Grambling State University
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Grambling State University

Grambling State University (GSU, Grambling, or Grambling State) is a historically black public university in Grambling, Louisiana. The university is home of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum and is listed on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. The university is a member-school of the University of Louisiana System and Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Grambling State's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Grambling State Tigers. The university is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).


Bust of Charles P. Adams, the founder and first president of Grambling State University

Grambling State was founded in 1901 and accredited in 1949. The school became Grambling College in 1946, named after Judson H. Grambling, a white sawmill owner who donated a parcel of land for construction of the school.

Grambling State University developed from the desire of African-American farmers in rural north Louisiana who wanted to educate other African Americans in the northern part of the state. In 1896, the North Louisiana Colored Agriculture Relief Association led by Lafayette Richmond was formed to organize and operate a school. After opening a small school west of what is now the town of Grambling, the Association requested assistance from Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Charles P. Adams, sent to aid the group in organizing an industrial school, became its founder and first president.

Under Adams' leadership, the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School opened on November 1, 1901. Four years later, the school moved to its present location and was renamed as the North Louisiana Agricultural and Industrial School. By 1928, the school was able to offer two-year professional certificates and diplomas after becoming a state junior college. The school was renamed Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute.

In 1936, the program was reorganized to emphasize rural education. It became known as "The Louisiana Plan" or "A Venture in Rural Teacher Education." Professional teaching certificates were awarded when a third year was added in 1936, and the first baccalaureate degree was awarded in 1944 in elementary education. The institution's name was changed to Grambling College in 1946 in honor of a white sawmill owner, P.G. Grambling, who donated a parcel of land for the school. Thereafter, the college prepared secondary teachers and added curricula in sciences, liberal arts and business. With these programs in effect, the school was transformed from a single purpose institution of teacher education into a multi-purpose college.

In 1949, the college was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The Grambling science building is one of twenty-six public structures in Louisiana constructed by prominent contractor George A. Caldwell, who completed major public buildings throughout the state.[2] In 1974, the addition of graduate programs in early childhood and elementary education qualified the school as a university; it was called Grambling State University.

From 1977 to 2000, the university grew and prospered. Several new academic programs were incorporated. New facilities were added to the 384-acre (1.55 km2) campus, including a business and computer science building, school of nursing, student services building, stadium, stadium support facility, and an intramural sports center.

State Representative George B. Holstead of Ruston, whose grandfather had been instrumental in the founding of Louisiana Tech, worked to increase state appropriations for both Louisiana Tech and Grambling State University during his legislative tenure from 1964-1980.[3]

On December 7, 2010, the Grambling State University Historic District, an area comprising 16 buildings dating from 1939 to 1960, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[4]

GSU presidents

Following the first President Charles P. Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones became the second president and the highly successful baseball coach from 1936 until his retirement in 1977. Five presidents served from 1977 to 2001: Dr. Joseph Benjamin Johnson, Dr. Harold W. Lundy, Dr. Raymond Hicks, Dr. Leonard Haynes III, and Dr. Steve A. Favors.

Dr. Neari Francois Warner was selected as the university's first female president, when she served a three-year interim term. Dr. Horace Judson, who became the institution's seventh president in 2004, led the most ambitious 5-year campaign to rebuild the institution's facilities. He retired at the end of October 2009. That year Dr. Frank Pogue started as the institution's eighth president. On April 4, 2014, Pogue announced his retirement effective June 30, 2014. Dr. Cynthia S. Warrick became Grambling's second female president, serving a one-year interim term starting on July 1, 2014 and ending on July 1, 2015. Dr. Willie Larkin served as president from July 1, 2016 to July 1 2016. The current and tenth president is GSU alumnus Richard J. Gallot, Jr. Esq.


Grambling State University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through the following four colleges:[7]

  • College of Art & Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Educational and Graduate Studies
  • College of Professional Studies

In addition, there is the Earl Lester Cole Honors College available for high-achieving undergraduate students seeking a more unique academic experience. Also an Army ROTC program is available for undergraduate students interested in a college curriculum with a military foundation.

Grambling State offers a doctoral degree in Developmental Education through the College of Educational and Graduate Studies.[8]

Grambling State is accredited by 18 separate accrediting associations, a member in good standing in 20 organizations and is 100% accredited in all of the programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents.[9]

Student life


GSU athletics logo

The Grambling Tigers represent Grambling State University in NCAA intercollegiate athletics. Grambling's sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Currently, the Grambling State University Department of Athletics sponsors Men's Intercollegiate football, along with men's and women's basketball, baseball, track & field, softball, golf, soccer, tennis, bowling and volleyball.

Grambling State's long held rivals are their south Louisiana foe Southern, Prairie View A&M, Alcorn State, and Texas Southern.

Student body

As of 2015, approximately 30% of GSU's student body is from outside Louisiana; Texas, California, and Illinois are the three largest feeder states. 60% of the student body is female, 40% is male. 91% of the student body identify as black, 9% identify as non-black.[10] GSU's student body of nearly 5,000 students is the second largest among HBCUs in Louisiana.[11]

Residential life

GSU has five traditional residence halls and nine apartment style housing on campus. All traditional first-year, full-time undergraduate students are required to live on campus as a result of the university's academic success and retention strategies.[12]

  • Men only student-housing: Garner Hall, Jeanes Hall, Crispus Attucks
  • Women only student-housing: Jewett Hall (named after Fidelia Jewett), Hunter Hall, Robinson Hall
  • Co-Ed student-housing: Richmond Hall, Tiger Village Jones, Tiger Village Wheatley & Bethune, Tiger Village Truth & Holland, Tiger Village Douglass & Knott, Adams, Pinchback, Tubman & Bowmen, Steeple's Glen

Marching band

GSU's World Famed Tiger Marching Band is a historic marching band with many special accolades and accomplishments. For instance, they are the only HBCU marching band in the nation to perform at two consecutive U.S. presidential inaugurations.[13] "World Famed" was founded in 1926 and serves as one of the premier ambassadors of the university. One of the band's most anticipated traditions is the annual nationally televised "Battle of The Bands" against Southern University's Human Jukebox marching band during Bayou Classic weekend in the Superdome. The yearly event attracts tens of thousands of alumni, fans, and spectators.[14]

"World Famed" is led by four drum majors and features a danceline from Grambling's Orchesis Dance Company (ODC).

GSU media

  • The Gramblinite is the university's weekly student newspaper that is consistently awarded for excellent journalism.[15][16]
  • KGRM Tiger Radio 91.5 FM is a 24-hour student-run radio station that provides a variety of music, news, sports and public affairs programming.[17]
  • The GSU-TV Media Center is operated by the Department of Mass Communications to train students interested in broadcasting careers.[18]

Notable alumni

Alumni of Grambling State include numerous MLB, NBA and NFL players, public officials, lawyers, doctors, scholars, journalists, business professionals, and artists such as NFL Hall of Famer Buck Buchanan of the Kansas City Chiefs, eight-time Mr. Olympia winner Ronnie Coleman, as well as actress Natalie Desselle-Reid. Grammy-winner Erykah Badu attended Grambling State University and once served as a campus queen. New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow is also an alumnus. Alumna Pinkie C. Wilkerson, served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000. Super Bowl XXII MVP quarterback Doug Williams is not only an alumnus, but previously served as the Tigers head football coach. West coast bay area rap artist E-40 also attended Grambling State University. Alumnus Dr. Ivory V. Nelson was named a Fulbright Scholar in 1966.[19] Alumnus Cedric Glover is the first African-American mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana. Alumna Ollie Tyler is the first African-American female mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana. Stephanie A. Finley (B.S. 1988) is a United States Attorney and a President Barack Obama nominee for United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Denise Young-Smith (B.A. 1978) is the Vice President of Worldwide Diversity at Apple, Inc.[20] Alumnus Ahmad Terry is the former Rocky Mountain News Staff photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner 2000 and 2003. Chris Maggio (PhD 2002) is the 19th president of Northwestern State University.[21] Award-winning and world-renowned jazz artist Michael Thomas is a Grambling alumnus and was a member of the Tiger Marching Band along with jazz artists Lovett Hines and Bob French. Alumnus Paul (Tank) Younger is the first Black football player from a HBCU to sign a contract and play professional football. Alumna Alma Dawson is a scholar of library and information science who held the Russell B. Long Professorship at Louisiana State University. The writer Judi Ann Mason was a double major graduate of Grambling. She began her writing career at GSU by winning two major playwrighting awards through the American College Theatre Festival. Thomas Moorehead (B.S. 1966), is the first African-American in the U.S. to own a Rolls Royce franchise.[22]N. Burl Cain, former warden of Louisiana State Penitentiary, has a master's degree in criminal justice from Grambling. Daesha Hughes who leads a group of detectives for the newly founded Police Department in New Iberia, Louisiana



  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Headcount Enrollment Summary". Louisiana Board of Regents. September 2015. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Caldwell, George A." Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "Descendants of Lemuel Holstead". Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ "Grambling State University Historic District" (PDF). State of Louisiana's Division of Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2018. with 16 photos and two maps
  5. ^ "Best Colleges 2020: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ "2019 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Grambling State University - Academics".
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Grambling State University - About /us".
  10. ^ "2015-2016 eFact Book" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-25. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Louisiana HBCU, Find HBCU In Louisiana". Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "Grambling State University - Campus Living & Housing". Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Playing for the President, Grambling Marching Band to Return to Washington".
  14. ^ "Grambling and Southern clash at Battle of the Bands". WGNO.
  15. ^ "Grambling State University - Gramblinite Staffers Win Journalism Awards at Southeast Journalism Conference | News". 2015-03-04. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Region 12 Mark of Excellence Awards winners announced in Fayetteville, Ark. | Society of Professional Journalists | Improving and protecting journalism since 1909". 2014-04-14. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Grambling State University - KGRM". Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Grambling State University - Campus Media". Retrieved .
  19. ^ Department Of State. The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs. "U.S. Department of State Recognizes Contributions of African-American Fulbright Program Alumni". Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ "Apple - Press Info - Apple Leadership - Denise Young Smith". Retrieved .
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Thomas A. Moorehead: First African-American To Own Rolls Royce Dealership". 10 February 2014. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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