Grambling State University

Grambling State University

Grambling State University, at Grambling, La.; coeducational; state supported; est. 1901, attained university status 1974; predominantly African American. It has colleges of liberal arts, science and technology, and education as well of schools of nursing and social work and a graduate division.

Grambling State University is a public, coeducational university, which is among the Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States. Located in Grambling, Louisiana, Grambling State was founded in 1901 and accredited in 1949.

The school became Grambling College in 1946 named after a 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.

The university has distinction of being the home of legendary football coach Eddie Robinson. It has also been included on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.


A constituent member of the University of Louisiana System, GSU is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Its instructional programs are delivered through a School of Graduate Studies and Research and four undergraduate colleges:

  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business
  • Education
  • Professional Studies

The university offers 64 programs, leading to certification, associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university offers the only doctorate in developmental education in the nation.


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 and western parts 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.

Composer Sam Spence wrote an instrumental piece for NFL Films entitled "Ramblin' Man from Gramblin,'" acknowledging both the University as well as the Bob Seger song "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man".
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).

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.

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.
From 1977 to 2000, the university moved and prospered. Several new academic programs were incorporated and new facilities were added to the campus, including a business and computer science building, school of nursing, student services building, stadium, stadium support facility and an intramural sports center.

$30 Million Comprehensive Capital Campaign

Student Government Association Announces $1 Million Scholarship

In a renewed emphasis of its commitment toward modernized university facilities, student housing and sustained scholarship support, Grambling State University kicked off a Comprehensive Capital Campaign, November 24, with the goal of raising $30 million over the next five to seven years. GSU students were among the first to contribute to the campaign with their contribution of a $1 million scholarship endowment to forge sustained financial support for academic programs. Their endowment was made by a $500,000 contribution which will be matched dollar for dollar and used for need based scholarships.

University presidents

Following the first university president Charles P. Adams, in 1936, Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones became the second president.

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.

The present president is Dr. Horace Judson, who became the institution’s seventh president in 2004.

Student activities


Tiger Marching Band

  • In (1999), President Bill Clinton performed with the band for a halftime show in Grambling, Louisiana and gave Grambling State's Marching Band the undisputed title of "The Best Band in the Land!"
  • The Tiger Marching Band have an average of 125 students with a grade points average of 3.00 or more each year. This number is more than any other black college band and colleges in Louisiana.
  • In 1999, the Tiger Marching Band — along with GSU's female dance troupe, "The Orchesis Dance Company" — was featured in a nationally televised commercial as part of Procter & Gamble's "Tampax Was There" marketing campaign.
  • In 1998, the band was featured in Super Bowl XXXII, alongside Boyz II Men, Martha Reeves, and Smokey Robinson.
  • In 1981, the band appeared in "Marching Band/Coke Is It," an award-winning commercial developed for Coca-Cola USA.
  • The band also performed in the Hollywood films Grambling's White Tiger (1981), and Drumline (2002).
  • In the 118th Tournament of Roses Parade, Grambling State's marching band was the marching band in the Star Wars Spectacular, in which all members were wearing Imperial officer uniforms.
  • The band was the only Louisiana entity included in the inaugural parade for U.S. President George W. Bush.
  • Along with the band directors there are many different student leaders that contribute to the success and order of the band. They are members of five distinct organizations, Phi Mu Alpha (National Music Honor Fraternity, 1898), Kappa Kappa Psi (National Band Honor Fraternity, 1919), Tau Beta Sigma (National Band Honor Sorority, 1946), Sigma Alpha Iota (International Music Fraternity, 1903), and Silver Dogs, Inc. (Prestigious Campus Brotherhood, 1945).
  • The Grambling State Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha,(Omicron Lambda),is the most active black college chapter of the fraternity. It is also the most active in Louisiana.

Notable alumni


External links

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