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.”