Bayou Classic Announces Presenting Sponsors of Halftime Show

The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola UNITED Named Official Presenting Sponsors of the Annual Bayou Classic Halftime Show

NEW ORLEANS – Sept. 20, 2021 – The Bayou Classic announced that Grambling University Foundation, Inc. and the Southern University System Foundation, Inc., have extended their corporate partnership agreement with The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. (UNITED) to become the Official Presenting Sponsor of the Annual Bayou Classic Halftime Show.

The Bayou Classic, ranked as the #1 HBCU Classic in the nation, is the iconic collegiate gridiron matchup between Southern University and Grambling State University. The 48th Annual Bayou Classic, presented by Procter & Gamble, will be played Nov. 27, 2021, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

This partnership allows Coca-Cola to continue to demonstrate its ongoing support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and leverage the classic’s live events, digital and social media assets as well as pre-existing national broadcast and media rights. The partnership also includes exclusive rights for Coca-Cola as the “official soft drink of the Bayou Classic.”

“We are very excited to have The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola UNITED on board as a presenting sponsor of the Bayou Classic Halftime Show,” said Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of NOCCI (New Orleans Convention Company, Inc.), the event management firm for the 48th Annual Bayou Classic. “Thanks in large part to their continued support, we are confident that both our families and fans will continue to have a halftime experience they will never forget.”

Coca-Cola has been a proud partner of the Bayou Classic for more than ten years.

“The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola UNITED are proud to support the rich tradition between Southern University and Grambling State University,” said Morio Lee, Director of Multicultural Marketing and Community Affairs for Coca-Cola UNITED’s West Region. “We are also honored for the continued opportunity to connect with Historically Black Colleges and Universities that play such a vital role in the communities we serve.”

“Southern University and the SU System Foundation are excited and grateful for The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola UNITED’s continuing sponsorship of our renowned Bayou Classic and Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Ray L. Belton, President-Chancellor, Southern University System “This partnership expansion further indicates Coca-Cola’s commitment to showcasing HBCU talent and to providing resources to enhance the academic and athletic programs of Southern and Grambling.”

“Coca-Cola continues to be a valued partner in the fan and game day experience and the halftime show is an important part of that,” said Grambling State University President Rick Gallot. “As we look forward to returning to New Orleans by attending this much anticipated event, we are grateful to Coca-Cola for their support of the Bayou Classic Halftime show.”

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company with products sold in more than 200 countries and territories. The company’s purpose is to refresh the world and make a difference. Its brands include Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and other sparkling soft drinks. The company’s hydration, sports, coffee and tea brands include Dasani, smartwater, vitaminwater, Topo Chico, Powerade, Costa, Georgia, Gold Peak, Honest and Ayataka.  Nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverage brands include Minute Maid, Simply, innocent, Del Valle, fairlife and AdeS. Together with its bottling partners, the company employs more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at www.coca-colacompany.com.

About Coca-Coca Bottling Company United, Inc.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S. Now with its fifth generation of family working in the business, Coca-Cola UNITED has approximately 10,000 associates located in more than 60 facilities across six southeastern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee). For 119 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has remained true to its foundational core values of Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. Local relationships, personalized customer service and strong community engagement have been the foundation of its business for more than a century. Each year, millions of dollars are invested in local communities, supporting education, community development, sustainability and nonprofit organizations that empower and impact those in need. Learn more at www.cocacolaunited.com.

About the Bayou Classic

The legendary game between Grambling State University and Southern University, the Bayou Classic has proven to be a steadfast beacon of legacy and tradition that extends beyond the HBCU community. Fans from across the nation journey to witness the electrifying football game between Grambling State and Southern, while eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated halftime show featuring two of the greatest marching bands in the nation. For more information, visit www.mybayouclassic.com.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

GSU Student Selected as Preservice Teacher Representative for State Early Literacy Commission

Jayla Williams

Jayla Williams

GRAMBLING, La. – September 17, 2021 – Jayla Williams, a senior at Grambling State University, has been selected as the preservice teacher representative for the Louisiana Department of Education Early Literacy Commission. The Louisiana Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (LACTE) chose Williams to represent the association on the commission.

The Early Literacy Commission aims to study and make recommendations on how best to develop and implement a system that provides effective, evidence-based reading instruction for children from early childhood through third grade.

Williams, an elementary education major from Shreveport, La., will travel to Baton Rouge periodically to serve on a panel to achieve the literacy goals set forth for the children of Louisiana.

Dr. Cheyrl Mansfield Ensley, interim department head/associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership nominated Williams for the position. Among other reasons, she said when Williams began her residency (formerly student teaching), she stood out.

“Within the first few days, she received accolades from her principal,” Ensley said.
Williams is also active in education-related activities including serving as a member of Aspiring Educators, where she serves as the media coordinator. She offers after school tutoring for students in grades K – 12 via Joyous Learning with Jayla which celebrated its one-year anniversary in August.

“She has helped students increase test scores and improve grade level reading. As a result, she continues to receive recommendations from satisfied customers,” Ensley said.
Williams said she is excited about serving in the role on the commission for LACTE.
“I’m very passionate about all things education so to be recognized and nominated by our department head, Dr. Ensley, I am extremely honored,” she said.

Williams added that she hopes this opportunity will help her inspire future educators.
“Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity,” she said. “I hope by receiving this nomination I can inspire other students coming through Grambling’s Teacher Ed program and show that our gifts and opportunities are limitless.”

She aims to “represent all preservice teachers and children across the state, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and my beloved GramFam.”

Debbie Thomas, dean of the GSU College of Education, said Williams is “the epitome of excellence as a dedicated student and future educator. The College of Education is proud to call Jayla one of our brightest stars.”

After graduation, Williams plans to move to Memphis to complete a teacher residency program and obtain a master’s degree in urban education.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

GSU Founder’s Week Observance Moves from September to November

November 1, 2021, will mark 120 years of educational excellence

Charles P Adams bustGRAMBLING, La. – Sept. 14, 2021 – Traditionally, Grambling State University (GSU) has held its Founder’s Day observance beginning in September but this year’s celebration will begin Nov. 1. The date is significant because it will mark 20 years of educational excellence for GSU.

Moving forward, the observance will continue to be held in November, said GSU President Rick Gallot.

“Founder’s Day has been observed in September in years past, however, it is imperative that we align the celebration with the day the institution opened its doors,” he said.

Gallot said that the dates for the annual celebration will transition to the first week in November each year to honor the historic moment in 1901 when the historically black university was founded. He added that he is “beyond excited to celebrate” during November 1-5, 2021.

The planning committee is working to develop events and bring programming that honors the history of Grambling State University and perpetuates its legacy to the next generation, he said.

“We have much to be thankful for, reflect upon, and look forward to for Grambling State University,” Gallot said. “This institution has come so far, surmounted so many obstacles and accomplished so much. The best part is, we’re just getting started.”

GSU opened on November 1, 1901, as the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School. It was founded by the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association, organized in 1896 by a group of African-American farmers who wanted to organize and operate a school for African Americans in their region of the state.

In response to the Association’s request for assistance, Tuskegee Institute’s Booker T. Washington sent Charles P. Adams to help the group organize an industrial school. Adams became its founding president.

In 1905, the school moved to its present location and was renamed the North Louisiana Agricultural and Industrial School. By 1928, after becoming a state junior college and being renamed the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute, the school began to award two-year professional certificates and diplomas. In 1936, the curriculum emphasis shifted to rural teacher education; students were able to receive professional teaching certificates after completing a third academic year. The first baccalaureate degree was awarded in 1944, in elementary education.

In 1946, the school became Grambling College, named after P.G. Grambling, the white sawmill owner who donated the parcel of land where the school was constructed. In addition to elementary educators, Grambling prepared secondary teachers and added curricula in sciences, liberal arts and business, transforming the college from a single purpose institution of teacher education into a multipurpose college. In 1949, the college earned its first accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

In 1974, the addition of graduate programs in early childhood and elementary education gave the school a new status and a new name – Grambling State University. To learn more about GSU’s history, visit https://www.gram.edu/aboutus/history/.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

Miss Grambling State University Seeks to Spotlight Mental Health 

Daniels, who will be officially crowned Sept. 16, is carrying on family legacy as Miss GSU

Miss Grambling State University Faith Daniels

Faith Daniels

GRAMBLING, La. – Sept. 13, 2021 – Miss Grambling State University (GSU) Faith Daniels, of Atlanta, is honored and excited to serve in the leadership role for 2021-2022.

“It honestly feels like a dream but I’m looking forward to the journey that awaits me,” she said. “I am honored to serve students, faculty, staff, #Gramfam and future tigers.”

For Daniels, who will officially be crowned during coronation at 7 p.m. Sept. 16, being the 68th Miss GSU means carrying on a family legacy.

“My mom, Tammy Staten, was Miss Grambling State University 1983-1984,” she said.

Daniels is a senior mass communications major (concentration in sports journalism) who is minoring in business management. As Miss GSU, she wants to bring attention to mental health in the Black community. 

“I stand firmly on the platform of “Beauty and the Tiger”, advocating for those who suffer from mental health illnesses in the African American community,” she said. “Mental health is the last thing that is talked about in many of our households. During these unprecedented times, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely taken a toll on people all over the world, mentally and physically.”

It’s an issue that affects the old and the young and getting help is so important, she said.

“My biggest concern is the well-being of my peers and assisting them in becoming healthier mentally by not only encouraging students to utilize our counseling center services on campus but to acquire legal hobbies that bring them peace of mind,” Daniels said.

Besides being Miss GSU, Daniels is involved in other campus activities including serving as a producer/reporter for the GSU TV Center and as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

 

U.S. State Department Opens 2022 Application for the Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship Program

An opportunity for individuals pursuing an IT-related bachelor’s or master’s degree

Washington — September 9, 2021 — The U.S. Department of State and The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC)  are accepting applications for the Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship. The application period began September 8 and runs through January 31, 2022.

Funded by the State Department, the two-year fellowship program is for individuals pursuing an IT-related bachelor’s or master’s degree, and who want to use their tech skills to serve diplomacy in the U.S. Foreign Service. The FAIT Fellowship provides academic funding (up to $75,000 for two years), two summer internships (with stipends), professional development and mentorships, and culminates in an appointment in the Foreign Service as an information management specialist.

Designed to attract the best tech talent to the Foreign Service that reflects the diversity of the United States, the fellowship program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, gender, and geographic diversity. Members of minority groups underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and individuals with financial need are encouraged to apply.

This is the sixth year that TWC is partnering with the State Department to attract highly qualified students to apply for this program. Fifteen will be selected as FAIT Fellows for the 2022.

“It’s been fulfilling and heartwarming to watch these FAIT Fellows over the years earn their degrees, complete the fellowship and embark on their Foreign Service career,” said Chris Norton, TWC president. “We’re honored to continue our partnership with the U.S. Department of State and to contribute to the very important mission of attracting diverse and highly skilled tech talent to the Foreign Service.”

Visit FAITFellowship.org for information about eligibility requirements, benefits, State Department requirements and more.

Two Grambling State University Faculty Members Selected to Write Biology Textbook

Open source textbook will be free to high school students who have dual enrollment college classes

GRAMBLING, La.- August 30, 2021 – Two Grambling State University faculty members have been chosen to write a high school science textbook as part of an open textbooks program. Dr. Dagne Hill, head of the Department of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Waneene C. Dorsey, a biological sciences professor, have been selected to develop and write a general biology textbook for high school students who will be attending college.

The Louisiana Library Network (LOUIS) and the Louisiana Board of Regents received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Open Textbooks Pilot Program.

“This initiative engages instructors of dual enrollment across Louisiana in the curation and creation of Open Education Resources (OERs) for 25 of the state’s general education courses,” Dr. Terri Oaks, the grant’s principal investigator and associate commissioner and executive director for LOUIS, said in a press release.

Dagne Hill

Dagne Hill

The project could not only reduce the cost of higher education but also eliminate early barriers to participation in post-secondary education.

Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to participate in post-secondary courses for which both college and high school credit may be earned. It can improve college access and degree completion rates by lowering the cost of post-secondary education and accelerating degree attainment, but textbook cost is a barrier to participation.

“I am truly honored to be selected as one of the cohort members to participate in this historic event,” Dr. Dorsey said, explaining that dual enrollment programs give high students a leg up on college credit.

This project will enable and enhance the delivery of OERs and interactive quiz and assessment elements for dual enrollment courses in Louisiana and nationally. The course materials will be released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification and sharing with others.

“A lot of times, students do not enroll in dual enrollment programs because of textbook costs,” Dr. Dorsey explained. “When colleges adopt this textbook, it will defray the educational costs for students.”

Although high school students will be using the textbook, it is also a college biology textbook that can be used at colleges across the nation.

Dr. Dorsey said it is very important that she and Dr. Hill are co-authors because they are facilitating diversity in science.

“One of the glaring issues in science is that people of color do not contribute to science. This is not true.” she said. “By improving the diversity landscape to include underrepresented groups, we are encouraging these students to become scientists.”

Dr. Hill said that she is extremely excited to have been selected to assist in the development of an OER course for one of 25 dual enrollment general education courses.

“Each day my educational mission in biology is to assist and to promote students to excel in education,” Dr. Hill said. “This project will allow me the ability to impact a larger number of students in their journey towards academic success.”

Dr. Hill said the project has the potential to reduce costs and to improve the educational outcomes for approximately 20,000 high school students.  It is estimated that approximately 250,000 of the total statewide student enrollments per academic year will benefit from the project as well.

“This is vital in that it can increase the number of minority students that elect to further their education by attending college,” she said.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

 

Grambling State University to remain open Monday, August 30

Officials indicate preparedness to shift if weather deteriorates

August 29, 2021 – Grambling, LA – After meeting throughout the weekend and monitoring the development of Hurricane Ida, the emergency response team at Grambling State University (GSU) announced that operations will continue and classes will be held Monday, August 30, 2021. Residence halls and on-campus apartments will remain open and food service locations will continue as scheduled. COVID testing will continue at the health center for students, however, testing and vaccination services offered by the Louisiana National Guard will be postponed until further notice.

“The forecasted impact for parishes west of the weather system, including Lincoln parish, indicate heightened preparation at this point,” said Grambling State University President Rick Gallot. “We are prepared to shift if that changes. Our thoughts are with our counterparts and communities to the south and central part of the state.”

According to the National Weather Service, Ida is predicted to remain a hurricane well inland and then weaken to a tropical storm as it makes its closest approach to central and northeast Louisiana and the ArkLaMiss. At this time, hurricane activity is not expected for parishes west of the weather system, which includes the Grambling and Ruston area. Ida will bring inland impacts of heavy rainfall and gusty winds to central and northeast Louisiana and the ArkLaMiss tonight into early Monday. Tropical Storm Warnings will be in effect into Monday for central Louisiana and the ArkLaMiss. Flash Flood Watch will be in effect from Sunday evening into Monday evening.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

GSU to Host Acting Workshop for Students Featuring Actor/Director Tico Wells 

Free screening of “The Five Heartbeats” for students, faculty & public August 30 followed by Q & A with Wells

Tico Wells

Tico Wells

GRAMBLING, La. – August 27, 2021 – The Department of Visual Performing Arts (VAPA) Theatre Program at Grambling State University will host a free screening of the 1991 film “The Five Heartbeats,” in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the film. The free, public event is set for Monday, August 30 at 7 p.m. in the Floyd Sandle Theater of the Conrad Hutchinson Performing Arts Center. Due to social distancing measures, seating is limited and RSVP is required for attendance via GSUVAPA@gram.edu.

Actor/director Tico Wells, who portrayed Choirboy in the film, will be the special guest at the event and will offer Q&A at the conclusion of the screening.

On August 31 and September 1, Wells will hold The Be Alive! Acting Workshop for GSU students.

Assistant Professor of Costume Design Kimberly Jones said students will “learn new acting techniques, gain confidence, and master scene delivery.”

The workshop will focus on techniques of both stage and camera including the art of acting through monologues and scenes. It is also designed to help participants increase awareness, confidence, speech, self-esteem, creativity and motivation.

Wells received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama from New York University and studied film directing at The American Film Institute. He is a specialist in sensory work and relaxation techniques to open performers up for a more realistic style of acting. Wells has worked with many outstanding actors including Al Pacino, Lawrence Fishburne, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Bill Cosby, Loretta Devine, Tom Sizemore, Richard Gere, John Goodman, Bill Paxton, Linda Hunt, Ruby Dee, and James Whitmore.  His television and film credits include “Bones”, “The Cosby Show”, “24”, “All of Us”, “Drew Carey”, “ER”,”JAG”, “Law and Order”, “Martin”, “The Relic”,  “Mississippi Masala” and “Universal Soldier”.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

Grambling State University Biology Student Interns at LSU Health Shreveport

Meleah Pea

Meleah Pea

GRAMBLING, La. – August 26, 2021 – Meleah Pea, a junior biology major from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, recently completed an eight-week internship

“This opportunity was my first exposure to research, therefore this experience has been a huge factor in determining whether I want to pursue a career in research in addition to my pursuit of a career in medicine,” she said. “In addition to helping me gauge whether a career in research was the right fit me, this opportunity allowed to me to connect with individuals that I truly look up to, can learn from, and help me in my journey.”

Her area of research was pathology – specifically exploring a major factor in atherosclerosis which is the underlying issue in cardiovascular disease.

The internship was an eye-opening experience, Pea said.

“I thought that once I got there I would do experiments, find what I’m supposed to find and present that at the poster presentation but it was nothing like that,” she said. “I had to learn that you can’t discover anything new if you do things “by the book”. Research isn’t a step-by-step handbook. It’s trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that to see whether your hypothesis is true or not. In the process, you might even find that you find nothing related to your hypothesis and that’s OK.”

If there is one lesson she learned, it’s that it’s OK to be spontaneous in research.

“Overall, it really taught me that it’s OK to go off course sometimes and it is in the spontaneity where you might find something even better than you had imagined,” Pea explained.

She said the Biology Department at GSU helped her to line up the internship opportunity.

“The Biology Department is truly a family inside of our big family at Grambling State,” Pea said.  “I would like to thank everyone who made this internship possible. However, I would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Leung, Dr. Hill, and Dr. Franklin with Grambling’s Biology Department as well as Dr. Thibeaux and the Diversity Affairs Office, Dr. Mabruka Alfaidi, Dr. Orr and the entire Orr lab in addition to Denisha Thomas at LSU Health Shreveport.”

Pea is president of the President’s Student Leadership Initiative, director of Community Engagement for the Student Government Association, a resident assistant, HBCU Be the Match Intern for Grambling State University for the 2021-2022 academic year and Senior GRAMbassador.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.

GSU Adds COVID-19 Vaccination to List of Required Immunizations for Students

Proof of COVID vaccination due by November 22, 2021 to register for Spring 2022 semester and terms moving forward

GRAMBLING, La. – August 25, 2021 – As of August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16 and over. Since December of 2020, the Pfizer vaccine has been available through Emergency Use Authorization, and more than 200 million doses have been administered in the United States.

The University of Louisiana System previously requested that the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), upon full approval by the FDA, add the COVID-19 vaccine to the schedule of required immunizations for students at Grambling State University (GSU) and other UL System institutions. LDH granted this request.

The COVID-19 vaccine is now on the schedule of required immunizations for students attending college in Louisiana.  Accordingly, proof of COVID vaccination must be submitted by November 22, 2021, to register for the Spring 2022 semester and terms moving forward.

“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, my hope is that our students, faculty and staff are continuing to keep themselves and others safe,” said GSU President Rick Gallot “Because health and safety are the top priority and paramount to approaching a sense of normalcy, I strongly encourage all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.”

Prevailing science tells us that return to normalcy depends on minimizing the impact of COVID-19 in our communities, he said.

“The available vaccines help to prevent infection—lessening the spread of the virus, and provide remarkable protection against severe disease—reducing the strain on our healthcare infrastructure,” Gallot said. “To date, hundreds of millions of doses of the current COVID-19 vaccines have been administered and have proven to be safe and effective.”

The process is no different than the process students underwent to comply with GSU’s immunization policy upon their initial enrollment. Under current state law, the requirement is:

Students must provide documentation of immunization against COVID-19 prior to the next registration period.  Alternatively, students may provide one of the following: 1) documentation from a physician of medical contraindication for the vaccine, or 2) a written dissent for taking the vaccine.

Currently, students who are vaccinated on campus are eligible for a $100 gift card through the Louisiana Department of Health and other incentives through the Grambling State University vaccination incentive program.  Free vaccinations are available on campus every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in T.H. Harris auditorium. No appointment is required.

About Grambling State University
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enable our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit gram.edu.