More than 350 students are expected to graduate during the Grambling State University (GSU) fall 2017 commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Central, 11 a. m. Eastern, on December 15, 2017, in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center in Grambling. The university will award 268 bachelor’s degrees, 95 master’s degrees and 7 doctorates.

GSU’s commencement speaker will be Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III, Senior Pastor at Friendship-West Church in Dallas, TX. Dr. Haynes is a Dr. Frederick Haynessocial activist, orator, and educator. He is committed to advocating for economic justice for under-served communities and to empowering the disenfranchised. Dr. Haynes has received numerous awards and honors for his ministry and activism. Ebony Magazine named him to its “Power 100” list of most influential African Americans in 2012. He has been inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. He was honored to give remarks at the memorial service of one of the most respected world leaders of the 20th and 21st centuries, South African President Nelson Mandela.

A special, off-site commencement program is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern at the AT&T Metro Center in Atlanta. Thanks to the generous support of AT&T, several GSU football program student-athletes will graduate in a special ceremony in a corporate multipurpose room in advance of Saturday’s Celebration Bowl football game.



The Grambling State University Army ROTC will host a commissioning ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. The keynote address will be given by Colonel (Retired) Jeremy M. Martin, Director of Public Affairs and Outreach at Bell Helicopter, National Capital Region, and Former Chief of Staff in the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Refreshments and fellowship will follow in the Black and Gold Room. Three cadets will be commissioned. The Army ROTC will conduct an oath of office during graduation.


Commencement rehearsal will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. On Dec. 15, graduates should arrive at the Assembly Center at 8 a.m., while faculty, staff, and students participating in the ceremony will assemble at 8:30 a.m.


GSUMAP2017Visitors attending the commencement at the Assembly Center are asked to park in the designated locations. There will be a drop-off and pick-up area in front of the Assembly Center for those needing additional assistance, but this is not a parking area. Graduates are asked to park in the parking spaces near the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium sign closest to the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center to allow family and friends to park closest to the Assembly Center. Parking spaces will be monitored and proper credentials must be displayed or vehicle will be towed. No curb parking — violators will be towed.


The doors to the Assembly Center will open at 7 a.m. No visitors will be allowed to enter the Assembly Center before 7 a.m. All audience members should arrange for their parties to be seated at the same time. SAVING SEATS FOR OTHERS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Ushers will be monitoring the rows to ensure that all seats are filled. While waiting for commencement to begin, please be respectful and courteous to others attending the ceremony, mindful of any instructions made by Grambling employees working at commencement, and listen carefully to any pre-commencement announcements.


Everyone attending the commencement is asked to be respectful of others who want to hear the names of their graduate called, to see their graduates in the procession and receive their degrees. To ensure that this formal event is as enjoyable for everyone as possible, NO CONGRATULATORY BANNERS, FLAGS OR AIR HORNS WILL BE ALLOWED INSIDE THE ASSEMBLY CENTER.


Only university-authorized campus and external media will be allowed on the floor of the Assembly Center to shoot and film the event. Only media with university-recognized media credentials will be allowed on the center’s floor, and only authorized campus and external media representatives with university-issued media passes will be permitted on the floor. All others will be asked to clear the area.


To watch a live broadcast of commencement, visit and click on the “Watch 2017 Fall Commencement Live” link on the right side of the webpage in the “Spotlight” section. The live broadcast will be available 10 a.m. on Dec. 15. In addition, KGRM-FM will broadcast the entire commencement live. Tune in at 91.5 FM starting at 10 a.m. The station will broadcast until diplomas are awarded. Visit and click on the link at the right of the homepage to listen to KGRM live.

Watch Online: 


External media are asked to contact the Office of University Communications at or 318-274-2203 for information regarding admittance to commencement and to make interview requests. All external media must park in a designated parking area in the loading dock area at the back of the Hobdy Assembly Center, and are required to show media credentials. External media are asked to enter at the back of the building.