Inspired to think differently

Fall 2020 valedictorian credits Grambling State for broadening horizons, challenging perceptions

GRAMBLING, La. – November 23, 2020 – When Kimorah John arrived at Grambling State University (GSU), the way she thought about life at an HBCU was changed forever. Granted a full scholarship from the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica to attend GSU, she crossed the stage Friday, November 20th with a 4.00 grade point average as the valedictorian of the Fall 2020 class.

The summa cum laude graduate chose to major in psychology because of what she saw while growing up.

“I grew up in a community where the importance of mental health is often overlooked,” she said. “Individuals who are suffering with mental health issues rarely seek the help they need. I want to help change that mindset. I understand that having a healthy mind is important to maintaining overall good health.”

Challenged with a rigorous curriculum, John credits her professors for pushing her outside of her comfort zone. She said Head of Psychology Dr. Kevin Washington motivated her to be the best version of herself while Dr. Uju Ifeanyi, associate professor of English, challenged her to be flexible with her way of thinking and Dr. Steve Favors of the Earl Lester Cole Honors College encouraged her to grasp every opportunity that came her way. One of those opportunities included interning with the Boris L. Henson Foundation during the summer of 2020. Founded by actress and author Taraji P. Henson, she served as a team member of the COVID-19 virtual therapy campaign.

“I referred clients, assisted with inbox management, and managed the hotline for the campaign,” she said. “This internship brought insight into the struggles that mental health wrought, the ever-widening impact of a health crisis like COVID-19, and further prepared me for my future career.”

Having been on the President’s List from 2017-2020, John also broadened her horizons by being involved on campus. During her matriculation at GSU, she was a member of Pi Gamma International Honor Society in Social Sciences (Louisiana Eta Chapter ), Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists (ASBS), Social Research Club, Association of Gerontology and Human Development at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Earl Lester Cole Honors College, Student Ambassadors, President Leadership Initiative, Psychology and Sociology Club, and Favrot Student Union Board. She also served as the 2018-2019 Vice President of the International Student Organization.

Now that she has earned her bachelor’s degree, John plans to earn a master’s degree in cognitive psychology. She said her ultimate dream is to find cures and improve the treatment of cognitive disorders. Armed with the knowledge she’s acquired at Grambling State University, John is confident about her future.

“Whether it was through the relationships I developed, the advice received from mentors, or the events I attended at GSU, I was able to learn more about myself,” said John. “I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. I know what I need to work on to become the individual I aspire to be. Grambling State University has changed me for the better.”

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

From a house without books to a PhD

Commencement Speaker Encourages Grambling State Graduates to be Adaptable

GRAMBLING, La. – November 23, 2020 – The ability to adapt to change will equip graduates of the 21st Century for success.

That was the message from Dr. Calvin Mackie of New Orleans to Fall 2020 graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences at Grambling State University on Friday.

Dr. Mackie completed his degree in Mathematics at Morehouse College in 1990, graduating Magna Cum Laude and a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. He was simultaneously awarded a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, where he subsequently earned his master’s and PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1996.

“Charles Darwin said it’s not the species that’s the strongest or the most intelligent that survives,” he said. “It’s the species that adapts to change that survives.”

The world will continue to change, and graduates have to continue to grow, he said.

“Alvin Toffler said the illiterate of the 21st Century won’t be he or she who cannot read and write; the illiterate of the 21st Century will be he or she who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn,” he said.

Dr. Mackie encouraged graduates to hold on to the wisdom from their elders while continuing to learn.

He said he grew up in a house with no books. “I started Morehouse in remedial reading and developmental math. They said, “See Spot Run;” I didn’t even know it was Spot.”

“I started from the bottom and just like you, now I’m here,” he said. “You should be proud of where you are…Grambling has put you in a position to compete against the world.

“Grambling has been telling you every day for four years that you got greatness in your DNA,” he said. “And now it’s time for you to go out and show the world what Grambling has impregnated you with.”

Dr. Mackie has continued to serve the state during his career. In 2017, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Dr. Mackie to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). The CPRA was established as the single state entity with authority to articulate a clear statement of priorities and to focus development and implementation efforts to achieve comprehensive coastal protection for Louisiana.

Most recently, Gov. Edwards appointed Dr. Mackie to the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (LA-STEM) Advisory Council. In 2014, Dr. Mackie founded STEM NOLA as a non-profit organization to expose, inspire and engage communities about the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEM NOLA has engaged over 50,000 mostly under-served K-12 New Orleans students in hands-on STEM project-based activities. STEM NOLA has expanded its model to other cities launching STEM Baton Rouge and STEM Grambling in Fall 2019.

For more information, please contact mediarelations@gram.edu.

About Grambling State University  

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Grambling State University Graduates Are Well Prepared for Next Steps

Judge Tammy Lee Advises Grads to Continue Learning, Develop Support Network

GRAMBLING, LA – November 22, 2020 – “Grambling State University has more than prepared its graduates for prime time,” Monroe City Court Judge Tammy D. Lee told graduates at Fall 2020 commencement exercises on Thursday.

It’s now time to ascend to the next step, she said. “Let me just assure you that all is well and that all will be well. You have not been brought this far to falter, to bend, or to look in the rearview mirrors of your minds and doubt.”

Lee advised graduates to take a lesson from every experience and encounter, whether good or bad. “Learn from your mistakes, and particularly those that bring you to your knees,” she said.

The support of family and friends will continue to be important, she said. “Get yourself a crew of ‘no matter what’ friends who will celebrate you both during your opportunities and your obstacles,” she said.

Thirty years later, friends from Grambling remain friends, she said.

“If your friends won’t dig a tunnel to Hiroshima for you, you better leave them behind,” she said.

“You need that true circle of true blues.”

Put your cell phone down and enjoy life, she said. Do not allow it to pass you by. Stay engaged. Stay alert and stay informed.

Judge Lee earned a B.A. in English from Grambling State in 1989. In 1992, she earned a Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center. In 1993, she returned to Monroe, and served as the first African American law clerk at the Fourth Judicial District Court for Judge Carl V. Sharp and Judge Benjamin Jones.

In 1996, she worked as an Indigent Defender Board Attorney serving at the Monroe City Court. During this time, Judge Lee also served as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Grambling State. Thereafter, she was selected by Mayor Abe E. Pierce as a City Prosecutor for the City of Monroe and was the first African American woman to do so. In 2001, she became the first female to be sworn in as a judge at the Monroe City Court.

For more information, please contact mediarelations@gram.edu.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Never Give Up on Your Dreams, Commencement Speaker Advises

Judge Carlos Moore Walks in Faith that God has a Perfect Plan

GRAMBLING, LA – November 21, 2020 – “I see your hunger for success,” Judge Carlos E. Moore told graduates at Grambling State University commencement ceremonies on Wednesday.

But, he said, “As the future and the soul of this nation, you still have many more mountains to climb.”

Life does not always go as planned, and Moore encouraged graduates to never give up on their hopes and dreams.

The judge told graduates his own story of perseverance.

“I refuse to be denied,” he said. “Anything I go after, I must accomplish it.”

One of those accomplishments was to rise to the presidency of the National Bar Association. It took 20 years and multiple tries, but the Moss Point, Mississippi native will be installed as president in July 2021.

As managing partner of The Cochran Firm in Grenada, Mississippi, Moore believes “if you never quit, you can and you will succeed.”

Moore walks in faith that God has a perfect plan. “He has a call and a purpose for each of your lives. But your time clock may not be His time clock.”

He encouraged graduates to “find your purpose and walk in your calling.”

Faith will take you further than your mind can see, he said.

For more information, please contact mediarelations@gram.edu.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Continue Your Growth as a Leader, Commencement Speaker Urges Graduates

Grambling State University Alum Returns to Offer Advice and Motivation

GRAMBLING, LA – November 20, 2020 Leadership is the highest value in an organization, Commencement speaker Clyde R. Dyson Jr. told graduates from Grambling State University’s Colleges of Business and Education on Wednesday.

Dyson, a Grambling State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, has served as the University’s Executive Advisory Board Chairman since 2009. He came to Grambling State from Paincourtville, Louisiana, to play football for legendary coach Eddie Robinson.

“You have completed the first stage of readiness for your career,” Dyson said. “Continue preparing to where you want to get to next. Don’t count on good luck. … We are not playing the lottery game… We are playing the career game.”

Becoming an effective leader doesn’t happen overnight, he said. A strong leader chooses a plan, then throws his entire weight behind it, he said.

Leaders are able to influence others, are transparent, are risk takers, are people of integrity and they act decisively, he said.

“It’s your time to go out and create your own path,” Dyson said. “Decide what your legacy will be when you enter the workforce.

“It is your time to power up and lead.”

Dyson, currently GM/Unit Sales Manager at Pepsi Beverage Company in Erlanger, Kentucky, has also served Pepsi as the GM/Unit Sales Manager in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Before that, he held general manager positions with Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., in the company’s Cincinnati and Portland regions and then became Vice President of Operations for Toyota in Cincinnati.

For more information, please contact mediarelations@gram.edu.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Graduates Share Their Grambling Experience

Preparation, Development Key for Next Chapter of Their Lives

GRAMBLING, LA – November 20, 2020 – We asked some of our graduating seniors to tell us how they came to Grambling State University and what this experience has meant to them. Here are their stories:

Tyra Muhammad | New Orleans, Louisiana

I am currently a graduating senior majoring in English with an African American concentration. I am a 46-year old divorcée and mother of five who returned to Grambling State University to complete my bachelor’s degree. I was previously enrolled but left in 1996 to continue raising my daughter with my then husband. I enrolled in a Certified Nurse’s Assistant program during that time and was the valedictorian of my graduating class.

I am a non-traditional student following in the footsteps of my parents and other family members who are also Grambling graduates; some of them have actually worked for the University. I have a daughter who graduated last May from Grambling and in a few weeks, my son and I will graduate together. His name is Elijah and he’s a Business Management major.

Jeancarlos Bonilla | Bronx, New York

I graduate in fall 2020 and my major is General Studies with a minor in history. What drew me to this major was that it’s broad and I can do a lot of things with it. After high school, I attended Lackawanna College because I wanted to attend a college close to home that was both cost-efficient and gave me enough exposure for professional scouts. After that, I decided to transfer to Grambling State University.

Grambling gave me a chance to get a bachelor’s degree and prepare me for my next step in life. Grambling was cost-efficient, down south and I could continue to play the sport I loved since I was 3. Also, the coaches are great because the program itself comes with a family atmosphere, and all the coaches have a lot of connections.  Next, with the tough schedule, Grambling baseball prepares players each year to be top 2 in the SWAC and send players to the pro level.

Grambling State has changed me because it made me work harder and become more humble. Now I don’t take anything for granted and have a blue-collar mentality. Some challenges I faced were just a culture shock and it being so much different than New York.  These challenges helped me stay focused on/off the field but helped me gain some new experiences, too.

At Grambling, I was able to continue my baseball career while being inducted into a couple of honor societies like Pi Gamma Mu, Phi Alpha Theta, and  the National Society of Leadership and Success.  One faculty member who had a profound impact on me was Dr. Belton, because she was always there for me since my first day at Grambling. The history department in general is full of great teachers and I really got to learn about history from a different perspective. Now that I earned my degree, I plan on continuing to pursue my master’s degree. Hopefully, this will help me get a job with a professional major league baseball team so I can work my way up in the front office department. One mantra I use to keep me focused is “Don’t wish for it, work for it.”

Janequia Alberty | Dallas Texas

I decided to attend Grambling State University because of the great experience that I had here at high school band camp. Being able to see what it would be like to stay in a dorm room and just get a glimpse of what it would be like to be a future student made my decision way easier.

I am majoring in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Drafting and Design. From a young age, I knew from the first time that I fixed the chain on my bike that I wanted to be an Engineer. There was an extreme passion that I felt when I took engineering classes in high school, so in college, I just knew that Engineering was what I wanted to do.

Grambling has taught me to keep it “classy” with everything that I do. This University holds itself on such a high pedestal, and it shows throughout the university from the board to the fans, there’s just something about Grambling! While here I served as the Vice President of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority from Fall 2019- Fall 2020.

Here at Grambling, there have been many people who helped me along the way, but Dr. Edwin Thomas who I met while visiting the high school band camp has really helped me out a lot. From the first day of classes, he has been an outstanding role model. The most memorable thing that he has told me was to do what I have to do now so that I can do what I want to do later.

Now I plan on getting a master’s in Civil Engineering, continuing my path of learning design and technology. As for my career, there are multiple things that I can do with this major, but I am choosing to design custom homes that will allow me to work flexibly and from the comfort of my own home. A saying that has been with me for a very long time and something that I try to live by daily is “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from mistakes.”

Shareena Ford | Monroe, Louisiana

I am from Des Moines, Iowa, and have lived in Monroe for almost 15 years. I chose to attend Grambling State University because I wanted to be among those who have been educated at a Historically Black College/ University. The 45-minute drive from Monroe is nothing when I consider what this school signifies to me especially now. My baby brother who recently passed from COVID-19 attended Grambling 10 years before me and was a big supporter of me “going back to school”.

Initially, I intended to get my degree in Elementary Education and I learned so much in my classes, but a few setbacks and sitting out for a semester allowed me to reevaluate and change my major to General Studies and minor in Psychology. My first year and a half, Dr. Payne, Dr. Proctor, and Dr. Ghongkedze were especially inspirational in helping me to never diminish my value and to keep pushing towards my goal even if I had to take a different route. When I switched over to minor in Psychology, Dr. Washington pushed for greatness and paid close attention to detail, which led me to strive to do better.

When I graduate from Grambling I plan on pursuing a career in Education as well as continuing my education in Psychology. What I love about Grambling State University is that when I look around at nearly all of my professors, I see me. I see people who can relate to my struggles and have had their own struggles, but kept pushing for greatness. As I have endured some doubtful moments in my education, I simply tell myself to “Stay calm and keep going” and on occasion, I have to remember to not compare myself to others.

While at GSU I was inducted into The National Society of Leadership and Success which was pretty awesome for my family because later in the year my oldest son was inducted at the Elementary level National Honor Society and my younger son not only wants to follow in our footsteps, but he said he wanted to be a Grambling Tiger.

For more information about commencement, visit gram.edu/graduation.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Commencement speaker touts preparation for life from Grambling experience

Spring 2020 Commencement Speaker Calls Upon Graduates to ‘Earn Their Tiger Stripes’

GRAMBLING, LA – November 16, 2020 –A tiger’s stripes form a unique pattern. That fact is not lost upon a scientist who works in a data-driven environment.

Randall B. Reed, director of Quality-Sales for the U.S. affiliate of Eli Lilly & Company, urged graduates at the two of six commencement ceremonies at Grambling State to “listen to the science and follow the data.”

He received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1988 and has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for 32 years. While the Grambling State alum admits his college experiences in the 1980s may not compare to the challenges this graduating class has overcome in a Covid-19 environment, campus experiences still prepare you for post-campus life with the need to balance work and play, he said.

“Grambling has prepared you to have a successful career in your field of study,” he said. “You’ll want to thank your professors in the future.”

Reed has been a long-time advocate within the pharmaceutical industry for recruiting scientists from Grambling State and other HBCUs.

“The GSU network – GramFam as we call ourselves – will always be here for you,” he said. “We have alumni with influence who are willing to help others, to reach back and help Grambling.”

Get out there and earn your stripes, he encouraged. “You always have the ability to earn more Tiger stripes.”

While at Grambling State, Randall was initiated into the Delta Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and he is now a lifetime member of the fraternity. He supports community programs that improve the lives and provide opportunities for African American youth. He has been honored by the Indiana Black Expo for his long-term role volunteering as a Big Brother within the Big Brother/Big Sister Organization.

For more information, please contact mediarelations@gram.edu.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program and North Louisiana Universities Announce Student Competition Winners

GSU and NSU student entrepreneurs compete for cash prizes in online business model competitions

Above: GSU students and Golden Pitch winners Alaina Pacquette and Rhea Xavier

GRAMBLING, LA – November 13, 2020 – The Covid-19 Pandemic wasn’t holding students from Grambling State University (GSU) and Northwestern State University (NSU) back from battling for the top prize in their universities’ business model competitions — they just went online to do it.

Both university competitions, which were co-presented with BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), were held on Thursday, October 29, 2020. For the third year, EAP partnered with GSU for the Golden Pitch and NSU for its Inferno.

This year’s first place winners were awarded the top cash prize of $3,000, scholarships to the Louisiana Startup Prize 2021 and professional services from EAP:

  • Alaina Pacquette and Rhea Xavier for Tracer X – GSU Golden Pitch Tracer X is a mobile app that, through Bluetooth and GPS technology, would help its users’ assess health risks through contact tracing.
  • Landon Olivier, Colton Campbell, Gabrielle Chapman and Dilaney Deroache for Cane River Wine Shop – NSU Inferno Pitch Cane River Wine Shop would be the first wine shop in Natchitoches, where customers can enjoy a glass of wine and local entertainment.

Second and third place winners from each university were awarded $1,000 and $500, respectively.

EAP, which specializes in stimulating entrepreneurship opportunities in Northwest Louisiana, partnered with the two universities to continue EAP’s Grand Prix business model competitions that encourage student innovation. Students submitted their business ideas and five finalists were chosen from each university to compete in the online student business pitch competitions.

“EAP recognizes the strong programs our university partners have built and the significant talent they are cultivating in their students,” said Dave Smith, EAP Executive Director. “We are doing all we can to ensure they have the resources they need for these students to be successful with starting and growing their businesses here in North Louisiana.”

EAP partners with colleges and universities across North Louisiana to spur entrepreneurial growth with their student communities through university business model competitions.

Students participate in an online workshop with EAP team members and other advisors who provide the competitors with expertise, mentorship, and key connections needed to fuel their success. In the final phase of the competition, the top five participants at each school presented their business ideas to a panel of judges at the Final Pitch.

“The Golden Pitch is an excellent example of effective out-of-class learning activities,” said Grambling State University President Rick Gallot. “The ability to articulate a value proposition is a key skill for the workforce and beyond. Congratulations to Alaina and Rhea for their hard work and being stellar representatives of Grambling State University.”

“Northwestern State University is proud to partner with BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program which stimulates entrepreneurship opportunities in Northwest Louisiana,” said Northwestern State University President Chris Maggio. “It is rewarding to see the creativity of our students, and through this partnership that we are able to provide resources and an avenue to reward their entrepreneurial endeavors that will one day impact the growth and prosperity of our region.”

About EAP

The Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program, an initiative of BRF, is a public/private partnership among BRF, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential. Since EAP began in 2014, the program has screened 1060 startups and provided services to more than 260 companies.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

Grambling State Launches Online Degree Completion Program for Working Adults and Stop-Outs

Online Academy to Offer Affordable, Flexible General Education Courses

Grambling Global Academy Promo ImageGRAMBLING, LA – November 13, 2020 – Grambling State University announced today the launch of Grambling Global Academy, a major new initiative to help adults finish their bachelor’s degree through access to low-cost, online courses no matter where they reside. The new initiative is a partnership with StraighterLine, which provides affordable, self-paced courses to help learners persist toward their degree.

“The bachelor’s degree represents a lifeline to economic security for millions of workers facing uncertainty during the current economic crisis, and state universities have a responsibility to help working adults with some college and no degree get across the finish line,” said President Rick Gallot.

“This new initiative is about helping learners across the country — including military service members and working adults who have relocated for work — to conveniently access and complete the coursework they need to finish the degree,” said Dr. Roshunda Belton, chair of the Department of History.

According to a 2019 report by Strada Education Network and Lumina Foundation, more than  31 million U.S. adults have left college without receiving a credential. In the wake of the global pandemic, the recession continues to disproportionately impact those without a degree more than others. According to September data from the Federal Reserve, the unemployment rate was nearly double for those with some college but no degree, compared to those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Grambling Global Academy will be available to current General Studies students and returning students to Grambling State University. Tuition is $125 per month and delivered through the StraighterLine platform.  In addition to access to self-paced, mobile-friendly courses, the all-in subscription price includes e-textbooks, online tutoring and access to support services seven days a week. Students can begin enrolling now in Grambling Global Academy.

“The research is clear that completing a college degree makes an enormous difference in terms of long-term career potential, earnings, and economic security—and this moment of economic uncertainty is a critical time for millions of returning learners to complete their studies,” said Burck Smith, StraighterLine’s founder and CEO. “Grambling State has recognized that by providing low-cost, low-risk courses, learners from across the globe can continue their education and get back on track toward a bachelor’s degree.

Students interested in learning more about Grambling State University and Grambling Global Academy can email AcademicAffairs@gram.edu call 318-274-2256, or visit
https://global.gram.edu/ for more information.

About StraighterLine

StraighterLine is a student success company and the category creator for providing scalable solutions to deliver affordable, effective and accelerated learning pathways to formal degree programs and widely recognized industry credentials. The StraighterLine platform supports over 35,000 new students a year, including directly through the straighterline.com website as well as through the company’s growing network of university and employer relationships. Visit https://www.straighterline.com or https://partners.straighterline.com for more information.

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY RECOGNIZED IN UNPRECEDENTED BEYONCÉ AND PELOTON PARTNERSHIP

Students Receive Access to Innovative Wellness and Music Content with Gifted Digital Memberships

GRAMBLING, LA – November 10, 2020 – Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON), the world’s leading interactive fitness platform, and GRAMMY® Award-winning global entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé, today announced a broad, multi-year partnership rooted in the celebration of music– a central component of the Peloton class experience –and pro-social initiatives.

As part of this partnership, the two are gifting two-year Peloton Digital memberships to students at 10 HBCUs including Grambling State University, providing access to a full library of fitness classes through the Peloton App that can be used with or without equipment.

The launch of the collaboration with Beyoncé, the most requested artist by Peloton’s global community of more than 3.6 million members, is commemorating Homecoming season. While most of this year’s Homecoming festivities shifted to virtual celebrations due to the global pandemic, Beyoncé and Peloton worked closely to create a series of themed workout experiences to help extend Homecoming to Peloton members via classes across multiple fitness categories, including indoor cycling, running, strength, bootcamp, yoga and meditation. This special content is also accessible on the Peloton App, which anyone can try for free via a 30-day trial period, as well as through the Peloton Bike, Bike+ and Tread+.

“Peloton and I both believe that the power of music can help uplift, motivate and inspire those on their fitness journeys,” said Beyoncé. “I’ve been a Peloton member for several years, and I’m excited to partner with a company that helps people, young and old, be the best versions of themselves, in an innovative and adaptable way. I’m proud to celebrate the students at HBCUs with this donation, to encourage them to find and embrace their own wellness regimens.”

Additionally, Peloton will build on its relationship with Grambling State University, to pursue long-term recruiting partnerships at both the internship and undergraduate levels. The nine remaining schools also receiving Peloton digital memberships include: Bennett College, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, Texas Southern University, and Wilberforce University.

“Caring for the body is just as important as caring for the mind,” said Grambling State University President Rick Gallot. “Being able to partner with her again is always a pleasure. GSU was privileged to receive a $25,000 BeyGOOD scholarship that benefited the mind. We partnered with her again through Adidas that benefited the culture. This new partnership with Peloton benefits the body, and ultimately the whole student.”

“Beyoncé’s commitment to empowerment and artistic expression is an inspiration to the entire Peloton community,” said Peloton’s Head of Music Gwen Bethel Riley. “It is a privilege to be able to work closely with her and her extraordinary team to broaden access to our platform and collaborate on incredible offerings we think our Members will love.”

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901 that combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. This combination enables students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. With a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.

About Peloton

Peloton is the leading interactive fitness platform in the world with a loyal community of more than 3.6 million Members. The company pioneered connected, technology-enabled fitness, and the streaming of immersive, instructor-led boutique classes for its Members anytime, anywhere. Peloton makes fitness entertaining, approachable, effective, and convenient, while fostering social connections that encourage its Members to be the best versions of themselves. An innovator at the nexus of fitness, technology, and media, Peloton has reinvented the fitness industry by developing a first-of-its-kind subscription platform that seamlessly combines the best equipment, proprietary networked software, and world-class streaming digital fitness and wellness content, creating a product that its Members love. The brand’s immersive content is accessible through the Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread, Peloton Bike+, Peloton Tread+, and Peloton App, which allows access to a full slate of fitness classes across disciplines, on any iOS or Android device, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku TVs, and Chromecast and Android TV. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York City, Peloton has a growing number of retail showrooms across the US, UK, Canada and Germany. For more information, visit [onepeloton.com]onepeloton.com.

About Parkwood Entertainment

Parkwood Entertainment is a film and production company, record label and management firm founded by entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé in 2010. With offices in Los Angeles and New York City, the company houses departments in music, film, video, live-performance concert and production, management, business development, marketing, digital, creative, philanthropy, and publicity. Under its original name, Parkwood Pictures, the company released the film Cadillac Records (2008), in which Beyoncé starred and co-produced. The company has also released the films Obsessed (2009), with Beyoncé as star and executive producer, the winner of the Peabody Award for Entertainment, Lemonade (2017), the Emmy Award-winning Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé (2019), which documents Beyoncé’s history-making performances at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2018, and Black Is King (2020). Parkwood Entertainment produced The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (2013-2014), The Formation World Tour (2016), and the aforementioned “Homecoming” performances at Coachella (2018), and co-produced the ON THE RUN Tour (2014) and ON THE RUN II Tour (2018).