Grambling State University

"Grambling" redirects here. For the town in which this university is located, see Grambling, Louisiana.
Grambling State University
Former names
Colored Industrial and
   Agricultural School
North Louisiana Agricultural
   and Industrial School
Louisiana Negro Normal
   and Industrial Institute
Grambling College
Motto Where Everybody is Somebody
Type Public, HBCU
Established 1901
Endowment $4.5 million
President Richard J. Gallot, Jr
Provost Dr. Ellen Smiley, Interim
Students 4,863[1]
Undergraduates 3,883[1]
Postgraduates 980[1]
Location Grambling, Louisiana, U.S.
32°31′31″N 92°42′55″W / 32.5252°N 92.7153°W / 32.5252; -92.7153Coordinates: 32°31′31″N 92°42′55″W / 32.5252°N 92.7153°W / 32.5252; -92.7153
Campus Rural
Colors Black & Gold
Athletics NCAA Division I FCSSWAC
Nickname Tigers
Affiliations UL System

Grambling State University (GSU) is a historically black, public, coeducational university, located in Grambling, Louisiana. The university is home of College Football Hall of Fame inductee and former head football coach Eddie Robinson, 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.


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 a white sawmill owner, Judson H. Grambling, who donated a parcel of land for the school to be constructed. With the addition of graduate departments, Grambling gained university status in 1974. Grambling State University emerged 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 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 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 multipurpose 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 the contractor George A. Caldwell.[2] In 1974, the addition of graduate programs in early childhood and elementary education gave the school a new status and a new name – Grambling State University.

From 1977 to 2000, the university grew and prospered. Several new academic programs were incorporated and 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. In 2006, Grambling State was the setting for the Black Entertainment Television network docudrama "Season of the Tiger," which chronicled the daily lives of members of the football team and marching band throughout the 2005 season.

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]

GSU presidents

Following the first university 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. The advent of a new millennium and the beginning of a second century of service ushered in Grambling State University’s first female president, Dr. Neari Francois Warner. Warner 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. On Wednesday, October 21, 2009, Judson announced his resignation effective October 31, 2009. Dr. Frank Pogue, who became the institution’s eighth president in 2009. 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. The current and tenth president is GSU alumnus Richard J. Gallot, Jr. Esq.


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[4] RNP (South)
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[5] 79

Grambling State University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through the following four colleges:[6]

In addition, there is the Earl Lester Cole Honors College available for ambitious undergraduate students (of any major) with above average academic records seeking an enhanced and 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 three doctoral degrees in Curriculum & Instruction, Developmental Education, and Education Leadership through the College of Education.[7]

Grambling State offers a BS/MD program through a partnership with Meharry Medical College. The program is designed to prepare pre-med undergraduate students to successfully complete their graduate medical studies at Meharry.[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


The "Tiger" at the entrance to Grambling State University

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, and Texas Southern.

Student body

As of 2015, approximately 30% of GSU's student body is from out-of-state or a foreign country; 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]

"GramFam" is a term created and commonly used by the GSU community to affectionately acknowledge alumni, students, and supporters of Grambling State University.[12]

Residential Life

GSU has five traditional residence halls and nine apartment style housing on campus. All first-year full-time undergraduate students are required to live on campus.[13]

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 collegiate marching band in the nation to perform at two consecutive presidential inaugurations.[14] "World Famed" was founded in 1926 and is one of the premier ambassadors of the university. One of the band's most anticipated traditions is the 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.[15]

"World Famed" is led by two drum majors and features a danceline from the university's Orchesis Dance Company.

GSU media

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 Willie Brown of the Oakland Raiders, 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.[20] 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 Human Resources at Apple, Inc.[21] Alumnus Ahmad Terry is the former Rocky Mountain News Staff photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner 2000 and 2003. 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 Mooreland (B.S. 1966), is the first African-American in the U.S. to own a Rolls Royce franchise.[22] N. Burl Cain, warden of Louisiana State Penitentiary, has a master's degree in criminal justice from Grambling. In the TV Series Magnum, P.I., Theodore "T.C" Calvin (played by actor Roger E. Mosley) was a 1968 graduate of then Grambling College.


  1. 1 2 3 "Preliminary Headcount Enrollment Summary". Louisiana Board of Regents. September 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  2. "Caldwell, George A.". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  3. "Descendants of Lemuel Holstead". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  4. "Best Colleges 2017: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016.
  5. "2016 Rankings - National Universities - Masters". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  6. "Grambling State University - Academics".
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  9. "Grambling State University - About /us".
  10. "2015-2016 eFact Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  12. "Grambling State University - Dear Gram-Fam: - President's Corner". Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  14. "Playing for the President, Grambling Marching Band to Return to Washington".
  15. "Grambling and Southern clash at Battle of the Bands". WGNO.
  16. "Grambling State University - Gramblinite Staffers Win Journalism Awards at Southeast Journalism Conference | News". 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  17. "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 2015-10-29.
  18. "Grambling State University - KGRM". Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  19. "Grambling State University - Campus Media". Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  21. "Apple - Press Info - Apple Leadership - Denise Young Smith". Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  22. "Thomas A. Moorehead: First African-American To Own Rolls Royce Dealership". 10 February 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
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