Turner Construction awards $11,000 scholarships to six Engineering Technology students at Grambling State

Receiving a well-rounded education paid off big for six Grambling State University (GSU) students on Thursday.


Those six GSU Engineering Technology students were presented scholarships from Texas-based Turner Construction during a program conducted by the company inside T. L, James Hall on the GSU campus.


The awards were determined by essays written by students applying for the scholarships as well as their grades.


Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company with a staff of more than 10,000 employees. The company completes $15 billion of construction on 1,500 projects each year. It plans, designs, and delivers building projects of all types and sizes — schools and hospitals, stadiums and museums, airports, data centers, offices, and more — throughout North America and in 30 countries around the world.


Thursday’s announcement of the scholarship recipients began with a $73,000 donation Turner Construction made last fall to GSU’s Department of Engineering Technology.


Each of the six students was awarded $11,000, with the remaining $7,000 going to the department’s National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Women Engineers programs to cover items such as lodging when attending programs and engineering conventions.


The students were presented with $5,500 each for the 2024 spring semester with all six also set to receive another $5,500 for the 2025 spring semester.


The students announced as scholarship recipients on Thursday were Jontae Clark of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Marion Coleman of Chicago; Kamile Corner of Houston; Corey LaCour of Alexandria, Louisiana; Ayanna Smith of West Palm Beach, Florida; and Tianaye White of Broussard, Louisiana.


Chris Compton Jr., a 2005 Engineering Technology graduate from Grambling State who is now Procurement Director for Turner Construction, headed up the program that included two other Turner representatives talking about the company and what it can offer to GSU engineering graduates.


Compton also announced that Turner representatives will be on campus on Feb. 22 to have GSU engineering students participate in mock job interviews and resume reviews, attend a panel discussion and have professional headshots taken.


“Mr. Compton, through his company, has been a blessing to the Department of Engineering Technology and the scholarship recipients,” said Dr. Edwin Thomas, Interim Head of GSU’s College of Engineering Technology. “On Feb. 22, they will host “Turner Construction Day on the Yard” with activities to prepare our students for a start in the professional world of work.”


Compton told the GSU students in attendance at the program that until today he had been the only Grambling State alumnus working at Turner until recent graduate Torrence Banks began at the company’s Dallas office.


“We want some more GSU graduates,” Compton said. “We have a lot of employees that graduated from HBCUs, but until today I was the only one from Grambling. So, get us your resumes and take advantage of the programs we’ll have on the 22nd.”


Compton said returning to his alma mater in such a way couldn’t have been better.


“It felt great to be here with the whole atmosphere and all of that — it felt great to give back to GSU,” Compton said. “As a proud alumnus, giving back to the university has been a dream, especially doing it in such an impactful way. It just warms my heart to give back and do something positive for GSU.”