To be one of the premiere universities in the world that embraces educational opportunity and diversity.
Grambling State University is a comprehensive, historically-black, public institution that offers a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate programs of study. Through its undergraduate major courses of study, which are undergirded by a traditional liberal arts program, and through its graduate school, which has a decidedly professional focus, the university embraces its founding principle of educational opportunity. With a commitment to the education of minorities in American society, the university seeks to reflect in all of its programs the diversity present in the world. The university advances the study and preservation of African American history, art and culture.
Grambling State University is a community of learners who strive for excellence in their pursuit of knowledge and who seek to contribute to their respective major academic disciplines. The university prepares its graduates to compete and succeed in careers related to its programs of study, to contribute to the advancement of knowledge, and to lead productive lives as informed citizens in a democratic society. The university provides its students a living and learning environment which nurtures their development for leadership in academics, athletics, campus governance, and in their future pursuits. The university affords each student the opportunity to pursue any program of study provided that the student makes reasonable progress and demonstrates that progress in standard ways. Grambling fosters in its students a commitment to service and to the improvement in the quality of life for all persons.
The university expects that all persons who matriculate and who are employed at Grambling will reflect through their study and work that the University is indeed a place where all persons are valued, “where everybody is somebody.”
The university aims to produce graduates from its undergraduate programs who (1) possess excellent oral and written communication, numeracy, and computer technology skills, (2) understand the basic laws that describe the physical universe, (3) understand the evolution of biological systems, (4) are able to think critically, (5) understand the development of economic, political, and social systems, (6) understand the history of civilization and the contributions of African Americans, (7) have knowledge of a language and culture other than their own, (8) practice high ethical standards of conduct, and (9) show through their work a commitment to service for humankind, and (10) have acquired skills and knowledge in a major academic discipline that afford them the option of graduate/professional study or career employment. The university also aims through its graduate programs (1) to produce graduates who are able to contribute to the advancement of their fields, and (2) to produce research that advances the academic disciplines in which programs are offered.
Grambling State University emerged from the desire of African-American farmers in rural north Louisiana who wanted to educate Black children in the northern and western parts of the state. In 1896, the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association was formed to organize and operate a school.
After opening a small school west of what is now the town of Grambling, the Association requested assistance from Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Charles P. Adams was sent to aid the group in organizing an industrial school, becoming its founder and first president.
Under Adams’ leadership, the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School opened on November 1, 1901. Four years later, the school moved to its present location and was renamed the North Louisiana Agricultural and Industrial School. By 1928, the school was able to offer two-year professional certificates and diplomas after becoming a state junior college. The school was renamed Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute.
In 1936, Ralph W. E. Jones became the second president. The program was reorganized to emphasize rural education. It became internationally known as “The Louisiana Plan” or “A Venture in Rural Teacher Education.” Professional teaching certificates were awarded when a third year was added in 1936, and the first baccalaureate degree was awarded in 1944 in elementary education.
The institution’s name was changed to Grambling College in 1946. Thereafter, the college prepared secondary teachers and added curricula in sciences, liberal arts and business. With these programs in effect, the school was transformed from a single purpose institution of teacher education into a multi-purpose college. The addition of graduate programs in early childhood and elementary education gave the school a new status and a new name—Grambling State University—granted in 1974.
In 1977, Dr. Joseph B. Johnson became the university’s third president. During his tenure, an event significant to the future of the university occurred with the signing of a consent decree. The decree provided the university with major legislative appropriations for assistance in capital outlay projects and for implementation of new curricula. Among the various programs established were a doctoral program in developmental education and two professional schools, nursing and social work.
In the athletic arena, Coach Eddie Robinson became the winningest coach in college football with 324 victories on October 5, 1985. The university’s leadership changed in 1991 when Dr. Harold W. Lundy became the fourth president. Under his leadership, enrollment continued to increase, and the university continued to enjoy national and international acclaim for its academic and athletic programs, and its marching band.
In July 1994, Dr. Raymond A. Hicks began a new era in the university’s history as interim president. On July 1, 1995, the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System named him the fifth president. During his tenure, the university began implementing a desegregation settlement that provided funding for expansion of facilities and the development of new curricula. As a result of the agreement, a doctoral degree in education was offered through the Louisiana Education Consortium, which included Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Through this program, doctoral studies in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction were offered.
On March 25, 1998, Dr. Steve A. Favors was named interim president at GSU. A little over three months later, on July 1, the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System selected him as the university’s sixth president. Under a “collaborative commitment to excellence,” Favors led the institution for nearly three years. Many accomplishments were made during his tenure including a visit by then U.S. President William “Bill” Clinton.
As the year 2001 unfolded and the university prepared to celebrate its centennial year, it did so with a new leader at the helm. Dr. Neari Francois Warner was named acting president. An alumna and the first woman ever to lead the institution, Warner continued to pursue full implementation of the desegregation settlement.
The Board of Supervisors announced on March 26, 2004 the selection of Dr. Horace A. Judson as the seventh president of Grambling State University. He chartered a course to carry the university forward toward excellence in every dimension of its operation.
Dr. Frank G. Pogue was appointed as the eighth President of Grambling State University in June 2010, after serving for seven months as interim president. The leadership of Dr. Pogue, a highly respected educator and administrator with a wealth of experience as an agent of positive institutional change and advancement, focused on a new beginning by building on the institution’s historic foundation. In September 2011, the Atlanta Post named Dr. Pogue one of the top 10 African American college or university presidents in the country.
Dr. Cynthia Warrick, a senior Fellow at the Howard University Center for Minority Health Services Research in Washington, D.C., was named interim president of Grambling State University on July 1, 2014 by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. Under her leadership, major organizational restructuring was initiated and implemented.
The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors appointed Dr. Willie D. Larkin as the ninth president of Grambling State University on June 4, 2015. Dr. Larkin, former chief of staff to the president at Morgan State University, assumed the presidency on July 1, 2015.
By unanimous vote on July 26, 2016, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors announced the tenth President of Grambling State University as former Louisiana state senator, and state representative, Richard J. Gallot, Jr., JD. Under Gallot’s leadership, GSU has experienced an increase in enrollment, program offerings, and partnerships. The university has also strengthened its fundraising arm, beginning in 2019 with President Gallot’s presentation of $20,000 to “put his money where his mouth is.”
The University is located in the heart of Grambling, Louisiana, one mile north of Highway 80 and a mile and a quarter south of Interstate 20. It is five miles west of Ruston, a city with a population of approximately 25,000. Monroe and Shreveport are large cities located thirty-six miles east and sixty miles west respectively from the campus.
Grambling State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees.
AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training
ABET, Inc. – The Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology
Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
National Association of Schools of Music
National Association of Schools of Theatre
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
National Recreation for Parks Association’s Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Council on Education
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors
Association of Institutional Research
Conference of Louisiana College and Universities
Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
Council of Graduate Schools
Council on Historically Black Graduate Schools
Louisiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Louisiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Louisiana Campus Compact
Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Association of College Deans, Registrars, and Admissions Officers
National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Grambling State University is a constituent member of the University of Louisiana System. It is one of nine institutions of higher education which comprise the largest educational system in the State of Louisiana. The University of Louisiana System is one of four systems of public higher education in the State of Louisiana. The others are the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Louisiana State University System, and the Southern University System. Each system is governed by its own management board. Overall governance of higher education in the state is provided by the Louisiana Board of Regents.
The faculty, staff, and students are afforded the opportunity to participate in campus governance through standing and ad hoc committees.