Category Archives: events

Sen. Katrina Jackson to speak at GSU Women’s History Month Convocation

Grambling, La. – March 18, 2022 – Louisiana State Sen. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe) will be the keynote speaker for Grambling State University’s Women’s History Convocation.

The convocation will be held at 11 a.m. March 28 at T.H. Harris Auditorium on the GSU campus. Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a Juris Doctor from the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She began her political career when she was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2011.

A past chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, Jackson is currently a member of the Louisiana State Senate, representing District 34 that includes parts of Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Tensas parishes. She assumed office on Jan. 13, 2020, and her current term ends on Jan. 8, 2024.

Jackson won the election for Louisiana’s Senate District 34 outright in the primary on Oct. 12, 2019, after the primary and general election were canceled.

Currently serving as vice chair of the Senate Education Committee, Jackson is also a member of the Louisiana Senate’s Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development Committee; the Insurance Committee; the Select Committee on Women and Children; and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

A member of the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Louisiana Rural Caucus, Jackson began her law career as a practicing attorney working in the offices of Willie Hunter, Jr. practicing in both the Monroe and Baton Rouge areas.

In 2006 Jackson became a staff attorney for the La. House Committee on Labor & Industrial Relations and as Executive Director of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. In 2012 Ms. Jackson opened her private law firm, Katrina R. Jackson LLC, in Monroe, Louisiana.

Some of Jackson’s numerous honors have been being named Legislator of the Year by the Louisiana State Troopers Association in 2015, Legislator of the Year by the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians in 2015, Champion of Louisiana Juvenile Justice by the State Office of Juvenile Justice in 2015, the 2016 Legislator of the Year by the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians, the 2017 Legislator of the Year, Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians, the 2017 Legislator of the Year, Louisiana Orthopedic Association and the 2018 District 5 Legislative Advocate of the Year by the Louisiana State Medical Society.

Grambling State Announces Grand Opening of Chick-Fil-A and Firehouse Subs


SodexoMAGIC Powers New Campus Dining Options Beginning February 17 

GRAMBLING, La. – February 11, 2020 – Today, Grambling State University announced Firehouse Subs and Chick-fil-a will open on Monday, February 17, 2020 in the Tiger Express.  

“We are all very excited to provide the exact dining experience that our students have asked for,” said Grambling State President Rick Gallot. 

Newly completed renovations to the student union food court (Tiger Express) are part of the University’s five-year partnership with SodexoMAGIC, which has already added Pizza Hut and Steak & Shake to student dining options. Grambling State’s campus will receive $6.7 million in facility updates that include a full-scale renovation of McCall Dining Hall during the Summer of 2020 and the addition of a campus Starbucks planned for a 2021 opening.  

“These improvements have a direct impact on the economic development for the institution and the Grambling community,” said Sheilah Faucette, Senior Associate Vice President for Finance and Operations of Grambling State University.  

For interviews or more information on Grambling State’s new dining program, email Raven Thissel at or call (318) 243-5012. 


 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 degree programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information visit

About SodexoMAGIC 

SodexoMAGIC was formed in 2006 through a joint venture between Magic Food Provisions (MFP), which is owned by NBA all-star Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Sodexo to provide food and facilities management services to businesses, hospitals, schools and universities. SodexoMAGIC was founded with the purpose of empowering the communities it serves, creating opportunity by hiring locally and purchasing goods and services from minority and women-owned businesses.  With a 51 percent ownership interest by MFP, SodexoMAGIC has been certified as a minority-owned and managed company by the Minority Supplier Development Council and the Southern California Minority Business Development Council, Inc.  The joint venture employs over 6,500 people at approximately 50 locations across the U.S. and Canada. 

Grammy Award Winner and Civic Activist, David Banner to Keynote Black History Month Convocation

Grambling State University Welcomes Media, Campus and Community to Celebratory Programming on February 20

GRAMBLING, LA – February 5, 2020 – Today, Grambling State University announced Grammy Award winning music producer, recording artist, philanthropist, civic activist and actor David Banner will keynote the University’s Black History Convocation in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on February 20, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.

“A strong sense of Black History permeates the culture of our campus year-round,” said Grambling State University President Rick Gallot. “It’s important that our students understand that they are the next chapter of Black History and grasp the importance of using their talents to continue the work of trailblazers who came before them.”

About David Banner

Banner attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, graduating with a degree in business; and attended graduate school at the University of Maryland on a full scholarship before pursuing his music career.

Banner also is founder of A Banner Vision, a multimedia company that specializes in providing emotionally engaging music for iconic commercials, video games and films. A Banner Vision has produced ads for brands like Pepsi, Gatorade, Paramount Pictures (Footloose film), Marvel, Capcom, Mercedes Benz and mass-market retailer Kmart.

Banner is the creator of Heal the Hood, Inc., a foundation providing relief and recovery assistance to lower income people of the Gulf Region affected by natural disasters. Heal the Hood also supports youth development and recreation programs in Mississippi. The foundation raised $500,000 for Katrina survivors in Mississippi and Alabama; and 2014 was its eighth year of distributing clothing, toys, and other necessities to Jackson, Mississippi families during the holidays.

Campus and community members are invited to attend this year’s convocation.


WHO:             Grambling State University

WHAT:           Black History Month Convocation

WHEN:           Thursday, February 20, 2020, at 11 a.m.  (C)

WHERE:         Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, Grambling, LA



8:00 – 9:20 A.M.                       8:00 – 8:50 A.M.

9:30 – 10:50 A.M.                    9:00 – 9:50 A.M.

11:00 – 12:20 P.M.                 10:00 – 10:50 A.M.

CONVOCATION                    11:00 – 12:30 P.M.

Regular class schedule resumes at 1:00 p.m.

For media access or more information, call (318) 243-5012 or email

Grambling State Advances to National Qualifying Tournament of 31st Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

Voting Site Open Now Through February 10 for HBCU Student Academic Challenge

Grambling State will compete in the National Qualifying Tournament of the 31st annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), America’s premier academic competition for top HBCU students. The fast-paced buzzer competition highlights students’ academic prowess and ability to answer questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture. Grambling State is one of 65 teams competing for institutional grants and a spot in the HCASC National Championship Tournament taking place on the American Honda campus in Torrance, Calif., March 28 – April 1, 2020.

Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a year-round program that centers on academic excellence, community service, leadership, networking opportunities and mentorship. It includes campus engagement, qualifying tournaments and culminates with the National Championship. Since 1989, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, one of Honda’s longest-running philanthropic initiatives in the United States, has celebrated and recognized the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $9 million in grants from Honda have provided support for scholarships, facility upgrades and other investments to improve the HBCU student experience.

WHEN: Saturday, February 8, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem, NC)
Donald Julian Reaves (DJR) Student Center


For the full list of competing HBCUs, visit:

MY HBCU IS A WINNER: To help Grambling State qualify for the National Championship, the public can vote for our team at from January 29 – February 10. Register and vote up to three times per day. The three top vote-getting HBCUs will automatically advance.

CONTACT: If you are interested in attending the HCASC National Qualifying Tournament, please contact Joseph Baker at – (336) 750-2995

For more information about Honda Campus-All Star Challenge, contact:
Lillian Parker, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge: (800) 388-2272 x104 /
Jaymie Robinson, Honda North America, (310) 783-3943 /

Connect with HCASC via social media using #HCASC:

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.  

Bayou Classic: Miss Grambling State and Miss Southern A&M Share Childhood Friendship

IMG_5773HBCU Queens Go Head-to-Head Supporting Opposite Sides of 46-Year Rivalry 

GRAMBLING, La  – November 26, 2019 – They will be on opposite sides of the Bayou Classic field for the annual competition, but Miss Southern A&M University, Alacia Brew, and Miss Grambling State University, Rickenzie Johnikin are friends whose bond extends beyond rivalry.  

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STEM Grambling Brings Education Opportunities to North Louisiana Youth November 23

Registration Opens for K-12 Youth Program at Grambling State with STEM NOLA and SodexoMagic 

STEM Fest 2019 - GramblingGrambling, LA, November 13, 2019 – Grambling State University will be hosting the first STEM Grambling “STEM Fest” engaging North Louisiana’s K-12 youth in hands-on education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). In early September, plans to launch STEM Grambling were introduced as part of the University’s ongoing partnership with Magic Johnson’s SodexoMAGIC in conjunction with STEM NOLA, a successful community-focused educational initiative based in New Orleans, LA.   Continue reading