Gallot Named Grambling State University President

ULS Board names Rick Gallot  GSU's 10th president.Grambling, LA – The University of Louisiana System (ULS) Board of Supervisors announced today that the tenth President of Grambling State University (GSU) will be former Louisiana state senator, and state representative, Richard J. Gallot, Jr.

The ULS Board met today in Baton Rouge and interviewed both Gallot and Dr. Gilbert Rochon, former Tuskegee University President.

Gallot is a 1987 GSU graduate where he received a bachelor of arts in Arts & History. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Southern University in 1990.

From 2000 to 2012, Gallot held the District 11 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He served three terms in the house before winning his first term in the senate in 2011. Gallot did not seek re-election in the October 24, 2015 election.

Gallot stated, “My lifelong roots in the Grambling community, combined with my record of serving this university and community as an attorney, City Councilman, State Representative, and State Senator provide the type of leadership needed at this critical time. I do believe the core and “brand” of GSU remain strong and with the right leadership, we can achieve the stability and growth that we all know is possible. Higher education in Louisiana faces challenges unlike any time in our past. The relationships I’ve built over the past 15 years with the Governor, legislature, congressional leaders and corporate sector will serve Grambling State University well. Furthermore, my service on the Board of Directors at CLECO has provided valuable training and experience in organizational governance.”

Gallot is married to the former Christy Cox, and is the father of four sons. He is the son of former Grambling mayor, Richard Gallot, Sr., and Dr. Mildred Gauthier Gallot, former head of GSU’s History Department.

For more details concerning the new president, please submit questions via email to Cami Geisman at


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GSU Invited to Participate in NASA Pre-Service Educator Institutes at Stennis Space Center

Dr. Loretta Jaggers with GSU students participating in NASA MUREP Summer 2016.Grambling, LA – Grambling State University (GSU) was invited to participate in the NASA MUREP (Minority University Research and Education Project) Educator Institute that was held June 6-10, 2016 at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Participants from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction were: Ginger Abney, La Sadie Dixon, Asia Scott, and Danyelle Cober. Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers, Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, served as the faculty sponsor.

The teacher candidates and the faculty sponsor participated in a series of activities that served as an introduction to the on-site experiences at Stennis. The Grambling team also viewed and discussed various webinars and videos that were presented by NASA Specialists, and interacted with NASA specialists regarding the design, implementation, and submission of final culminating projects.

NASA MUREP Students group photo - Summer 2016.The team had opportunities to develop and implement lesson plans based on NASA concepts that were presented at the Institute. As a result of participating in the NASA Educator Institute at Stennis, Grambling State was presented the plaque, “NASA MSI (Minority Serving Institution) Emerging Stars Network 2016 Institutional Member”.

According to NASA, “the primary goal of this institute is to utilize NASA’s unique assets, resources and Subject Matter Experts to provide high-quality learning experiences for undergraduate and alternative route STEM pre-service educators.”

The diverse, highly interactive program activities at Stennis Space Center involved the use of NASA Education resources, and “best practices” instructional strategies that related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) concepts. Multiple experiences were also provided to minute an increased understanding of “human space exploration”.

According to Dr. Jaggers. “The NASA Educator Institute at Stennis Space Center was an excellent and a rewarding experience for all participants involved. The teacher candidates had diverse opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills about various resources and strategies for developing STEM concepts in the PK-12 classrooms.”


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Grambling State University Selected to Participate in Entrepreneurial Development Program

Grambling, LA – On Monday, July 18, 2016, the Delta Regional Authority selected Grambling State University as one of six Historically Black Universities to be a part of their HBCU Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative. Interested HBCU’s submitted an application to the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) for competitive review. The application process required each university to address previous work in developing and supporting entrepreneurs, a vision for expanding these efforts and the identification of community partners. Interim Vice President of Advancement, Mr. Otto Meyers, assembled a team to develop the application. The writing team consisted of Advancement staff, STEM and Business faculty. Members of the writing team included Mr. Otto Meyers, Mr. Talmon Butler, Dr. Erick Valentine, Dr. John Nwoha, Dr. Donald White, Dr. Ben Nwokolo, and Dr. Danny Hubbard. The Interim Director of Sponsored Programs, Dr. Connie Walton, led the writing efforts.

According to Meyers, the ultimate goal of this initiative is to improve the job opportunities available in the Delta Region. This region of the United States has approximately 10 million residents and consists of parishes and counties in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The GSU vision for expanding its entrepreneurial focus includes providing training that targets all students. Additionally, specific training will be provided for those aspiring entrepreneurs that have technology-related business ideas. These ideas may include the development of Apps.

Mr. Leon Sanders, Interim Chief of Operations and Vice President for Finance and Administration stated, “We are excited that Grambling State University was selected to be a part of this initiative. Since 1901, Grambling State University has partnered with agencies to equip students with skills that will impact communities in a positive manner. This program supports the expansion of the University’s entrepreneurial footprint and expansion of the training provided to students.”

Grambling State University will receive funds to host a two-day technical assistance, rapid acceleration workshop during year one. This workshop will focus on areas that are vital to establishing and maintaining a successful business.

For additional information regarding this program, please access the official press release at


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Grambling State University Passes GRAD Act with a 100 Percent Score

Grambling, LA – Grambling State University (GSU) passed the Louisiana Granting Resources and Autonomy for Resources for Diplomas (GRAD) Act a second time with a score of 100 percent in all four standards for FY 2014/2015 (Year 5) and FY 2015/2016 (Year 6).

Grambling State University is monitored annually by the Board of Regents in regards to our progress in meeting the performance objectives of the Louisiana Granting Resources and Autonomy for Resources for Diplomas Act (LA Grad Act) for Year 6. “We are proud that our institution was able to achieve successful attainment of the student success objective to retain tuition authority and performance funding”, said Patricia J. Hutcherson, Executive Director of Enrollment Management/University Registrar.

Hutcherson explains that the GRAD Act became law in 2010. It gives higher education institutions increased autonomy and tuition flexibility in exchange for their commitment to statewide performance goals. The four standards are Student Success, Articulation and Transfer, Workforce and Economic Development, and Institutional Efficiency and Accountability. Passage of a performance objective requires a minimum overall score of 80%. Year 6 marks the final year of the GRAD Act performance accountability process and related legislative data audits.

In 2010, the Louisiana Legislature enacted the GRAD Act, which provides for six-year performance agreements between the Louisiana Board of Regents and Louisiana public postsecondary education systems and institutions with the goal of increasing accountability and performance among the participating institutions in exchange for increased tuition authority and operational autonomies,

The GRAD Act requires the Louisiana Board of Regents to annually review, monitor and report to the legislature and the governor each participating institution’s progress in meeting the four performance objectives of the GRAD Act.

Dr. Janet A. Guyden, interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs explains that the 100 percent pass rate lays a strong foundation of information that documents outcomes in key areas such as admissions, cohort baseline data, retention from first to second year and beyond, progression to upper division areas, and graduation rates. The LA GRAD Act information captures best practices for higher education institutions, like Grambling State, that speak to their viability and documents outcomes that support institutional goals and objectives. The LA GRAD Act has ended but the template of information is valuable and can be used as a baseline into our future.

Additional information on the GRAD Act is available at the Louisiana Hoard of Regents website at


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GUNAA Ruston Donates $20,000

Contributing Writer – Dr. Lizzie White

GUNAA-Ruston Chapter hosts 5th Annual Scholarship Gala that honored Baseball’s Ralph Garr, Scholarship Recipients and Leadership Donors

Ralph Garr, Major League Baseball Legend & GSU Alumnus

Ralph Garr, Major League Baseball Legend & GSU Alumnus

Ralph Garr, Major League Baseball Legend, was guest of honor and keynote speaker for the 5th Annual Scholarship Gala sponsored by the Ruston Chapter of Grambling University National Alumni Association. This black-tie event was held Saturday, June 4, 2016 at the Black and Gold room on the campus of Grambling State University. There were approximately 150 in attendance. The theme for this years’ event was “Sowing Seeds for Scholars.” In keeping with the theme, the chapter presented GSU President Dr. Willie D. Larkin with a check in the amount of $20,000 to increase the Chapter’s Endowed Scholarship which was established two years ago.

Garr, a Ruston native, was honored for his exemplary character as a big name sports icon, and for his generosity in giving his time and lending his name to numerous charities. He was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in 1985, the Grambling State University Hall of Fame in 1991, the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2006, the International League Hall of Fame in 2008, Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Ark-La-Tex Museum of Championships in 2014.

As part of the chapter’s celebrating his outstanding achievement, Ralph Garr was presented with several citations including a United States Flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol and a proclamation, both from U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham, a proclamation from each, La State Rep. Patrick Jefferson, Grambling Mayor Edward Jones, Ruston Mayor Ronnie Walker, and Grambling State University President Dr. Willie D. Larkin. To help celebrate his achievements, Garr had friends to travel all the way from Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX.

His accomplishments earned mention in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” right around the time he was being drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 3 rd Round of the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft.

Garr and his wife have one son and three daughters. His son, like his father, is a baseball scout for the St. Louis Cardinals. Garr currently serves as a scout for the Atlanta Braves.

Jessica Clinton & Alianndra Williams

Jessica Clinton & Alianndra Williams
2016 Scholarship Recipients

The annual gala also focused on two scholarship recipients and six Ruston Chapter members who were honored as Leadership Donors. The scholarship recipients were Jessica Clinton, a 2016 graduate of Ruston High School with a 3.2. GPA and Alianndra Williams, a 2016 graduate of Ruston High School with a 3.8 GPA.

The Leadership Donors were chapter members who gave $1,000 or more to the Gala’s Fundraising campaign. Each of these has participated as leadership donors in the past.

Thoughts of Some Donors

Grey Ludley, Law Enforcement Sergeant, LSU Health Science Center, Monroe, La.

I have been a supporter of Grambling State University for many years and in a number of capacities from being a Police Officer for the University for 11+ years to serving in many other university-related activities. I have been a season ticket holder for GSU Football in addition to giving to the KGRM Radiothon each year. However, my experience as being a leadership donor as well as an active member of Ruston Chapter of Grambling University National Alumni Association, Inc. by far has been the most rewarding experience to date. By being able to help some deserving student further their education at Grambling is what it is all about. The Bible tells us in Psalm 37:3 “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed”. I feel that it is my duty and obligation to help feed the mind of some young person because someone that came before me fed me as well. GOD bless Dear Ole Grambling.

Michelle Wright, Executive Director, Lincoln Council on Aging

By awarding scholarships to the University, it helps to insure that there is a future GSU. Throughout life, we have some good days and some great days. As individual donors, we are helping GSU through its good days, so it can get back to its great days.

Ethel Drayton, Elementary Teacher, Jackson Parish School District

Giving back to GSU is a way of expressing my gratitude and love for my alma mater. It’s also rewarding to know that I have played a part in assisting others with furthering their education.

Patricia Hutcherson, University Registrar, Grambling State University and Executive Director of Enrollment Management

I count it a blessing to be a three-year leadership donor for the GUNAA Ruston Chapter, Inc. and always embrace the opportunity to give back to my alma mater. The scholarship will be a legacy and assist so many students who are in need of gap funding to successfully complete their degree programs. I have already committed for the next chapter giving opportunity. It’s all about giving back!!

Ida Alexander, Retired Teacher, New Orleans School District and H&R Block 8-years Tax Pro

GSU was a very important part of my life as an educator. As a leadership donor, I wanted to ensure that this university continues to offer this opportunity to others by “Sowing Seeds for Scholars.”

Dr. Lizzie White, GUNAA-Ruston Alumni Chapter President and Retired English Professor, Louisiana Tech University

In my opinion, the Gala was absolutely remarkable, something every community should have from time to time. The mission of our Scholarship Gala is to honor those in the community that have worked so hard in making a positive difference in the lives of young people. Our scholarships are awarded to need-based students as a means of assisting them in their quest to realize their dreams. When I reflect on my alma mater and what it means to me, I always wonder what my life would be like had it not been for Grambling College. As a leadership donor, I feel honored to be able to give back so that the next generation of young people may have an opportunity, like I did, to follow their dreams.

Garr PR Photo 3 - 07082016

From left, Patricia Hutcherson, executive director of enrollment management of Grambling State University’s registrar; Willie Larkin, GSU president; GSU students Eric Outley and Brett

To date, the GUNAA-Ruston Alumni Chapter has donated $70,000.00. Proceeds from the Scholarship Gala go towards the Coach James Wicks Duncan, Sr. Endowment Scholarship created by the chapter, which supports students at Grambling State University.