Category Archives: advancement

AT&T Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant to Grambling State University Foundation

HBCU Receives Scholarship Contribution for Freshmen Studying Cybersecurity and Related Majors 

GRAMBLING, La. – June 29, 2020 – Today, the Grambling State University Foundation announced that it has received a $25,000 AT&T Foundation grant. The grant is designated to support scholarships for incoming freshmen who have declared majors in cybersecurity, computer science or computer information science.

“Grants like this make a huge difference for our students,” said Marc Newman, Vice President for Advancement. “Our student body largely consists of first-generation college students and funds like these mean even more in the scope of creating opportunities for those students in the most high-demand career fields of our time.”

Grambling State University has had a tremendous impact on the lives of young people for many generations, including myself, and we are proud to support their efforts to build paths to opportunity and help create better futures,” said David Aubrey, Regional Vice President, AT&T Louisiana.

Students interested in applying for these scholarships should contact Grambling State’s Office of Financial Aid. AT&T has contributed about $180,000 to various Grambling State programs over the past five years. About the Grambling State University Foundation The Grambling State University Foundation is a public non-profit organization established to provide financial assistance to Grambling State, primarily from earnings on endowed funds, gifts, or property.

The Foundation acts independently of the University, but is solely for the benefit of Grambling State. For more information, please contact  or call (318) 274-2866.

About Grambling State University 

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information, visit

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $550 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.

GSU Faculty Awarded $92,919 NEH Grant for Digital Humanities Program

GRAMBLING, La – May 26, 2020 – The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded a $92,919 grant to Grambling State University faculty from the Departments of English and History as part of a three-year innovative curricular initiative for a program in the Digital Humanities.

Co-directors Dr. James Clawson and Dr. Edward Holt, along with Dr. Roshunda Belton and Ms. Catherine Bonner, will collaborate to design and implement an interdisciplinary minor and host a series of workshops to train humanities faculty in pedagogies and technologies appropriate to the Digital Humanities.

The first institute will be hosted by Grambling State University from August 3rd to 7th, 2020. This workshop will serve as an intensive introduction to Digital Humanities and an opportunity to develop learning activities for new and existing classes. Faculty from Grambling and all regional universities are encouraged to apply to participate by submitting their name, contact information, and a 200 word statement about what they hope to gain from the institute to this form by July 1st, 2020. All teaching disciplines and areas of focus are welcome.

Grambling State’s award is part of $30.9 million in grants to support 188 projects across the country. The University’s grant is one of 16 nationwide in the Humanities Initiatives Grants, which in part support and enrich humanities education and scholarship at HBCUs.


About Grambling State University 
Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 43 undergraduate and graduate academic programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information, visit

Raven Thissel
(318) 243-5012

Grambling State Establishes 5 New Endowments and Professorships

Louisiana Board of Regents Approves Funding Adjustments at Top HBCU 

GRAMBLING, La – May 15, 2020 – The Louisiana Board of Regents recently approved five new endowed scholarships and professorships at Grambling State University. 

The new scholarships and professorships include: 

  •  Dr. Adrian and Gilonda Butler Endowed Professorship in Cyber Security 
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Delta Iota Endowed Scholarship 
  • Ruby Billups Standard of Excellence Scholarship (Alpha Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.) 
  • Lonnie B. Smith Endowed Scholarship 
  • Ruston Alumni Chapter’s Family of Coach James Wicks Duncan Sr. Endowment 

“What makes this program unique is that we were able to utilize funding from outside sources to grow the value of our endowments,” said Marc Newman, Vice President for Advancement. “Combining Title III funding as a 1 to 1 match, combined with the Board of Regents program that offers an 80/20 match for the endowed programs, has made the difference.”  

The University continues to report record breaking enrollment. After many public institutions took large financial hits during COVID-19 response, smart advancement tactics such as these couldn’t come at a better time to ensure that the University’s steadily growing numbers are supported with student aid funding and more. These compounded endowments come on the heels of the University’s successful Dr. Joseph B.  Johnson Endowed Professorship established by the Gamma Psi Chapter Alumni of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. 

“We are grateful to all of the trailblazers who are proving what’s possible with endowment funds,” said President Gallot. “With this funding,  we will continue to support the academic advancement of our students and faculty so they can continue leading the state in technology and innovation.” 

The University’s growing partnership with Argent Financial Services has made the planned giving and scholarship foundation more convenient than ever. GSU alums like Lonnie B. Smith, Jr. have gone above and beyond to guarantee the program’s continued success. 

“This is only the beginning of the growth we envision for Grambling State,” said Newman. “These endowments present an excellent opportunity for our alumni and supporters to turn their gift into a lasting legacy.”  

To learn how to start an endowment, contact the Grambling State University Office of Advancement at

Grambling State Wins Gold HBCUgrow LEAD Awards for Best Leadership and Innovation

Grambling State Wins! Lead 2020 - The Intersection of Business and EducationPresident Gallot and University Honored by Peer Institutions for Excellence in 5 Categories

GRAMBLING, La – April 8, 2020 – Grambling State University received Gold Awards for Best Leadership and LEAD Innovation for a total of five award wins in different categories: 

Best Leadership
Gold Award
President Rick Gallot, Grambling State University

LEAD Innovation
Gold Award
Grambling State University

LEAD Military-Friendly
Silver Award
Grambling State University

LEAD Website
Bronze Award
Grambling State University,

LEAD Marketing
Bronze Award
Grambling State University

“I’m exceedingly grateful for the outstanding team that makes growth and innovation possible at Grambling State,” said President Gallot. “Our eyes are on the bright future ahead for our students. Everything we do is focused on ensuring their potential is realized.”

For the third consecutive year, President Gallot’s administration has earned recognition for outstanding leadership from HBCUgrow. Standout aspects contributing to the win are the University’s 7-year enrollment high, $50M partnership with Magic Johnson’s SodexoMAGIC, and the addition of Louisiana’s first 4-year degree in Cybersecurity.    

“We are working to show the world what’s possible when student outcomes are the first priority.” said Dr. Connie Walton, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

For top honors in LEAD Innovation, the HBCUgrow committee considered the University’s groundbreaking of Louisiana’s first Digital Library and Learning Commons, the initiation of the President’s Friends of Technology Advisory Board, and work to launch the first Cloud Computing degree in the state. 

Winners were selected in several categories based on peer nominations and input and data reviews by a panel of judges.  This year’s categories included LEAD Innovation, LEAD Marketing, LEAD Website, LEAD Military-Friendly and Best Leadership. Other winning institutions in different ranks and categories included Howard, Southern, and Jackson State Universities. 


President Gallot Appoints Friends of Technology Advisory Board at Grambling State University

University Leadership Drives Louisiana’s Digital Programming in Higher Education with Forthcoming Cloud Computing Degree 

GRAMBLING, La – February 28, 2020 – President Rick Gallot announced the formation of Grambling State University’s inaugural Friends of Technology Advisory Board to pioneer advancement in technology. The Board, comprised of thirteen top executives from technology industry giants including NASA, Salesforce, and Microsoft, serves as a key point of direction for ongoing systematic development and advancement of University initiatives in tech. 

“As we round the final corner of approvals for the University’s Cloud Computing degree program, I’m leaning on insights from this hand-selected group to learn what’s next in the industry,” said President Gallot. “Grambling State is changing the face of higher education in Louisiana as we cater to our students’ future need for education in technology and digital learning.”    

New Technology Advisory Board Leads Innovation at GSU 

The University’s Friends of Technology Advisory Board members include:

Several Grambling State alumni have joined the ranks of the University’s new Friends of Technology Advisory Board membership. Board members include:

  • Marysharon Owens, Head of Global Creative Studio at Illumina; 
  • Willie B. Williams, Research Portfolio Manager at NASA – ’71;
  • Dean Jones, Program Ambassador at Microsoft for Startups – ’86;
  • Dr. Jamika D. Burge, Design Leader at Capitol One & Tech Founder at BlackComputeHer; 
  • Michael Palmer, Chief Information Security Officer at Hearst; 
  • Terry Owens, Chief Information Officer of the Congressional Budget Office in the United States Congress ’89;
  • David Chatterton, Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Salesforce; 
  • Joe Brenner, Chief Information Officer at Sally Beauty; 
  • Jamie Hamilton, Sr. Vice President of Technology at Revegy ’94;
  • Upen Sachdev, Principal at Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • Eric Moses, Capital and Planning Manager at Shell Exploration & Production Company – ‘01;
  • Alana Ward Robinson, President and CEO of Robinson Group Consulting, Inc. – ’72; 
  • and Dr. Adrian Butler, Chief Information Officer of Dine Brands Global – ’92.

The Board recently convened for the kick-off meeting and will assist in the planning and execution of University initiatives in cutting-edge science and technology with attention to the goal of ensuring that students gain the utmost preparation to enter tomorrow’s workforce. Grambling State aspires to position itself to align students as innovators who will create the next generation of digital experience. 

Pioneering Science and Tech in Louisiana Higher Education 

The University’s proposal to offer Louisiana’s first bachelor’s degree in Cloud Computing was recently approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. Next, the program will be reviewed by the Board of Regents for final approval. In addition to remaining the top-producer of African American Computer Science graduates in Louisiana, the University currently offers the only 4-year cybersecurity degree program in the state and is developing the state’s first Digital Library.  

“Cybersecurity and cloud computing are just the beginning,” said Dr. Connie Walton, University Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “This is a critical time in higher education when students need to be prepared for a workforce that looks very different than any previous generation. It’s imperative that we have industry experts to help build our curriculum toward tomorrow’s technology trends.” 

Champions for Student Success and Employed Graduates

In addition to advising University Leadership on curriculum and campus advancement, the Board also exists to provide direct student support. Grambling State students with tech majors attended the Friends of Technology’s first meeting, where they received career insights and mentorship. 

“The board is an outstanding resource for students like me to gain career placement, internships, and scholarships,” said Alexis White, Senior Cybersecurity major. “I’m extremely grateful to have access to such an exceptional and willing group of executives to coach me as I enter the technology industry.” 

Grambling State University expects that the Friends of Technology Advisory Board will ensure the continued trajectory of cutting-edge technological advancement and cloud-based thought leadership in the coming years. 

To learn about Grambling State’s science and computer technology programs, visit  

New Era of Excellence Alumni to Host Fundraising Reception for Grambling State University

Donation Portal Open Now Through February 8 for Spring 2020 Giving Campaign

Grambling State University invites campus and community to join the President’s Club Giving Society by supporting the Fourth Annual Alumni & Friends Fundraising Reception, “A New Era of Excellence.” Over 100 Grambling State community members supported last year’s New Era of Excellence Reception, raising more than $65,000 to bring their three-year total to $329,000. 

“Grambling State alumni have a unique dedication to meet the ongoing needs of our student body,” said President Gallot. “I am grateful for the outpouring of support for student advancement through much needed scholarships.”

Since President Gallot’s appointment in 2016, alumni and long-term supporter James Bradford has organized a dedicated group of supporters and givers to help grow Grambling State with the annual discretionary fundraising effort.

“If we don’t give to Grambling State, who will?” said James Bradford, lead organizer of the annual Alumni & Friends fundraising effort.

While donations of any amount are appreciated, donors can become a member of Grambling State’s President’s Club Giving Society by donating $1,000 or more prior to the event. Donated funds are earmarked for the President’s Scholarship Fund. Give on or before February 7th to be recognized at this year’s event.


New Era of Excellence
Alumni & Friends Fundraising Reception
February 15, 2020
6:00 p.m.
Performing Arts Center – Band Hall

Alumni and supporters are encouraged to give through February 8 online at (select New Era of Excellence: Alumni & Friends in the drop menu) or with a check payable to the Grambling University Foundation (PO Box 507, Grambling, LA 71245) with Attention to Brenda Williams. Reception seating is available for $1000 per two seats.

For more information, contact Grambling State’s Office of Advancement at

Grambling State Announces $6.65 Million Three-Year Fundraising Campaign Total

Bring It Home Campaign Generates Millions Toward Student and University Advancement 

GRAMBLING, La – December 3, 2019 – Grambling State University has completed one of the largest fundraising campaigns in the institution’s history with $6,655,435 raised over the course of three years. Generous portions of the sum were donated by alumni and major donors such as the University’s new dining partner, SodexoMAGIC.

“The success of the campaign is a representation of the outpouring of support from the community,” said David Aubrey, chairman of the Grambling University Foundation. “Donors have made it clear that they believe in the University leadership and larger vision for Grambling State University and are dedicated to ensuring the best outcomes for our students.”  

Funds will support institutional programming and student scholarships. The campaign targeted Grambling State community and alumni with an annual goal of raising $1 million. The yearly breakdown of campaign results includes: 

  • $1.2 million in 2017, 
  • $1.4 million in 2018, and 
  • $4 million in 2019 including a $2 million investment from SodexoMAGIC and 1.2 million in scholarship grants. 

Funding the Future of North Louisiana Higher Education  
With a $1 million per year goal, the Bring It Home campaign was a bold declaration of the institution’s direction from the outset. With the 2019 groundbreaking of Louisiana’s first Digital Library & Learning Commons, a distinction for a Center of Academic Excellence in Mathematical Achievement for Science and Technology and the possibility of Louisiana’s first bachelor’s degree in cloud computing on the horizon, funding is more urgent now than at any point in Grambling State’s history.  

“The pace of our growth in recent years is unprecedented, and our supporters are dedicated to making sure it continues,” said Grambling State President, Rick Gallot. “As our community continues to experience the University’s advancement, we will continue to see tangible evidence of their support for our students.” 

During the campaign’s second year, the University also gained approval to launch the state’s first 4-year cybersecurity degree program, which accepted its first cohort in Fall 2019. Funds from the Bring It Home campaign will help secure needed resources to augment the program. 

Grambling State Grads Give Back 

The University generated an unprecedented 150% increase in alumni participation and totaled over 5,700 gifts over the course of the campaign. University Vice President of Advancement Marc Newman credits the hard work of University staff for the effort to drive donor engagement. 

“Since Bring It Home began, we’ve garnered support from across the campus and across the nation,” said Newman. “The campaign was truly a University-wide initiative with stakeholders and affinity groups from across the spectrum participating.  We are excited about the number of first-time donors and gaining support from those who haven’t taken advantage of giving opportunities in years. The future of philanthropy at Grambling is very bright.” 

Newman spearheaded the Bring It Home campaign, leading the University Office of Advancement’s strategic donor engagement initiatives throughout the three-year charge.  

“Because the of the University’s family-like culture, our alumni are lifelong partners of the institution.” Newman added, “It’s no surprise that they were substantial contributors year after year.” 

Powered by Partners 

Along with alumni, sponsors and partners of the University made significant contributions to the institutions growing list of programs. Telecommunications giant AT&T and technology trailblazer IBM are among the list of investors in student success in computer science fields. In September, SodexoMAGIC gave the largest unrestricted donation of the campaign, $2 million, to be allocated to the University’s new STEM Grambling initiative, student gap scholarships, campus infrastructure upgrades and more.  

Student Financial Support 
From its start in 2017, the Bring It Home campaign has provided more than $1 million in direct support for students in need to include the establishment of 60 new scholarships and endowments.  Funding has impacted the balances of hundreds of students through a variety of scholarships including GAP, which is designed solely to support students in reaching the academic finish line. 

Research, Grants & Internships 
To date, Grambling State’s Bring it Home campaign has helped bring more than $1.2 million in grants. Those contributions help fund research, scholarships and cutting-edge programs. 

“The support we have gained through Bring It Home goes deeper than donations,” said Martin Lemelle, Grambling State’s Executive Vice President. “Powerful conversations around investment lead to a variety of possibilities for our students including research grants, unique internships and new networking opportunities with industry leaders.” 

GramTalks, a product of the Bring It Home campaign, are a budding addition to the University’s calendar in which Grambling State students have a forum-style conversation with top executives of the world’s leading organizations. The first of the series featured AT&T’s President of Public Sector and Wholesale Solutions, Xavier Williams. 

Closing Out the Campaign 

The three-year campaign ended with a cocktail and “kicks” ball in New Orleans where attendees dined and donated while mingling with celebrity supporters. Earvin “Magic” Johnson, CEO of SodexoMAGIC, opened the night by encouraging attendees to continue their trajectory of giving. Beacon Award were presented to honorary alumni including rapper E-40 and Dallas Chief of Police Renee Hall before performances by international recording artist Musiq Soulchild and Louisiana music legend, DJ Jubilee. A live online auction allowed non-attendees to participate in the final night of giving leading up to the announcement of the $6,655,435 three-year total. 

“It’s outstanding what we can accomplish with a clear vision and dedicated support,” said Newman. 

Ongoing University Support 

The Office of Advancement and the Grambling University Foundation are always accepting planned gifts, donations, and endowments. The next big push for support comes on December 3, Giving Tuesday, a worldwide charity support holiday. Donors are encouraged to visit to support the University on Giving Tuesday.  

SodexoMAGIC Makes History with $2 Million Donation to Grambling State

Magic Johnson’s International Conglomerate Invests in STEM, Technology Pilots, and Scholarships 

 _DSC4914GRAMBLING, LA — November 5, 2019 – Today, Grambling State announced that Magic Johnson’s SodexoMAGIC donated one of the largest unrestricted gifts in the University’s 118-year history. The $2 million contribution comes only four months into the multi-year partnership between the University and international food service and facilities management giant. 

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adidas™ to Open Custom MakerLab on Grambling State’s Campus November 1

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 4.21.01 PMAthletic Apparel Giant Celebrates Nearly Two-Year Partnership with University During Homecoming 

Grambling State welcomes global sports partner and multi-billion dollar corporation, adidas, to give 300 Homecoming attendees the opportunity to create their own screen-printed adidas apparel at the adidas MakerLab Friday, November 1 on the campus Yard from 1-6 p.m. 

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Grambling State Approved For First Steps Toward Offering Louisiana’s First Bachelor’s in Cloud Computing

Computer Science Leader & Coming Digital Library Home Receives Board-Level Support for New Degree  

Cyber security network concept. Master key connect virtual networking graphic and blur laptop with flare light effectGRAMBLING, La – October 30, 2019 – Grambling State University, Louisiana’s top producer of African-American Computer Science graduates, has received system approval to develop a proposal that would seek approval to offer the state’s first Bachelor of Science degree in Cloud Computing – marking the second Louisiana “first” degree program for the University in one year.  

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