Grambling State University

Last updated
Grambling State University
Grambling State University seal.png
MottoWhere Everybody Is Somebody
Type Public historically Black university
Parent institution
UL System
Academic affiliations
Endowment $8.5 million
President Richard J. Gallot, Jr.
Provost Dr. Connie Walton
Students5,232 [1]
Location, ,
United States

32°31′31″N92°42′55″W / 32.5252°N 92.7153°W / 32.5252; -92.7153 Coordinates: 32°31′31″N92°42′55″W / 32.5252°N 92.7153°W / 32.5252; -92.7153
Campus Rural
NewspaperThe Gramblinite [2]
Colors Black + Gold
Athletics NCAA Division I FCSSWAC
Nickname Tigers
Grambling State University logo.svg

Grambling State University (GSU, Grambling, or Grambling State) is a public historically black 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 Charles P. Adams bust at Grambling State Univ. IMG 3649.JPG
Bust of Charles P. Adams, the founder and first president of Grambling State University

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.

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.

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 prominent contractor George A. Caldwell, who completed major public buildings throughout the state. [3] In 1974, the addition of graduate programs in early childhood and elementary education allowed the college to be granted university status under its present name, 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. [4]

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. [5]

In 2019, Grambling broke ground for building of the first digital library on a HBCU campus and first for a Louisiana collegiate institution. The $16.6 million 50,000 square feet project is slated to be complete in 2020. [6] [7]


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, 2015 to July 1, 2016. [8] The current and tenth president is GSU alumnus Richard J. Gallot, Jr. Esq.


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report [9] 107-141 (South)
Master's University class
Washington Monthly [10] 79

Grambling State University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through the following four colleges: [11]

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 its only doctoral degree in Developmental Education through the College of Educational and Graduate Studies. [12]

In 2020, Grambling became the first collegiate institution in Louisiana to offer bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity and cloud computing. Both programs are housed under the College of Art & Sciences. [13]

Grambling State is accredited by 18 separate accrediting associations, a member in good standing in 20 organizations, and accredited in all of the programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. [14]

Student life


GSU athletics logo Grambling State Tigers logo.svg
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 most notable rivals are their south Louisiana foe Southern, Prairie View A&M, Jackson State, and Alcorn State.

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. [15] GSU's student body of nearly 5,000 students is the second largest among HBCUs in Louisiana. [16]

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. [17]

Marching band

The World Famed Tiger Marching Band performing at the 2019 State Fair Classic 2019 State Fair Classic 37 (GSU Tiger Marching Band).jpg
The World Famed Tiger Marching Band performing at the 2019 State Fair Classic

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. [18] "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. [19]

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

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.

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Grambling State Tigers

The Grambling State Tigers represent Grambling State University in NCAA intercollegiate athletics. Grambling's sports teams participate in Division I as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

Grambling State Tigers football

The Grambling State Tigers are the college football team representing the Grambling State University. The Tigers play in NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

State Fair Classic

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GSU Tiger Marching Band

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