Douglas L. Williams Alumni Chapter
Grambling University National Alumni Association
Post Office Box 845
Missouri City, Texas
Facebook - DLW GSU Houston Alumni
October 21, 2013
Dear GSU Alumni Family and Friends:
I was waiting to send a message to you until official press releases/statements were issued by the University and Grambling University National Alumni office. However, in light of recent events and the national media attention, I only feel it is right that I reach out to inform our local membership on the issues at hand. Many of you are aware of the football team’s boycott of practice last week and this past weekend’s Jackson State game. As a result, we gained widespread media attention and the university forfeited Saturday’s game.
There are many underlying issues that this situation should bring to light; many issues reaching farther than athletics…issues that affect the university as a whole. Issues, we as alums have been fighting for in the background, with limited numbers/support. Our most recent chapter meeting (October 12th) focused on the state of the university. The concerns and recommendations gathered in that meeting are being provided to the national alumni board for follow-up and relate to such issues as campus upkeep, academics, and customer service. The chapter made a commitment to ensure we are personally addressing issues at Grambling going forward. We want to ensure we are providing alumni support to the students and university personnel to get issues resolved.
A major issue that should be highlighted by the recent media attention is Grambling has been in a state of financial emergency for a while now. Between 2008 and June of 2013, the State of Louisiana and University of Louisiana System, in which we are governed, cut the university’s budget almost 60%, by approximately $17 million. Think about how you would function with JUST 40% of your household income. Some improvements might have been made budget-wise in the latest portion of this year, but GRAMBLING is STILL STRUGGLING! Regardless of how you might feel about the university’s administration (positive or negative), past history regarding finances (our most recent audit was clean), student pride (or lack thereof); we as alumni and friends of Grambling must step-up now to support our beloved institution. There is strength in NUMBERS.
I know students have many options on where to go to school these days, but do you remember there was a time when your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles had no other option? Grambling, like many HBCU’s, ensured our people were educated and had an opportunity for a future when no one else did. I chose to go to Grambling State University over many other universities because of the rich history, heritage, and family-like environment. Grambling prepared many of us for success in life as we gained lifelong friends and mentors. Grambling can still be looked at as the first choice for the future generation and “The Place Where Everybody is Somebody” if we as alums show strong support for our university.
Despite any negative information you are hearing/reading, there are three things that can be done in the near future to ensure a positive message and alumni voice is heard and felt on Grambling campus, in the state of Louisiana, and around the globe.
- Support Grambling State University with PRESENCE. This weekend is High School Day, the next weekend is Homecoming. Regardless of whether you think we’ll win the football game, we’re still Grambling. We still have a winning history to brag about to anybody opposing us. Eddie Robinson’s legacy is still acknowledged worldwide. We’ll regain prominence. Don’t turn your back on the university and team when they need it the most. True Tigers bleed Black and Gold rain or shine.
- DONATE to Grambling. It doesn’t have to be a large sum of money. You can donate small portions every month. Make a sacrifice for the institution we love and skip a dinner out or happy hour once a month to give back to Grambling State University. Beyond just dollars, the more alumni that give, the more it demonstrates our support and care for the university. Alumni giving in quantity, as opposed to just $value, is viewed by the State and others when determining how much money should be allocated to GSU. If we as alums don’t think Grambling is worth our giving, why would we expect others to care??? Here is the link to donate directly to the university. (As I indicated above, the university has received a clean audit on finances. You don’t have to worry about your funds being misused...)
- JOIN a local chapter of the Grambling University National Alumni Association, Inc. (GUNAA). I assure you, this isn’t a membership ploy. Again, there is truly strength in numbers. We have many alums wanting to do something, but are not sure what to do. We have ideas being thrown around by individual groups via email, Facebook, etc. We need ONE COHESIVE VOICE to quickly enact change. Don’t just sit around complaining, work towards progress. Your ideas are worth sharing. Hold GUNAA accountable, locally and nationally. Many of us are very busy. At times working with the alumni association can be stressful. (Last week, many alumni officers were busy contacting parents, students, and university personnel to stay abreast of the situation and trying to push for a resolution.) However, it is also rewarding, as we are supporting the university we love dearly and working with others who care about Grambling’s success, future and student wellbeing. In lieu of the current situation, we will need a strong voice pushing us forward, ensuring we are heard, and we’re continuing to do what’s best in support of our Dear Ol’ Grambling. We are now accepting membership dues for the 2014 year. The fees are due by 12/31/2013 in order to be considered a member in good standing with full voting privileges. 2014 is a voting year for national and local alumni officers. The membership invoice is attached to this email. For those who might not be able to afford membership dues at this time, don’t let that keep you from being active. Come out to events, volunteer for recruiting and/or attend meetings. You are still welcomed as part of the Grambling family. Encourage your friends in other cities to join their local GUNAA chapters by visiting www.gunaa.net.
Our chapter has positive meetings with everyone able to input ideas/solutions. The next chapter meeting is on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. – Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center (2020 Hermann Dr. Houston, TX). Come out and let your voice be heard.
Thank you in advance for your support of Grambling State University!
In Tiger Spirit,
Felicia M. Henry
Felicia M. Henry, President
DLW Chapter – GUNAA, Inc.