By Reagan Higgins/GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University students will receive free carryout snacks courtesy of Aramark today (Nov. 29) between 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. at McCall Hall, or “the Cafe” as students call it, where a lot of on-campus students eat. STUDY BREAK POSTER NEW

It’s the GSU reading period today and Friday, just before final exams next week. Students are already crowding the academic buildings, studying, writing final project papers and otherwise finishing the semester. Some students don’t have access to snacks and beverages during this time, and Aramark wants to encourage students by providing a snack option to encourage them to do well, according to Karen Ashford, Aramark’s interim food service director.

Ashford said the café will provide popcorn, snack mix, muffins, cereal bars, chips and soft drinks during this special snack break event.

She said Aramark is consistently improving for the students and offering their services so students can succeed, offering a comfortable environment and snacks so students can leave motivated and rejuvenated to end the semester strong.


Three honors college students win national awards as more than 25 GSU students visit Georgia


GSU Students group shot outside at the King memorial ATLANTA, Ga. – Three Grambling State University students recently won awards at the National Association of African American Honors Programs conference held at Morehouse College.

The three were part of a contingent of 27 Earl Lester Cole Honors College members who were able to attend the Nov. 9-12 conference.

Student Government Association President Adarian Willams, a junior majoring in music and visual performing arts, placed first in the musicians talent competition. “It’s not just a musicians competition; it was a talent competition,” said Williams, 21, a Ruston, Louisiana, native who sang “Glory” by John Legend and Common.

Faron Rush, a Chicago native and a senior majoring in computer information systems and business management, won the 2017 Dr. Freddye T. Davy Humanitarian and Service Scholarship. Rush, 21, of Iowa City, iowa, said the $500 scholarship “was the best part of the trip.”

Abyssinia Flores, a sophomore mass communication major, was elected queen 2017-2018 Ms. National Association of African American Honors Programs.

“This trip showed GSU is a great university focused on academic excellence,” said Ellen D. Smiley, the university provost and vice president for academic affairs and the dean of the honors college. “GSU represented very well at the conference.”

During this conference GSU students also were able to visit Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University, Ebenezer Baptist Church and a monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  “Trip was very fun. Williams said it was “awesome” visiting these places, but ”seeing my peers win awards was the best part of the trip.”

The Earl Lester Cole Honors College was established in 1990 to provide unique educational experiences and opportunities for academically talented students.



Thurgood Marshall College Fund and The Coca-Cola Foundation provide much needed assistance for first generation college students

 By GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University has received $50,000 from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and The Coca-Cola Foundation to support the Thurgood Marshall College Fund – Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship Program.  Each year for four years, four students will receive $3,125 in scholarships that may be used for tuition, books, or housing for a total of $12,500. To be eligible for the scholarship award, students must be the first in their immediate family to attend college and maintain a 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale.  DSC_4790 copy

During the second annual Eddie G. Robinson Sr. Leadership Lecture Series, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Coca-Cola representatives presented GSU President Rick Gallot and Institutional Advancement Vice President Marc Newman with a check to provide support to first generation students.

“At Grambling State, we try to ensure every student has the help they need to graduate,” said Gallot. “More than 90 percent of our students are eligible for some form of aid, and we are very grateful for partners like TMCF and Coca-Cola who help our students through scholarships, grants and other assistance.”

During the university’s Tuesday (Nov. 14) event, representatives from the Monroe Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a sales center of UNITED Coca-Cola Bottling Company, shared their support.

“We’ve been strong GSU partners for more than seven decades and we’re extremely happy to see our parent company leaders contribute to this important institution just as we have,” said Keith Biedenham, sales center manager with the Monroe company. “Our company invested $260,000 earlier this year to the Bring It Home campaign, and this is another indication that the Coca-Cola stands with HBCUs, and GSU is the leader in our community.”

“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund values the tremendous impact of our corporate partners like Coca-Cola who help us fund much-needed student scholarships at Grambling State and all of our 47 member-schools,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., TMCF’s president and CEO.

Newman said the $50,000 in scholarships will help several GSU students the next few years. “We really appreciate The Coca-Cola Foundation and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and their investments in and partnership with Grambling State University as we build a good future together.”


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Gallot honored by HBCUGrow for leadership and vision during his first year as institution’s 10th president 

By GSU Media Bureau 

RALEIGH, NC (November 9, 2017 ) – Grambling State University President Rick Gallot was recognized today with the HBCUGrow LEAD award for “Best Leadership” at the group’s 2017 annual LEAD Conference. GSU President Rick Gallot

Gallot, who was nominated in his first year as the institution’s 10th president, was recognized for his energetic, student-centered approach to leadership and the university’s growing list of recent accomplishments, including record enrollment and a recent $1.2 million raised from alumni and donors in just four months.

“In your first year, any award is an honor. This acknowledgment from HBCUGrow is significant because it means our peers and others across the nation can see the progress with our students and campus,” said Gallot. “It’s a privilege to lead Grambling because of our students, faculty and administrative community members. They’re the ones who make the vision possible.”

In addition to enrollment progress and fundraising, under Gallot’s leadership, the university has seen a new nursing program approved by the state, new funds secured to start progress on a cutting-edge library project and an additional $2 million in federal grants and contract funding.

The Best Leadership award is given to an active president of a historically black college and university at the HBCUGrow Lead Conference, one of the country’s fastest-growing university leadership training events.

In addition, Grambling State was also recognized as 2017 winner in the Innovation category, recognizing forward-thinking solutions in campus experience, technology and university programming.
Winners were selected in several categories based on peer nominations and input and data reviews by a panel of judges.  This year’s categories included LEAD Innovation, LEAD Marketing, LEAD Website, LEAD Military-Friendly and Best Leadership.



Fourteen of university’s finest scholars exhibit what it means to be a successful Gramblinite

By Stephanie Lindsey/GSU Media Bureau

Grambling State University stood out among the crowd at this year’s Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. GSUMarshallFundGroupNov2017-12

More than 400 students attended the Institute, which involved breakout sessions throughout the weekend to learn about everything from financial literacy and investing to business meeting etiquette and selling your brand.

Chosen to attend the four-day conference were Alickson Alexander, junior computer science major; Christian Bailey, junior chemistry, chemical engineering and military science major; Noressa Fontaine, junior business management and computer information systems major; Jada Johnson, junior biology major; Justin Malone, sophomore marketing and business management major; LaJazz Pichon, freshman visual and performing arts major; La’Terious Pouncy, senior accounting and computer and information systems major; Jarrid Richards, junior computer information systems major; Dhara Richardson, freshman biology major; Faron Rush, junior business management and computer information systems major; Derisha St. Rose, sophomore business management major; Aschel St. Ville, senior biology, mathematics and physics major; Kellyne Thomas, junior accounting and computer information systems major, and Dionte Wilson, senior marketing and business management major.

As any of the 14 Grambling students will tell you, being selected to attend the Leadership Institute is no easy task.

Bailey, president of the GSU chemistry club and vice president of the Delta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., knows the process first hand.

“First you have to apply. Then depending on your credentials, grade point average and campus involvement, you’ll get an interview. There are face-to-face interviews on campus and once you’ve gotten past the first round of interviews, you move on to a second round of Skype interviews. After that, you’re told within the next month or two if you’ve been selected,” said Bailey, who received an internship opportunity with the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly while attending the Leadership Institute.

Graduating senior Wilson attended the institute for the second time this year. “Being a part of the leadership Institute has helped me with networking skills and seeing the bigger picture of how important career readiness before graduation is,” the Chicago native said. “This year my mind was pretty much on full-time offers.”

“The Leadership Institute prepared me for life after Grambling by showing me the ins and outs of corporate jobs, how to communicate in a professional environment, and how to use my own strengths as a springboard for my success, “ Richardson said.

St. Rose received an internship with Walmart’s 2018 logistics summer internship program and Richards received a scholarship from John Deere.

Named for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the fund has been a key proponent for the professional advancement of African American students for decades.




University employees contributing to help improve quality of life in the area

By GSU Media Bureau

Monster Moto of Ruston has partnered with Grambling State University and United Way of Northeast Louisiana to encourage contributions to help nonprofit organizations in the region.DSC_2986 copy

The Ruston business has donated a classic 80cc mini bike for the annual GSU United Way campaign. The mini bike, valued at about $400, is an incentive to encourage GSU employees to make contributions.

“Our partnerships really help make Grambling State University successful, and we have partnered with the United Way for several years,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “It’s exciting to have Monster Moto join us as a partner to help with such a worthy cause.”

During a recent (Nov. 1) visit to Monster Moto, Gallot toured the facility with business and university representatives and expressed his appreciation for the mini bike donation.

Monica Bradley, associate vice president for human resources and chair of the GSU United Way campaign, said she was particularly excited that a local business has partnered to help boost employee giving.

“Our employees are wonderful when it comes to making United Way contributions,” she said. “Having such a nice gift as an added value incentive will make some people consider giving more and it will cause others thinking about giving to give.”

Bradley said employees can sign up for a payroll deduction of $10 per month starting in January 2018 or make a one-time donation of $120 with a check, cash or credit card by visiting the cashiers office on the first floor of Long-Jones Hall on the campus. Individuals can use the 2017 United Way Pledge Form to contribute and have a chance to win the bike. She said non-employees are welcome to contribute to GSU’s United Way campaign, though payroll deduction is not an option. Non-employees can contribute with cash or credit cards.

She said there will be a drawing for the bike on Monday (Nov. 13) at 10 a.m. in the Favrot Student Union during the United Way Campaign closing ceremony in room 242.  Special recognition will be given to individuals, departments and divisions that have the highest donation and participation rates.

“I can’t wait to see how our employees will step up to give this year,” added Bradley. “I can’t wait to see who’s going to win and get to ride this mini bike.”

The United Way of Northeast Louisiana works with volunteers, donors and organizations to identify education, income, health and basic and emergency needs to help improve the quality of life in northeastern Louisiana, including Grambling, Ruston, Monroe, West Monroe, Rayville and elsewhere in the area.

Grambling State University has hosted an annual United Way Workplace Campaign since 2007.  The employees support the agencies that are funded by United Way dollars, including DART, Boys and Girls Club, Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Counsel on Aging, The Health Hut, MedCamps, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Wellspring. Gallot and Alex Keechle, CEO of Monster Moto, are involved with the United Way Workplace Campaign 2017.  Michelle Tolar, the area director for the Northeast Louisiana United Way, provides guidance and strategies for the annual Workplace Campaigns. Phranses Williams is the Monster Moto Workplace Campaign coordinator.


United Way Logo GSU Logo MonsterMoto Logo

Monster Moto Mini Motorcycle

Click here for PDF
UNITED WAY CLOSING NOVEMBER 8TH–Enter A Drawing to Win a Classic 80cc Mini Bike


Corporate, individual, other investors contribute to help university continue success


In a short few months, the Grambling State University family came together to meet then surpass a $1 million fundraising goal. The campaign grand total is $1,232,543.

GSUBringItHomeBigCheckOct2017.DSC_2235 2Raising about $1.2 million in a mere four months was a challenge, but it was one that the GramFam took on and were determined to see to a successful conclusion at the school’s recent homecoming game.

“This is really big,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “We set ourselves up for success by involving the entire GSU family, from alumni to faculty and staff, students and business and corporate partners.

“Nearly everyone wants to invest in something in which they believe, something that clearly pays dividends and something that makes the investor feel good.”

Marc Newman, GSU’s vice president for institutional advancement, said there were a total of 2,024 gifts. The largest amounts included $421,905 in corporate contributions and $168,827 in online donations. Three of the biggest special event investment opportunities included the Day of Giving, the GSU employee giving campaign and the annual KGRM Radiothon, which brought in $70,017, $69,949 and $30,247 respectively. Newman said there were a full range of investments, including those who gave a few dollars and several, significant individual contributions, from $5,000 to $100,000.

“These numbers show that our alumni, faculty and staff, the business community and even our students understand what it means to invest in this institution,” he said.

The effort was launched in July with a Bring It Home announcement in the Black and Gold Room on the second floor of the Favrot Student Union. Gallot and his wife, Christy, jump-started the campaign with a $10,000 contribution, and several others contributed on the first day. The largest investment was $260,000 from the Monroe Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a division of UNITED Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The first day total was $321,000, and the contributions kept rolling in, week by week and month by month.

“That single investment was just what we needed to kick off the campaign,” said Marc Newman, vice president for institutional advancement, who led the Bring It Home team. “Our advancement team worked closely with the Grambling University Foundation and a host of alumni groups and individuals to build on that initial success.”

“This effort had a wide scope of participation,” added Newman. “We have support from the Divine Nine Greek sororities and fraternities, and a number of other affinity groups. The Grambling University National Alumni Association played an important role with regular check-ins, event-specific activities and helping us spread the word through local alumni chapters. We had support from across the region, including Monroe, Arcadia, Ruston, Shreveport and beyond.”

“When President Gallot and Marc Newman asked me to help, I didn’t have any other choice than to immediately say yes because I knew it would help Grambling and it would be just what we needed,” said Wilbert Ellis, a legendary Grambling State baseball coach who served as the honorary Bring It Home campaign chairman. “When that big amount was announced and I saw that big check, I couldn’t help but cry tears of joy. We haven’t seen anything like this at Grambling before, and, boy, do we need it.”

“With the president we have at the helm and the advancement team we have in place, there was no doubt in my mind that we could set a big, bold goal and meet it,” said Aubrey, a 1995 GSU alum. “We just needed to put the right structures in place and make it work.”

Newman said lining up a couple of dozen Bring It Home campaign captains, holding regular conference calls, identifying key events and key people were central to the success. “I can’t thank those captains enough,” he said. “All of them were volunteers who worked hard because they love GSU.”



Program provides student flexibility, especially those with credit hours wanting a degree

By GSU Media Bureau

The Louisiana Board of Regents has given conditional approval for a new general studies degree program at Grambling State University. The new program allows students needing a more flexible curriculum to pursue a bachelors degree with an interdisciplinary approach while exploring varied interests that extend beyond a particular major. Dr. Ellen Smiley

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students who have completed quite a number of course credit hours, especially those who are close to having the requisite number of hours to graduate,” said Ellen D. Smiley, GSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This new program gives students a choice of four concentration areas — humanities and culture; gender, race and intersectionality; juvenile behavioral studies and gerontology.”

Smiley said the university has three years to ensure that the program is successful to gain full approval. She said GSU must file a progress report each year, beginning fall 2019, to indicate how many students are in the program, how the students are performing and anticipated success. The board took the action at its Oct. 26 meeting.

The provost said while this innovative approach to earning a bachelor’s degree provides students with an additional, flexible option, all students choosing this option must satisfy state, system and university requirements. The general studies program requires 120 credit hours. Students must earn 39 hours of general education credits and two hours of First Year Experience (FYE) credits as well as 27 credit hours in the chosen concentration.  There must be 21 hours of “enrichment courses,” or classes that strengthen student knowledge, and 31 hours of electives, focused on a second concentration within the degree program or an approved minor.

All GSU students are required to meet university-wide service learning requirements. At least 160 hours of service learning hours are required, including 80 hours based on academic courses and 80 hours of community involvement.

Smiley said GSU is planning to admit students for the program in summer 2018. Interested students can contact Dr. Roshunda Belton at 318-274-2256 for more information.