GSU Band Honors Retired Band Director

GSU Media Bureau

GSU Band Honors Retired SU Band DirectorLawrence Jackson led the creative and powerful sound of the Southern University Human Jukebox for 38 years as director of bands. Cranking the Human Jukebox volume up during the 2013 Super Bowl and the 2015 introduction of boxer Floyd Mayweather in the MGM Grand Arena of Las Vegas for “The Fight of The Century,” Jackson established a pattern of discipline and commitment that made the SU band what it has become today.

An unusual thing happened Saturday night as the Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band welcomed Jackson as an honorary band director.

At Saturday night’s (Sept. 24) against Alcorn State University, another institution with a legendary band history, Larry Pannell, Grambling State University’s director of bands, honored and inducted Jackson, his longtime friend and band and music rival, into the World Famed Band as an honorary band director.

“This is classy,” Jackson said moments after leaving the football field induction ceremony. “This is one classy institution.”

Jackson’s brother, Larry (sp????) Jackson, a 1971-75 World Famed member, presented the retired SU band director Jackson his honorary black and gold GSU band jacket.  He also received a Grambling blanket, hat and a ring. An 8×10 photo of Jackson will be placed in the Conrad Hutchison Performing Arts Center museum along with a summary about Jackson’s historic tenure at Southern.

The two band directors may have battled during football games and the annual Battle of the Bands the night before the Bayou Classic in the Superdome each November, but, off the field, they have been friends for more than two decades.

“I felt truly blessed to have had the legendary World Famed Grambling State Tiger Marching Band see fit somebody from the Human Jukebox marching band as an honorary band director,” Jackson said in an interview. “After all, the World Famed had a lot of firsts.  They were first to be chosen to do a halftime show at the first Super Bowl ever, first HBCU band I know to play on live television with the great Dr. Conrad Hutchinson, because the Grambling Tigers were hard at work in the sixties. So I was truly honored to be recognized.”

Larry (sp???) Jackson, who lives in Dallas, Texas, said he would not have missed his brother’s special moment.

“My brother is a remarkable person because he went to Grambling, played with the Tiger band, traveled the world,” said the former Southern band director. “He was so glad I was able to come to his university … For him to put the Tiger jacket on me I think was more special to him than anything else. I was honored but he had joy and excitement in his eyes. He was so enthused that his brother would put on the same jacket he wore for years.”

Jackson and Pannell first met in 1990 at the Bayou Classic in New Orleans when both were assistant band directors at their respective schools. Throughout the years the frenemies discussed much more than music: students, academic success, preventing undercover initiations as they handled hazing and students lacking finances.

Pannell and Jackson worked together to discuss how to put on a great Battle of the Bands show and great halftime performances that were nationally televised. The two would call each other and pray on for a good show. They would pray that they would please their fan bases the most since it can be hard enough to please their own fans, praying that Southern fans would enjoy the Southern Band and that Grambling fans would enjoy Grambling’s band.

Pannell knows he was doing something different, something special for someone from a historic enemy school, but he said friendships, relationships and professionalism much top what’s done on the field and in the streets.

“It was a great honor to honor Jackson,” Pannell said. “A lot of the time when we do your work, at the end of your career you’re forgotten.

“What we try to do is honor those who have done a lot for music education, and for students who leave the band and not just to be musicians but to be successful citizens for our country – and Lawrence Jackson meets those qualities.”

GSU Band Honors Retired SU Band Director


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eBay’s Black says HBCUs must develop practical, hands-on learning experiences and provide networking opportunities

GSU Media Bureau

Tiffany Black’s first experience at an historically black college university (HBCU) was on the Grambling State University campus. Ebay’s head of global influencer content marketing toured the campus, visited the Eddie G. Robinson Museum and attended the Miss Grambling State University.

During a Friday (Sept. 16) breakfast hosted by GSU President Rick Gallot, Black, shared a wealth of journalistic, marketing, social media insights with students. Black talked and allowed student to ask questions about her career and the opportunities, and challenges, for HBCU students at tech companies in the Silicon Valley.

Black told a group of GSU students that too many HBCU students gaining “text book” educations without the hands-on experience and corporate networking that often matters.  “HBCU students learn and understand practicums and theories but have trouble applying those theories and problem solving issues” sometimes, she said. “In addition, HBCUs have to reestablish pipelines with tech companies in Atlanta, New York and California. Gaining a pipeline allows opportunities such as meeting with employees from Apple, eBay, Google, and Facebook.”

A longtime “ride or die” east coast soul, Black has lived in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania so California is different for her, culturally and professionally.  Growing up in Harlem, Black said she was culturally exposed to Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans, Haitians and other diverse ethnicities and races. In California, she said, diversity means something different on a daily basis, including a diversity of thinking, ideas, gender, gays and lesbians. Plus, she added, San Francisco Bay area companies “definitely interview differently.”

“At Google they’re looking for Googly people but won’t define what Googly means,” she said. “At eBay I was challenged with making a power point presentation with eight slides or less. At this point I’m working in marketing, normally for presentations our slides decks would be 50 slides or more. It was very challenging.”

Black encouraged the GSU students to consider geography but to choose jobs and opportunities across the nation and the world. “Go where the best opportunity is for you,” said Black, who travels with eBay across the United States, London and Germany regularly. “Whether it’s in California, London, New York wherever it is, go for the opportunity first and then seek the community” you need and want to be a part of.”

Black knows there is a great deal of diversity growth opportunity, and she is determined to see others come behind her to help improve staff diversity and company impact. In 2014, when Black joined eBay, she was disappointed to learn that she was one of only 50 full-time African American eBay employees –out of 30,000 employees nationwide. To help the few African American employees encourage and support each other, there was an affinity group, the African American Employee Network (AAEN), since renamed Black Employees at eBay (BEE).

The business and mass communication majors attending the special event learned a lot from Black. Harrington Harris, 20, a junior mass communication major from Phoenix, said “the biggest thing she spoke about was coming into companies and knowing how to do stuff, not being textbook savvy, having hands-on experiences …”

During her visit, Black was constantly on social media talking about her GSU experiences, even using the now popular hashtag #WhyNotGrambling. She was showered with Grambling State gifts and she said she felt quite welcome, especially since she graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She was told she’s now GramFam.

Gallot thanked Black as Taylor Stewart, Grambling State Miss Cover Girl, pinned the a GSU lapel pin on her dress. “Our motto here is, “Where everybody is somebody” and you are somebody here,” the president told her. “The fact you would take time out of your global schedule to be here with us is incredibly important.”


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Jeremy M. Martin, Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense office, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., was recently presented his ROTC National Hall of Fame certificate and medal, by the Honorable Patrick Murphy, Under Secretary of the United States Army.

Grambling State University graduate and former ROTC Cadet Jeremy M. Martin has been inducted in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) National Hall of Fame. Martin, a retired U.S. Army colonel, was one of more than 300 to receive a certificate and medal at the 100th anniversary ceremony for the Army ROTC.

“I am trying to build our network of ROTC graduates form Grambling,” said Lt. Col. Denise A. Moultrie, a professor of military science for the GSU ROTC Tiger Student Battalion who nominated Martin for the honor. “It was the first time that a candidate from Grambling had been selected.”

Martin serves as the principal staff assistant and adviser to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense for communications, news media relations, public outreach, engagement, public affairs and visual information. Prior to his appointment into senior executive service, Martin served for 30 years in the Army. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal.
Martin, a Louisiana native, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Grambling State. He holds a master’s degree in human resources development from Webster University and a master’s of strategic studies (MSS) degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course; Military Intelligence Officers Advance Course; Joint Forces Staff College; Public Affairs Officers Course; United States Army War College, and the Department of the Army Senior Leader Seminar.

A few of the notable ROTC Hall of Famers include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito (Princeton), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State Colin Powell (City College of New York) and NFL legend Jim Brown (Syracuse).

Martin was pleased to be in the special group. “I was happy to be selected to represent Grambling State University,” he said.


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Vehicles replace high mileage patrol cars, enhancing campus safety

GSU Media Bureau

MAYO, MONROE DONATE TWO POLICE CARS TO GSUGrambling State University President Rick Gallot said the first thing GSU Police Chief Howard Caviness did after saying congratulations when he was named the university’s 10th president was to ask for help.

Caviness told Gallot about the high mileage fleet of five police cars included one wouldn’t start, one that couldn’t be driven on the highway and another with more than 204,000 miles.

“I got a call from Chief Caviness congratulating me and before he could finish that statement he said, ‘By the way, I’m down to two operational vehicles. Mr. President, I need some help,’” recalled Gallot, who started as president August 1.

That casual and serious request led to a series of telephone calls and the Monroe Police Department dropped off a couple of low mileage Ford Crown Victorias at the campus police station Wednesday morning. Gallot called Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, who called Monroe Police Chief Quinton Holmes and, soon, a deal was made to seek the approval of the Monroe City Council to transfer the cars to Grambling State.

“Our students’ safety and the safety of all of those who visit our campus is our top priority,” Gallot said during a news conference outside of campus police headquarters as GSU and Monroe police officers stood by.

GSU has had an under resourced and understaffed police department as state funding has declined in recent years, forcing the department to pour money into old cars just to keep a couple of them running in any given week.

“We really do appreciate this,” said Caviness, a criminal justice major at GSU. “I’m a student here at Grambling also, so as a student I appreciate it and as an employee, I appreciate it.”

The GSU police chief said most people look at police cars and say they don’t want to ride in the back seat. That’s understandable, he said, but the Grambling State police officers also provide transportation for students and others.  “Here on this campus, we give rides to the stadium, we give rides elsewhere…And in the rare instance when someone has to go to the jailhouse, we’ll also have a comfortable ride for them.”

Monroe/Mayo Police Car Donation


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The money helps students short of money to get into school or stay in school

GSU Media Bureau

GSU ALUMS DONATE $15K TO HELP STUDENTSThe Grambling University National Alumni Association (GUNAA) presented the Grambling University Foundation with a $15,000 contribution during Saturday’s football game at halftime.

GUNAA President Melissa Bickham and GUNAA Vice President Thomas Jones presented a check during the Grambling State University-University of Virginia-Lynchburg game at the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium. The contribution supports the university’s effort to help scores of students close financial gaps. Some students need as little as $200, $500 or $1,000 to enroll in school or to stay in school.

“It sends a strong statement that our alumni are so invested in the success our students,” said GSU President Rick Gallot, “and by making that contribution they allow students to complete the registration process and become full fledged Tigers.”

The contribution aids the President’s Appeal: Student “GAP” Sponsorship, a short-term fundraising campaign that ends Friday (Sept. 9).

Otto Meyers, interim vice president for advancement, research and economic development, said the money will not sit around and will be put to use immediately as the university wraps up its registration period this week. “This will be invested directly into the GAP account… there are already over 100 students identified that we’re trying to support,” said Meyers. “This will immediately allow us to help some of those certain students.”

Since 2013, former members of the Alpha Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and former members  of the Delta Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. have provided monetary support to GSU by fundraising for GUNAA. The sororities collected the funds during a 21-day campaign prior to homecoming last year and grew them throughout the beginning of this year.

Bickham and Jones presented the check to Gallot, Meyers, Helen Godfrey-Smith, foundation president and president of the Shreveport Federal Credit Union, and David “Rusty” Ponton, interim vice president of student affairs.

GSU students, faculty, staff and supporters can contribute to the GAP fund by visiting or going to the university’s official crowdfunding platform at


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Three G-Men Named to Black College Football Hall of Fame Watch List

Carter, Stallworth and Williams among players selected

By Candice Dixson,
GSU Sports Media

Three G-Men Named to Black College Hall of Fame Watch ListOn Tuesday, the Black College Football Hall of Fame announced the establishment of the Black College Football Player of the Year Award, along with the watch list of 52 contenders. Three Grambling State University football team members were included on the list in Martez Carter (running back), Guy Stallworth (defensive back) and Chad Williams (wide receiver).

Carter, Stallworth and Williams have earned the privilege of being selected to the watch list, as all three of them are current All-SWAC honorees in their perspective positions on the field. Last season, Carter produced 1,663 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns, Williams finished with 1,012 all-purpose yards and Stallworth lead the team with 101 tackles.

“I am very pleased and excited for our players to receive the honors they have received. Just to be recognized is an honor. Congratulations to all of them, for they work extremely hard for GSU,” said head football coach Broderick Fobbs.

Founded in 2009 by James Harris and Doug Williams, the Black College Football Hall of Fame preserves the history and honors the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Since inception, there have been 64 Inductees, including Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams, who all serve as trustees.

“We’re excited about the establishment of this Award, which will honor the best football player attending a Historically Black College and University,” said Super Bowl MVP quarterback Doug Williams, a 2011 inductee and BCFHOF co-founder.

“Players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities have had a tremendous impact on the game of football,” said BCFHOF co-founder and inductee James Harris.

The candidates have been selected based on past performance and future potential. Additions to the list may be made as the 2016 season progresses. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by a Selection Committee.

The winner of the award will be announced on February 25, 2017 at the Eighth Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia.

For complete coverage of Grambling State University Tigers football, please follow @GSU_Tigers on Twitter, GSU Tigers on Facebook, and @gsu_tigers on Instagram. You can also find up-to date information on all things Grambling State Athletics at


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