Bryant joins Grambling State as a successful athletics administrator who impressed Gallot, search committee with his experience, outlook 

GSU Athletic Director, Paul BryantGrambling, La. – Grambling State University President Rick Gallot has hired Paul Bryant as the institution’s next athletic director, effective January 1, 2017. Bryant, who has more than 25 years of experience in athletics and 22 years of coaching, has a strong track record of business acumen and sports success at South Carolina State University as director of athletics and previously as director of athletics at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and director of athletics at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. The hire is subject to the approval of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, and the hire has been included on the board’s December 8 meeting agenda.

“We had an impressive group of two dozen candidates, and quite a strong group of finalists for this important job,” said Gallot. “Bryant rose to the top and he was the choice of the search committee because of his tremendous experience and success, particularly his business knowledge and skill.”

Bryant has a two-year agreement with GSU. He will earn $130,000 annually, and the Grambling University Foundation has agreed to supplement his university salary with another $30,000. As athletic director, Bryant will be responsible for the management and supervision of Grambling State’s 15 sports programs: football, men’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field; women’s basketball, bowling, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, women’s tennis, soccer, softball and volleyball.

“I am excited to lead one of the nation’s most historic athletic institutions, a school with a huge national and international brand, and I’m grateful to President Gallot and the search committee for this opportunity,” said Bryant. “We will address the issues that need to be addressed and take the athletics program to the next level,”

Bryant succeeds Obadiah Simmons, who has served as interim athletic director for the last 16 months. “Dr. Simmons has done an incredible job under challenging and trying circumstances as he helped us through this major transition while continuing in his role as the head of our kinesiology department,” said Canal. “We were fortunate to have someone of his experience and stature to handle such a task.”

He has been married to Shannon Bryant for 25 years. They have a daughter, Kayla, 23, an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a son, Paul Jr., 16.


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Offensive Coordinator DOOLEY wins AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year!!!

Reprinted, original source:–ncaaf.html

Grambling assistant wins AFCA award

The Associated Pressg2(STATS) – Grambling State offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Eric Dooley was named the FCS assistant coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association on Wednesday.

The award, first presented in 1997, honors assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.

Dooley is in his 22nd year coaching college football, including the last three on coach Broderick Fobbs’ staff at Grambling State. The Tigers (9-1) have the top-ranked offense in the Southwestern Athletic Association as they head into the conference championship game against Alcorn State on Saturday.

An active member of the AFCA, Dooley has volunteered his time at every coaching stop, including serving as a mentor for the Alma J. Brown Boy Scouts, working with high risk students in after school or summer programs, visiting retirement homes and volunteering with the Salvation Army Christmas Drive, Girl Scouts of Baton Rouge, Southern University November Turkey Drive, FCA/CCA field days and various Reading Literacy Fay programs.

The other finalists for the FCS award were Randy Hedberg of North Dakota State, Tim Plough of Northern Arizona and Brian Rock of Holy Cross.

Winners also were selected on the FBS, Division II, Division and NAIA levels. All of the winners will be feted at the AFCA Honors Luncheon on Jan. 9 in Nashville, Tennessee.

American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Press release:


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Bayou Classic LogoNEW ORLEANS, LA – With focus on technology and family unity, the 2016 Bayou Classic introduced new and exciting events to the weeklong festivities. Between the new events, celebrity starpower and winning seasons in the SWAC conference for both Grambling State University and Southern University, this historic Bayou Classic had the largest crowd since the Classic returned to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

The Bayou Classic is the annual extravaganza bringing the fans and alumni of Grambling State University and Southern University to New Orleans each November for a celebration of football, family and the traditions surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The attendance at this year’s Bayou Classic was 30,231 for the Battle of the Bands and Greek Show and 67,845 for the 43rd Annual Bayou Classic game – an increase of almost 5,000 attendees from 2015.

The Bayou Classic has something for everyone. It’s no wonder why the event attracts over 200,000 patrons to the city annually. Popular Louisiana sports website, claims, “The Bayou Classic remains a winner. While Grambling took home the trophy, the real winners were New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.”

“The Bayou Classic is more than a game,” says Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI), the management firm of the Bayou Classic. “Business and technology have come to Bayou Classic in many forms – through the mobile app, Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge, IBM Cyber Cafe and more, Bayou Classic continues to grow as it offers something for everyone. As we go into the future, we look forward to what Bayou Classic will bring in 2017.”

Highlights of the 43rd Annual Bayou Classic include:

  • With the Grambling Tigers winning the Bayou Classic with a score of 52-30 against the Southern Jaguars, the Tigers lead the series holding 22 victories in the 43 game series.
  • With the win, the Grambling Tigers move onto the SWAC Championship against Alcorn State to be held in Houston on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
  • This historical matchup was the first time both teams came into the Bayou Classic undefeated in SWAC play.
  • The 2016 Bayou Classic introduced its first ever mobile app in which users could vote for their favorite step team at the Greek Show and MVP of the game.
  • Hotel occupancy for Bayou Classic weekend was 97% citywide.
  • The Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day had an increased attendance of more than 83,000 attendees.
  • Bayou Classic Fan Fest, presented by Cox Louisiana with entertainment by iHeart Radio, had an attendance of more than 12,000 attendees.
  • Hundreds of students gathered information from more than 30 colleges and businesses during the Bayou Classic Career & College Expo.
  • Attendees of the Bayou Classic Career & College Expo were able to apply for jobs and higher education programs on the spot at the brand new IBM Cyber Café.
  • Following the Career & College Expo, 68 students from all six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Louisiana competed in the Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge, created in partnership with NexusLA. The winning team of the competition was awarded $10,000 and an additional $5,000 in legal counsel for their technology and comprehensive business plan to assist small businesses affected by natural disaster.
  • Anika Noni-Rose from Dreamgirls, Roots and the upcoming BET Show, The Quad served as a guest judge for the Greek Show and media-mogul Nick Cannon made an appearance at the Battle of the Bands as well as hosted the Official Battle of the Bands After Party & WILD’N OUT Karaoke Event at Metropolitian Nightclub. New Orleans Native and Actor, Wendell Pierce from the hit HBO show, Treme was also present.
  • Gospel singer, Kim Burrell wowed the crowd with her acapella rendition of the National Anthem before the big game.
  • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Lt. Governor Billy Nunguesser and Anthony Pope, senior vice president and region manager for Cox’s Southeast Region conducted the coin toss before the big game.
  • The Bayou Classic partnered with the Southeast Louisiana Council of Boy Scouts of America and unveiled a limited edition merit badge for their participation in the Bayou Classic.
  • For the first time, the Bayou Classic introduced the MVP Club presented by AARP Louisiana to honor the athletes awarded MVP during the Bayou Classic’s history. Legendary Bayou Classic athletes including, Doug Williams, Eric Randall, Sammie White and Quincy Richard were all present.
  • The Bayou Classic hosted the New Orleans Education Forum featuring the Louisiana Federation for Children, U.S. Black Chamber and New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce focused on “creating America’s new work force.”
  • On Twitter, #bayouclassic and #bayouclassic2016 generated over 8.5 million impressions reaching over 3.7 million social accounts. The Bayou Classic Facebook Page received over 5,000 likes in 2016 increasing the page to over 81,000 likes. All Bayou Classic social pages combined generated a total of 12.1 million impressions reaching over 7.3 million social accounts.

About Bayou Classic:
The Bayou Classic is the legendary game between Grambling State University and Southern played in New Orleans each November. With viewership over 5.5 million in 2015 on the NBC Sports Network, the Bayou Classic has proven to be a steadfast beacon of legacy and tradition that extends beyond the HBCU community. Over 200,000 fans from across the nation journey to New Orleans during Thanksgiving weekend to witness the electrifying football game between Grambling State and Southern, while eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated halftime show featuring two of the greatest marching bands in the nation. For more information, visit or download the official Bayou Classic mobile app.

The 43rd Annual Bayou Classic is supported by the following organizations – MillerCoors, The Louisiana Office of Tourism, The New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, United States Marine Corps, Hyatt Regency New Orleans, IBM, McDonald’s, MetroPCS, Cox Louisiana, United States Army, UBER, The Coca-Cola Company, AARP Louisiana, Allstate Insurance Company, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, AHF, AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, SMG, Downtown Development District, Acadian Ambulance Services, French Market District, Cracker Barrel Old Country Story, Entergy Louisiana, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Parish of Caddo – Shreveport, Amtrak, Essence Festival, Visit Baton Rouge, iHeart Radio New Orleans & Q93, Cumulus New Orleans/Baton Rouge, Konsole Kings.


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Angela Young
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Erin Murphy
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GSU Social Work Student Wins Regional Award

By Collin B. Jno-Finn
GSU Media Bureau



Dominicans Keisha Laville, winner of the social worker student award, and Alickson Alexander, a computer science major, at the Dominica Independence Celebration held in GSU’s Black and Gold Room on November 2. PHOTO: ADEMOLA OLADAYO AWOYEMI/GSU Media Bureau

 Grambling State University’s Keisha Laville, a junior social work major from Dominica, has won the National Association of Black Social Workers of North Louisiana award for outstanding work as an undergraduate student.

The award is bestowed on a student with a GPA of 3.0 or above, who excels in academic work, participates and contributes to community and or academic organization affairs, plans to pursue social work as a profession and intents to focus on a specific area of interest in social work.  Additionally, the nominee had to submit a 500-word essay including future plans and specific interest in the field of practice of social work.

Clarence Williams, Bachelor of Social Work program director, nominated Laville for the award.  “She (Laville) is an extremely hard worker and is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.  Moreover, she has conducted research and made presentations off campus with me on several occasions,” he said.

Upon graduation, Laville plans to work primarily with juveniles. Laville said the problems with juveniles start at a young age, “however, my plan is to develop programs and policies that will enable them to better cope with the difficulties they encounter.  As social workers we cannot say that we will totally eliminate all of society’s problems but my plans is to help them deal with their difficulties.”

Laville plans to pursue further studies by obtaining a masters in social work and is pondering enrolling in a doctoral degree in social work or related field.

This is the fifth time that a Grambling student has won the award in the last six years.


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Dominicans at GSU Celebrate Nation’s 38th Independence


PR_NewsDefaultThe Grambling State University Black & Gold Room was transformed into a mini-island
paradise when the International Student Organization commemorated the Caribbean island of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s 38 th independence anniversary earlier this month.

The event included the nation’s folk songs, dance and a video presentation on Dominica’s
history and culture. The room was adorned with the bright green, yellow, black and white
colors of the country, commonly referred to as the Nature Isle.

Program chairwoman Nathalie Alfred said the program was geared at spreading
awareness of Dominica since many students and faculty on campus are unfamiliar about this tiny Caribbean island. Additionally, it was an opportunity to bring the sizable Dominican student
population on campus together. About 45 Dominicans are on campus this semester.

Dominica often is mistaken for the Dominican Republic, which is a Spanish-speaking
island that shares landmass with Haiti, Alfred said. The crowd of fellow Dominicans, GSU
student leaders and administrators were informed that the predominant language in Dominica is English, while a small percentage of the population speaks Creole French.

Dominican students used this activity as an opportunity to demonstrate traditional wear
commonly referred to the Wob Dwiyet. The pulsating and rhythmic music captured the
audience’s attention as Dominicans performed their Quadrille and Bèlè n ational dances.

ISO President Niana Celestine, a Dominican double majoring in Computer Science and
Marketing, said the program was a “good opportunity to share our culture, food, language and
dance with the student population.”

Dominica established a partnership with Grambling State University in 2005 and sends
students to acquire undergraduate/graduate degrees in various academic fields.


Born, and reared, Gramblinite has a rich history contributing to his success in his first 100 days as GSU president

GSU President Gallot Selfie.By BRANDON-MICHAEL LaGARDE
GSU Media Bureau

In his first few months as president of Grambling State University, Rick Gallot has performed as gracefully as the GSU G-Men football team does on the field, according to state leaders, students and his pastor.

Gallot, a Grambling native and the university’s 10th president, started his first day on August 1 has involved himself on campus and off campus in ways that make him one of the more visible presidents. He told the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors on the day of his July interview that, if selected, he would put God first in all things and that’s how he would approach being president.

His 100th day in office November 8.  He has participated in the school’s Welcome Week activities in August, including time spent helping students move into their dorms, sometimes shocking students and their parents as he lifted boxes and luggage.

He’s visited university departments, colleges and units, including some where they haven’t seen a president where they work, ever. Gallot took a selfie on stage during high school day, and struck a pose at the homecoming concert in the Fredrick Hobdy Assembly Center. He quickly got involved with the negotiation of head football Broderick Fobbs’ contract, getting a two-year extension as the coach agreed to a no-increase agreement focused on salary pools to satisfy his assistants and staff.

The president pushed GSU in the national HBCU conversation as he appeared on Roland Martin’s TV One News show, and he’s been on social media regularly each week; he can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and from time to time he’s even on SnapChat.

Gallot did not celebrate his 100th day in office on Tuesday (Nov. 8). It was another day of work at the school he loves, and the university that gave him the foundation that has led to his leading his alma mater. He continues to find different ways to raise the school’s profile, and to make Grambling State a part of conversations to gain support.

The new president even got Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to visit Grambling State’s homecoming game on Oct. 29.

State Rep. Patrick Jefferson, a longtime Gallot friend, visited Gallot a couple times since taking office and GSU student Braxton Matthews is thrilled with Gallot’s frequent appearances on campus.

Matthews, a senior computer Information systems major from Houma, Louisiana, said he’s excited. “I’ve been at Grambling since 2013 and I have met and shook President Gallot’s hand more times this semester than any other president in my four years here,” said Matthews, 22. “Every time Gallot and I shake hands it shows me he cares about the students and the university. He’s going to do great things for Grambling.”

During an interview at the homecoming football game, Edwards said Gallot’s performance as the Tiger-in-Chief has been welcome.

“Based on everything I can gather, he’s doing the job we all expected him to do,” Edwards, who served in the Louisiana state legislature with Gallot and became his friend, said as he stood in the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium. He hasn’t been here long, but the family around Grambling is really tight. And when I say the family I don’t mean right here at the university or in the city of Grambling.

“The alumni around the state and around the country are going to support Rick and I know he’s going to get support from the Louisiana System, he’s going the get support from my office and the legislature. I’m very optimistic about the future of this university under his leadership.”

It’s that tight Grambling family that helped groom Gallot to be the newest GSU president, and he appreciates and respects what has been done to help him become the top university leader.

One of Gallot’s first actions as president was honoring the late Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones, the university’s second president, by selecting his university email account as

“That’s a tribute to Prez Jones,” said Gallot. “He was the kind of president who knew about you.”

When Jones retired in 1977, he built a house next door to Gallot’s family home. During Jones’ retirement Gallot often visited Jones at his home, programmed Jones’s television remotes and chatted about young Gallot’s personal life.

“One of the things I did was set up my email address as, that’s a tribute to Prez Jones,” said Gallot. “He was the kind of president who knew about you.”

Gallot said he got to know Jones and famous GSU head football coach Eddie Robinson well as a kid growing up in Grambling. “I got to know them on a personal level,” he said. “They were genuinely good people who were concerned about you as a student, as an individual and what your future would be, and how they might help you to get where you were going … in life.”

President Gallot grew up playing basketball at Kenny Patton’s house, right across the street from Robinson on Adams Avenue. Gallot respected Coach Rob as more than a football coach. Coach Rob asked him about his grades, and his parents. He got to know Gallot. PrezRick, as he’s sometimes called and often referred to on social media, experienced what most of the world never saw: Robinson the man.

Gallot’s father, former Grambling Mayor Richard Gallot Sr., said his son’s relationship with Jones and Robinson was very good. “A lot of kids would come over, or he would go play and they would talk to the coach,” said the elder Gallot, who has been cutting hair at his Grambling barbershop for about 50 years.

Jefferson, Gallot’s successor in the 11th district, which includes Bienville, Claiborne and Lincoln parishes, grew up knowing and competing against Gallot in basketball and band. As a kid in the neighboring community of Arcadia watching Gallot and playing against him, Jefferson said “you knew then there was something special about him.”

“Mr. President is doing a stellar job; he has exceeded expectations and the thing that is so important is the energy and the enthusiasm he brings. It is unparalleled.

“Grambling is a very special place and has a very special person leading it at this unique time in our history. With me being a public servant I go across the state and interact with folk the primary question asked is what took us so long to name him,” added Jefferson.

Gallot attends New Living Word Ministries in Ruston, Louisiana, where Jerry Baldwin is the pastor. Baldwin was appointed by Gallot to the important GSU athletics director search committee based on his football coach career at Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech University and as head football coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The pastor sees a great opportunity for Grambling State, and its students.

“He’s a tremendous asset. We know he’s stable. He’s been in the same zip code all of his life,” added Baldwin, noting that 71245 is the Grambling zip code that has been Gallot’s home address since he was born.

“I’ve seen him grow as a man of faith over the years through his regular attendance at church,” he said. “He’s been a great note taker and listener.”

President Gallot 100 Days


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GSU’s Annual Faculty Art Show

Grambling State University’s Dunbar Gallery is hosting the annual faculty exhibition from November 7 – December 8, 2016.  The exhibition is comprised of works by faculty members: Drék Davis, Larry Holston, Donna McGee, and staff member, Mr. Terence C. Williams, II.

Re-purposing is an important component of Davis mixed media works.  He reinterprets the black Sambo image using re-purposed wooden chairs with bits of modern implements attached.  His idea questions whether stereotypical imagery drives the future or whether technology simply becomes another avenue to promote stereotype.   Larry Holston’s work attempts to see positive pathways through challenges and presents positive role models.  Donna McGee’s nature themed works offer a counterbalance for a world where we are bombarded by social media and other invasive forms of technology. Terence C.  Williams, II’s observations provide a satirical commentary on the destructive obsessions of pop culture and their impact on the social construct.

The public is invited to interact with the artists at a closing reception to be held on November 29th, 2016 from 4:30 – 6:00 PM in Dunbar Gallery.  The gallery is located on Hutchinson Street on the GSU campus.  Gallery hours are from 8 – 4:30 Monday – Thursday and 8:00 – 12:00 on Friday.  Accommodations are available for large groups and special needs persons.  For more information please call 318-274-2274.

Calendar Event Listing:


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2016 Fall FERPA Notice


Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Grambling State University adheres to a policy of compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Therefore, it is the policy of the University to:

  • Permit students (and eligible parents) to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
  • Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests which identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • Limit disclosure to others of personally identifiable information from education records without student’s prior written consent, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Supervisors; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  • Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedure will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to file with the U. S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:Family Policy Compliance Office
    U. S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-4605The right to obtain a copy of the University’s student records policy. This policy can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

    Additional Information:


Student name, address, telephone number, degrees, awards/honors and date received, dates of attendance, full or part-time status, date and place of birth, classification, photographs, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and email addresses may be released by the University without prior consent of the student. Nevertheless, this information can only be released by the Registrar’s Office. A student may request in writing to the registrar that directory information not be released.


Grambling University Foundation Red River Classic Gala – Beacon Awards 2016

The Grambling University Foundation is honoring Grambling State University President Rick Gallot and recognizing a past Grambling State University president, the band director of the GSU World Famed Tiger Marching Band and an AT&T executive as a part of this weekend’s Red River State Fair Classic in Shreveport.

Gallot and the others will be feted at the Friday night Red River Classic Gala Friday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m. at Sam’s Town Casino & Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, 315 Clyde Fant Parkway, in Shreveport.

“We have an amazing group of Beacon Award honorees, and we want the entire northern Louisiana community to join us to help recognize them for all they’ve done and all they continue to do,” said Helen Godfrey-Smith, the foundation chair and president and CEO of the Shreveport Federal Credit Union. “Most people know these wonderful citizens because they’ve been intimately involved with business, community, education and university work.”

David Aubrey, Louisiana director of external affairs for AT&T, is being honored as an outstanding alumnus based on his years of service to GSU in several roles. At AT&T he manages the external affairs team, planning and implementing company efforts with legislative, regulatory and community objectives. The 1995 graduate served as the GSU student government president during his student tenure, and he went on to a career including a stint as mayor of Homer, Louisiana, his hometown, at 24 years old. He has served as a board member of the United Way of Northwest Louisiana, the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce. Throughout those years, he has continued to serve and support his alma mater. Just recently, he chaired the university’s search for an advancement vice president and he is chairing the institution’s search for a permanent athletics director.

Neari Warner, the first female president of Grambling State, served as acting president from 2001-2004, is being honored with a Beacon Award for education. A native of New Orleans, she earned a GSU degree and went on to earn a master’s from Clark Atlanta University and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. Prior to starting as president, she served GSU as provost and vice president for academic affairs, vice president for development and university relations and interim vice president for student affairs, among other duties. She serves as a clinical professor in the executive Ph.D. in urban higher education at Jackson State University, and she recently released a book about her career experiences, “Honoring the Call: Odyssey of an Acting University President.”

Shreveport native Larry Pannell is receiving an arts and culture award, recognizing his years of service at GSU as music department chair and director of bands. As a composer, Pannell has written original compositions for EA Sports video games and arranged songs for movies, including “Drumline” and “The Great Debaters,” which features the GSU World Famed Tiger Marching Band. A Grambling graduate, he has a number of published works with Calama Publishing Company-ASCAP, and he recently led a tribute performance to the late Riley B. “B. B. Blues Boy” King at the B. B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi, with the GSU Jazz Ensemble. He has been honored with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) Achievement Award, Kappa Kappa Psi’s Outstanding Leadership Award and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Trailblazer Award.

Businessman Roy Griggs is being honored with a business and industry award, recognizing his
economic success with 14 restaurants in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. As CEO of Griggs Enterprise, Incorporated/McDonald’s, Briggs, a native of Meridian, Mississippi, started his McDonald’s career in 1971 and quickly moved through the restaurant’s ranks from crew member to restaurant manager and then owner. His first McDonald’s was in Thomasville, Alabama, which he ran until he relocated to the Shreveport-Bossier area. The Shreveport resident has more than 800 employees, annual revenue of $32 million and a payroll of $7.4 million. Griggs has hired several GSU alumni, and he has contributed to the university.

Caddo Parish’s district attorney is being honored with a public service award. Elected in November 2015 as the first African American to hold that office, James Stewart, a 1973 graduate of C.E. Byrd High School, earned a political science degree at the University of New Orleans then earned his law degree from the Loyola School of Law. Elected in 1994, he served on the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal and he was re-elected to that position in 2004. He served as a judge in the First Judicial District Court in Caddo Parish.

Being recognized with a public service award, District Attorney John F. Kennedy Belton is a career prosecutor who has dedicated 23 years to serving his community as a courtroom advocate. In November 2014, Belton was elected district attorney for the Third Judicial District, which includes Lincoln and Union parishes. In addition to earning a JD from Southern University Law Center, Belton earned a bachelor’s from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He and his wife, Alana, own The Belton Companies, which includes real estate, restaurant and legal services holdings. He is active in Lincoln and Union parishes, and he and the company have been big GSU supporters.

Education honoree Johnette Magner is being recognized for her work as executive director of the Shreveport-Bossier Business Alliance for Higher Education (SBBA), a group of regional business organization leaders. During her four-year tenure with SBBA, the alliance has been instrumental in establishing doctoral degrees and helping to secure stable funding for area universities. Previously publisher of SB Magazine and interim vice chancellor of development at Louisiana State University-Shreveport in northern Louisiana, Magner was a vice president of public affairs with Ketchum. She started her career as a consumer reporter and anchor in Texarkana, Texas, and Shreveport.

The gala will feature a cash bar and a silent auction during the semi-formal event. Gala tickets are $125 per person or $1,000 per table of eight people. Tickets are available at Shreveport Federal Credit Union offices in Shreveport, Grambling and Bastrop, or by contacting the foundation at 318-596-1020 or Complimentary valet parking is included.

Click here for the Event Calendar:


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GSU Theatre Presents “A Lesson Before Dying” by Romulus Linney

Grambling State University Theatre to present A Lesson Before Dying, by Romulus Linney, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines, November 16-18, 2016 in the Recital Hall, located in the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center.

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Grambling State University is pleased to announce the second show of its 2016-2017 season, A Lesson Before Dying, by Romulus Linney, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines. Jefferson, a young man, has been sentenced to die in the electric chair in Bayonne Parish, Louisiana for a murder he didn’t commit. His Godmother, Ms. Emma, has asked his former school teacher, Grant Wiggins, to visit with Jefferson and teach him how to die like a man, not like “a hog” as his white lawyer referred to him. Both men are struggling with understanding why they are there: Jefferson, in jail for doing no wrong, Grant, why he even came back “home” to teach. With the help of each other, and some guidance by others, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

Directed by Mary Fran Crook, production staff includes Production Stage Manager, Quintara Johnson, Set and Light Designer, David Kaul, Sound Designer, Cameron Conerly, Costumer Designers, Ja’Keem Smith and Larrese Wormley and Prop Master, Erica Goode-Perry.

The talented Grambling State cast includes, Adarian Williams as Grant Wiggins, Ibraheem Farmer as Jefferson, Elizabeth Eddy as Emma Glen, Ricky Lewis as Reverend Ambrose, Alle’yah Glenn as Vivian Baptiste. The cast also includes two special guest, Colton Patterson as Sheriff Guidry and Chris Williams as Deputy Paul Bonin, both students at Louisiana Tech University.

Performances dates are November 16-18, 2016 and the show begins at 7pm. Tickets are $1 for children 12 years and younger, $3 for students 13 and older and $5 for general admission. Grambling State students get in free with their student ID (must obtain a ticket at the box office). The box office will open forty-five minutes before performance time. For more information or group reservations, please call Mary F. Crook at 274-2892.


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