Working with a committee focused on $1,000 donors, group tops $100,000 goal to give president discretionary funds to lead institution

By Will Sutton
GSU Media Bureau

GSU Fundraiser Reception - Feb. 2017When Rick Gallot was named the 10th president in July, James Bradford was there in the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors room as scores erupted in glee. Bradford was elated but he decided he had to do something, something big.

Initially, he thought he’d set a goal of raising $50,000 to help the new president take on the challenging job of running a historically black university with dwindling state funding and an enrollment lower than it was years ago. Then, as Bradford quietly talked with a few associates and friends, he decided even that wasn’t enough. On his own, he decided to increase the goal to $100,000.

After a quiet campaign including no advance publicity and lots of telephone calls, emails and letters, Bradford announced that he and a committee of supporters raised $140,000 during a private, special fundraising event in the World Famed Tiger Marching Band band room inside the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center Saturday night. Bradford teased the scores of people who showed up to support the president as he asked presidential assistant Constance Nelson to add one number at a time on a large check with space for a total. Bradford teased the  president, and the crowd, sometimes saying he wasn’t sure whether they would reach the $100,000 goal. But when the final number was revealed, the president and the crowd erupted in applause and with cheers, and Gallot stood and applauded in the direction of the crowd.

Gallot said he was thrilled, but not surprised.

“I know they were working hard….,” he said. “We had a lot of somebodies in here tonight who really love Grambling, so that part doesn’t surprise me. Given the chance to help the university, we rally around one another and this university, and I am very thankful.”

During an interview, Bradford, also Jonesboro’s mayor, said the group exceeded expectations with personal, one-on-one contacts and requests.

“We made personal contact. Everybody who contributed we called or we saw them somewhere, and we followed up on their commitments,” he said. “After a while people started hearing about it and they said, ‘I want to give,’ and they gave. We could not have done this with another president. …The key was who we have as president now. Rick is the key. They trust him. They support him.”

“The closer we got to it, the more the money kept coming in,” he added. “We were amazed, shocked when we got to $100,000, $105,000, $110,000, and it just kept coming.”

Bradford said raising that much money means “we have life at the university again, saying that Grambling is the Place Where Everybody is Somebody, …People just want to help, and they feel good about it.”

Bradford was clear that the money raised would go into a discretionary foundation account the president can use to get things done “as he sees fit.” Gallot said he will be responsible with the money, adding that “it will go to the betterment of the university and the students and the university will benefit directly.”

Marc Newman, GSU’s vice president for institutional advancement, said he appreciates the committee’s efforts and raising the money will help the university a great deal. Having someone like Bradford was key, he said.

“Having someone of Mr. Bradford’s caliber willing to provide his personal network on behalf of Grambling State University is a tremendous asset,” he added. He said Gallot is “really setting the tone” and the message he is sending to Grambling alums across the nation is ‘It’s time; it’s time to get on board, it’s time to support our institution,’ …and this could not have come at a better time.”

GSU Fundraising Reception


Media Contact:
Office of Communications


By Raven LeDay

GSU Lyceum Committee Black History Month Speaker - Feb. 21, 11am T.H. Harris AuditoriumStudents, faculty, staff and community members are invited to join Grambling State University for Black History Month activities and events as the institution reflects, recognizes and honors contributions of African Americans who have shaped the nation’s economic, political, cultural and social landscape.

Grambling State University’s Black History Month activities include thought-provoking  programs, fun history events and interactive black history opportunities.

The highlight of the month is GSU Lyceum Committee’s guest, multifaceted journalist, Roland S. Martin, host of News One Now on TV One and a syndicated national columnist with Creators Syndicate.


Tuesday, Feb. 7 – “Brick by Brick”
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: T.L. James Building, Room 153, Grambling State University
Happenings: Brief history of behind campus building names

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – FSUB Trivia Game Night
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Favrot Student Union, Black and Gold Room, Grambling State University
Happenings: Test your knowledge of black history

Thursday, Feb. 9 – SGA Scavenger Hunt
Time: 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Location: TBD

Thursday, Feb. 16 – “History of Black History”
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Betty E. Smith Nursing Building, Room 177, Grambling State University
Happenings: Learn the history of Black History Month and its importance in today’s society

Monday, Feb. 20
Film Viewing and Discussion: “Frederick Douglass: When the Lion Wrote History”
Location: Betty E. Smith Nursing Building, Room 212
Time: 3 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 20-24
Kinesiology, Sports, and Leisure Studies History Display
Location: Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center

Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Keynote Speaker Roland S. Martin
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: T.H. Harris Auditorium, Grambling State University
Happenings: Keynote address by Roland S. Martin 

Thursday, Feb. 21 – Masters of Social Work Black History Month Program
Event Date: 6 p.m.
Location: Betty E. Smith Nursing Building Auditorium, Grambling State University

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. “Black Jeopardy” Game Show
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Betty E. Smith Nursing Building, Room 177, Grambling State University

School of Nursing: “History of Black Nurses in the 19th and 20th Century”
Location: Betty E. Smith Nursing Building, Room 240
Time: 1:30 p.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Happenings: Keynote Speaker Sharon Muriff

Student Presentations and the Influential Community Social Worker Award Presentation
Location: Favrot Student Union, Black and Gold Room
Time: 6 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 23 – Black History Month March
Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Route will start at Clubhouse on R. W. E. Jones Drive and end at the Eddie the Fighting Tiger sculpture on the quad in front of Long-Jones Hall, across from the Eddie Robinson Museum and Grambling Hall

Location: Betty E. Smith Nursing Building, Auditorium
Time: 11 a.m.
Happenings: Keynote speaker Gregory Bridges

Friday, Feb. 24 – History of Jazz
Location: Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall
Time: 10 a.m.

Saturday, Feb. 25 Black History Month with Curriculum and Instruction, the Links Inc.
Happenings: Preparing Males for Manhood: The African Experience
Time: Saturday, February 25, 1 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Location: To Be Determined

Happenings: Featured Presenters Dr. Lemmy Akoma, professor of political science and public administration, and Dr. Fabian Nabangi, professor of political science and public administration
Time: 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Event: Preparing library books for shipment to St. Mary’s School library in Montego Bay, Jamaica, a community service project for high school males from select area high schools
Location: To Be Determined

“Preparing Males for Manhood: The African Experience”
Location: Favrot Student Union
Time: 1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Preparation for shipping books to Jamaica
Location: Favrot Student Union
Time: 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Roland Martin Black History Month Speech


Media Contact:
Office of Communications


Gallot urges freshmen to stay focused on academics, stay away from illegal activity

GSU Media Bureau

GSU President Rick GallotGrambling State University President Rick Gallot told a group of GSU students to focus on their studies without participating in illegal activities.

“You did not come here to sell weed,” said Gallot, an alum and longtime attorney who has represented a variety of clients in court.

Gallot, the 10th president of Grambling State, addressed 600 First Year Experience (FYE) students at the T.H. Harris Auditorium on Tuesday (Jan. 31), going into some depth about the obligations Grambling State students have to themselves and obligations GSU faculty and staff have to the students. He shared several ideas, and focused on three key points: go to class, do good work and hold Grambling to a high standard.

The president said students should focus on what it takes to graduate, and that means “begin with the end in mind.”

Students who fail to follow the president’s three basic rules will suffer consequences, he said. If a student chooses not to attend class and not to do good academic work, money will be wasted, grades will likely drop and those students will not get the best jobs in their fields, the president said. In addition, if a student chooses not to show Grambling State in a positive manner, those students will be subject to expulsion — and the value of the university’s degrees diminish.

Students and FYE instructors enjoyed Gallot’s tough love talk.

“President Gallot was very relatable,” said Lesli Woods, 18, a music education major from Columbia, Missouri. “He got very deep and real with us, especially with the drug dealing comment. He addressed real issues in our class and in the Grambling community.”

Billy Booker, 19, a marketing major from Houston, Texas, said the president “really reminded me how much I want to be one of those alumni who gets their degree and comes to give back to Grambling.”

Arlissia Giles, 19, a marketing major from LaPlace, Louisiana, appreciated Gallot’s candor, and one other thing: “He was short, sweet, simple and to the point.”

Brittany Hoskin, Coordinator of the Grambling Achievement Program and FYE instructor, said she hopes the president’s talk sticks with the students as they matriculate through college.  “I like the fact that he reinforced what we do in the FYE classroom and the expectations that we have for the students as well as the expectations that the students should have from the faculty and staff,” said Hoskins, a native of Tchula, Mississippi, who has taught FYE classes since spring 2012.


Media Contact:
Office of Communications