry attended Texas Southern University and earned a Master of Education in 1973.

Guidry worked as an elementary school teacher for six years in Houston, before returning to his family farm, Charles Guidry Farm, Inc., in 1979. Guidry has grown his father’s small farm of 100 acres to a 4,100-acre operation with 29 employees that grosses over $5.3 million per year.

After Hurricane Rita hit in 2005, Guidry, his wife, Wanda, and his son, Jerome, lost their homes, and the Guidry farmland was temporarily ruined. Faced with the possible loss of the farm, Guidry used his own savings and delayed retirement to keep the farm running.

“Grambling State University has numerous outstanding alumni. We celebrate Mr. Charles Guidry’s accomplishments with the awarding of the honorary doctorate to demonstrate our sincere appreciation for his notable success and the support he provides to GSU and his community, family and the state of Louisiana,” GSU Interim President Cynthia Warrick said.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

Reception Held in Honor of Hank Aaron Will Raise Funds for Eddie G. Robinson Museum

 

Henry “Hank” Aaron PR Photo

Henry “Hank” Aaron. Photo by Pouya Dianat/Atlanta Braves.

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University and the Friends of Eddie G. Robinson Museum are hosting a special reception following the 2015 Spring Commencement featuring former members of the Atlanta Braves, including Henry “Hank” Aaron, to raise funds for the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. The reception will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 8 at the Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant.

“I just think that every individual needs to make sure they get an opportunity to come and see this great American, Hank Aaron. He’s the king of baseball as far as I’m concerned,” said Wilbert Ellis, president of the Friends of Eddie G. Robinson Museum. “Eddie Robinson had the chance to meet Hank Aaron, and you know Eddie would be excited.”

Many state museums across Louisiana were forced to reduce operations in mid-April due to mid-year budget cuts. Currently, the Eddie G. Robinson Museum only receives enough state funding to remain open one day a week, but the Friends of Eddie G. Robinson Museum want to keep the museum operational for four days a week.

“The museum is named after one of American’s greatest, Eddie G. Robinson, who coached at Grambling for 57 years and is in every Hall of Fame you can name. He’s touched the lives of so many individuals, including myself. We want young people to see this great American and his contributions and what he has done for Grambling State University and the whole country,” Ellis said.

Four former Atlanta Braves players, who are all Louisiana natives, will be honored at the reception: Wayne Causey, Gary Eaves, Ralph “Roadrunner” Garr and George Stone.

An auction will also be held featuring autographed sports memorabilia, including baseballs and bats signed by Aaron and basketballs signed by Willis Reed, a Grambling alumnus and former New York Knicks player.

Aaron, who is the senior vice president in the Atlanta Braves front office, will be awarded Grambling’s highest honor, the Doctor of Humane Letters degree, during the 2015 Spring Commencement at 10 a.m. May 8 at the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center for his numerous contributions to professional baseball and charity.

There are a limited number of tickets available for the event. Tickets can be purchased for $100 each at the following locations: Ruston-Lincoln Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau, Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Grambling State University and the Clark Company in Monroe. Donations to the museum can be made payable to The Friends of Eddie G. Robinson Museum.

For more information about the reception, please call Ellis at 318-614-8716 or John Belton at 318-680-6904.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

Grambling State University Launches 10 for $10 Fundraising Challenge

Support GSU, take the 10 for $10 Challenge

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University is kicking off its I’m a G 10 for $10 Challenge today and is inviting alumni, students, staff, faculty, parents and friends to take up the challenge to build a strong and sustainable future for the university.

Launch parties will be held in four cities across the country this weekend to celebrate the start of the 10 for $10 Challenge. The parties begin today in Dallas/Fort Worth, followed by Houston on Saturday and Chicago and Little Rock on Sunday.

The 10 for $10 Challenge is simple. You donate $10 or more to Grambling State University, challenge 10 other people to match your gift, and then challenge those 10 people to recruit 10 more people to donate to Grambling and get 10 people to repeat the process.

“In light of the budget implications on Grambling State University, it is critical that all members of the GSU family participate in fundraising. This 10 for $10 Challenge allows all of our stakeholders to contribute financial support. I applaud our loyal alums who brought this initiative to our attention and are helping us implement it,” GSU Interim President Cynthia Warrick said.

Donations may be made using the Grambling Mobile App, by text and visiting www.gram.edu/giving or https://www.facebook.com/GSU10for10. Checks may be mailed to Grambling University Foundation, Office of Research, Advancement and Economic Development, GSU BOX 4236, Grambling, LA 71245.

For more information about the I’m a G 10 for $10 Challenge, email gsu10for10challenge@gmail.com.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

GSU’s Orchesis Dance Company to Perform in Dance His High Praise 8

 

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University’s Orchesis Dance Company will perform in a show celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Acts of 1965. Extensions of Excellence Performing Arts, Inc. will present Dance His High Praise 8 at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 at the Strand Theatre in Shreveport, under the direction of Dianne Maroney-Grigsby, an instructor of theatre arts.

The theme for this spiritual ballet is “The 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act- We Dance and Sing to Selma.” The theme was greatly inspired by the movie “Selma,” based on the 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., during the Civil Rights Movement. The performance contains many musical numbers from the movie, including the Oscar-winning song “Glory” by singer-songwriter John Legend and rapper Common.

The annual dance recital will also include performances by the Christian Dance Center under the direction of Terry Jackson, the Louisiana Dance Theatre under the direction of Carol Anglin and the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church Chancel Choir directed by Hattie Wade.

Vincent Williams, the producer of Dance His High Praise 8, said it was important to teach young people about the history of the Voting Rights Act and Selma, because the events are usually only taught during Black History Month in February.

“All around America, everyone celebrated the march to Selma. A lot of our young people don’t even know their own history, because it’s not really being taught anymore. Our mission statement is to educate young people and expose them to quality theatre, so we are hoping they learn from this performance,” Williams said.

During the performance, one promising high school senior who will study dance at Grambling will be awarded the Helen Horton Teacher Education and Performing Arts Scholarship. This $2,000 scholarship is awarded in memory of Helen Horton, who is Williams’ mother. Horton graduated from Grambling in 1959 and was an educator for 30 years in Shreveport. Strand Theatre is located at 619 Louisiana Avenue in Shreveport. Admission is $20. To purchase tickets, please call the Strand Theatre Box Office at 318-226-8555.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

Gipson Recipient of Gilbreath Communications Scholarship

 

GSU senior E’Vonne Gipson PR Photo

GSU senior E’Vonne Gipson received the Gilbreath Communications Education Fund Scholarship from the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston.

By Angelita Faller

GRAMBLING, LA – E’Vonne Gipson has always loved writing. It gives her a freedom of expression that she has never felt before.

“When I was in high school, I joined the creative writing club, and it was special to me, because that’s how I expressed myself. I didn’t like to talk much, so my voice was often a written story,” she said. Now an active senior majoring in mass communication at Grambling State University, Gipson uses her writing skills to help other people promote their dreams.

“I also like to help promote people. I like to write feature stories so I can follow my dreams while helping others follow theirs,” she said. Gipson’s work in communication has earned her a $2,000 scholarship from the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston (AEFH), which she received at the AEFH Scholarship Presentation on April 17 in Houston.

She is the recipient of the Gilbreath Communications Education Fund Scholarship, a scholarship that is sponsored by 1979 Grambling alumni Audrey Gilbreath, president and chief executive officer of the Houston-based advertising and public relations agency Gilbreath Communications. “I am very honored to be the recipient of the Gilbreath Communications Scholarship, because Mrs. Gilbreath is an alumna of Grambling State University, and it shows that the education I am receiving will assist in me achieving my career goals,” she said.

Gipson is an involved member of the Grambling community. She has worked in the University Communications Media Bureau, as a student reporter on the Gramblinite and has interned at the Abilene Reporter-News and Houston Style magazine. She is also a member of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College, Alpha Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and National Society of Leadership and Success. After graduation, Gipson plans to attend graduate school in either communications or marketing, leading to a career in publicity and talent promotion.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

Hank Aaron Will Receive Honorary Degree at Grambling State University Spring Commencement

 

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University will award baseball legend Henry “Hank” Aaron with the honorary degree, Doctor of Business, during the 2015 Spring Commencement at 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 at the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Aaron, who is currently the senior vice president in the Atlanta Braves front office, will receive the university’s highest honor for his numerous contributions to professional baseball and society through his substantial charitable efforts.

Aaron played 21 seasons for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League and two seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League. In his 23-year Major League career, Aaron rewrote baseball’s record book. When he retired at the end of the 1976 season, he held more Major League batting records than any other player in the game’s history. His most famous home run came in Atlanta on April 8, 1974, when he hit his 715 home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s seemingly untouchable record. In 2007, Barry Bonds broke Aaron’s record for Most Home Runs, Lifetime (755).

Following his playing career, Aaron joined the Braves’ front office in 1976 for a 13-year tenure as vice president and director of player development. In that position, he oversaw the development of many players instrumental in the Braves’ 1982 National League West Division championship. Since December 1989, he has served as senior vice president for the Braves.

Since his retirement from professional baseball, Aaron has also given back to society for nearly 40 years. His Chasing the Dream Foundation was established in 2007 to help children between the ages of nine and 12 realize their dreams, as he realized his. In addition, the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Four-for-Four Scholarship program, begun in 2010, has endowed four-year scholarships for the benefit of deserving students who have chosen to pursue their dreams by attending college.

“Everyone knows about Grambling’s great tradition in football, but few know that GSU President Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones was also the head baseball coach. Grambling also has a reputation for producing baseball greats; and to have Mr. Henry ‘Hammering Hank’ Aaron visit our campus to be recognized for his outstanding contributions to baseball, business and society is an honor,” GSU Interim President Cynthia Warrick said.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

Miss Grambling State University Competes in EBONY’s Campus Queens Competition

 

Miss GSU Spring 2015 PR Photo

Miss Grambling State University Ginia Smith is competing in the EBONY’s 2015 Campus Queens Competition.

GRAMBLING, LA Only 10 of the best campus beauty queens from Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the country will reign over the pages of the September 2015 issue of EBONY magazine, and Miss Grambling State University, Ginia Smith, needs your vote to make it to the Top 10!

Smith is a 22-year-old senior biology major from Lafayette, La. During her tenure as Miss Grambling State, she founded a community service organization called Heart of a Tiger, created Grambling’s Next Top Model scholarship competition and began an empowerment program for women on campus called G-Talk. After she graduates in May, she will attend dental school and one day plans to become an oral surgeon.

“I would like to win to represent Grambling State University,” Smith said. “I just wanted to continue showcasing and representing Grambling in EBONY. I feel like it would be a great recruiting tool for our campus. I really want us to be in EBONY, because I know we can do it.”

EBONY magazine’s annual Campus Queens competition features videos on the reigning campus queens from the country’s HBCUs. Voting begins this week and runs through May 22. Visit http://www.ebony.com/hbcu-campusqueens/project.php?id=193 to read about Smith, watch her two-minute campaign video detailing her charity work and cast your vote for Miss Grambling State as your favorite campus queen.

Vote for Miss GSU Flyer/Link:
Vote for Miss GSU in Ebony Magazine contest!
http://www.ebony.com/campusqueens
Vote by May 22!

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu

Grambling State University Baseball Team Holds Strike Out Breast Cancer Event

Members of the Grambling State University baseball team and the More Than Conquerors Breast Cancer Support Group march to raise awareness for breast cancer during the baseball team’s Pink Strike Out Breast Cancer walk on April 14. Photo by Glen Lewis.

Members of the Grambling State University baseball team and the More Than Conquerors Breast Cancer Support Group march to raise awareness for breast cancer during the baseball team’s Pink Strike Out Breast Cancer walk on April 14. Photo by Glen Lewis.

 By Angelita Faller

GRAMBLING, LA – Katherine Mixon will always remember throwing the first pitch in the April 14 Grambling State University baseball game against Jarvis Christian College as one of the most exciting moments of her life. As someone who has struggled with sports due to asthma, it gave her a rare opportunity to not only participate in college athletics, but to raise awareness about breast cancer at the same time.

“It was so exciting. I was very honored that they even asked me. I felt like a hero, because they could have chosen anyone, but they chose me. I have not been athletic in my life, because I have asthma, but all the guys were so nice, and they treated they like a mom,” said Mixon, who retired from Grambling as assistant director of student financial aid in 2013.

More than 12 years ago, Mixon was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer on her father’s birthday, Oct. 27. Since then, she has felt an overwhelming responsibility to provide testimony about her experience to others. Throwing the first pitch at Grambling’s Pink Strike Out Breast Cancer walk and baseball game provided her with a great opportunity to inspire others.

“Just throwing that ball lets people know I’m here and I’m alive. It’s like a testimony for me to get out there and throw that ball. Other people who are going through it know that they can get through it too,” she said.

Head Baseball Coach James Cooper has held the event three times over the past five years, but it has been rained out twice. He was inspired by one of his players whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“During my tenure here, his mom was in Atlanta. He got the phone call from his parents that she had breast cancer. It was pretty frightening. He dealt with her breast cancer from his sophomore to senior years. She beat it, but the fact that she is eight hours away made it tough,” Cooper said.

During the breast cancer awareness event, members of the baseball team and breast cancer survivors from the More Than Conquerors Breast Cancer Support Group marched from the parking lot of Robinson Stadium to Wilbert Ellis Field at R.W.E. Jones Park, while members of the baseball team handed women information about mammograms and breast cancer prevention.

Survivors who marched during the event include Rixie Thompson, Jan Rose, Joann Perry, Delores Avery and Delane Smith. Thompson, president of the support group, said it was especially inspiring for everyone to see Avery and Smith, who are both undergoing treatment for stage four breast cancer, complete the march.

“I think the highlight of the whole walk was the fact that the baseball players were passing out student awareness and that these two stage four survivors made the walk. They are both in treatment. I had a back up truck in case they couldn’t make the walk, but neither of them ever said they wanted to get in truck. They were both determined to make the entire walk,” Thompson said.

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Media Contact:
Office of Communications
318-274-2866
mediarelations@gram.edu