Grambling State University

Coordinates: 32°31′31″N 92°42′55″W / 32.5252°N 92.7153°W / 32.5252; -92.7153
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Grambling State University
Former name
Colored Industrial and Agricultural School
North Louisiana Agricultural and Industrial School
Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute
Grambling College
MottoWhere Everybody Is Somebody
TypePublic historically Black university
Parent institution
UL System
Academic affiliations
Endowment$7 million[1]
PresidentRichard J. Gallot, Jr.
ProvostConnie Walton
Location, ,
United States

32°31′31″N 92°42′55″W / 32.5252°N 92.7153°W / 32.5252; -92.7153
NewspaperThe Gramblinite[3]
Colors    Black & Gold
Sporting affiliations

Grambling State University (GSU, Grambling, or Grambling State) is a public historically black university in Grambling, Louisiana. Grambling State is home of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum and is listed on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. Grambling State 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 National Collegiate Athletic Association and are known as the Grambling State Tigers. Grambling State is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.


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 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[4] In 1974, the addition of graduate programs in 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.

In May 1999, President Clinton served as the commencement keynote speaker.[5]

State Representative George B. Holstead of Ruston worked to increase state appropriations for Grambling State University during his legislative tenure from 1964 to 1980.[6]

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.[7]

In 2019, Grambling broke ground for building of the first digital library on a HBCU campus. The $16.6 million project was completed in early 2023.[8][9][10][11]


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

Neari Francois Warner was the university's first female president.[12] Horace Judson, who became the institution's seventh president in 2004, led a 5-year campaign to rebuild the institution's facilities.[citation needed] He retired at the end of October 2009. That year Frank Pogue started as the institution's eighth president. On April 4, 2014, Pogue announced his retirement effective June 30, 2014. 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. Willie Larkin served as president from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016.[13] The current and tenth president is GSU alumnus Richard J. Gallot, Jr.


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[14]99 (tie) of 136
Master's university
Washington Monthly[15]125 of 603

Grambling State University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through the following four colleges:[16]

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

Grambling State offers its only doctoral degree in Developmental Education through the College of Educational and Graduate Studies.[17] In 2020, Grambling became the first collegiate institution in Louisiana to offer bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity and cloud computing.[18]

Student life[edit]


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[edit]

As of 2022, 37% of GSU's student body is from outside Louisiana; Texas, California, and Illinois are the three largest feeder states. 65% of the student body is female, 35% is male. 93% of the student body identify as black, 7% identify as non-black.[19]

GSU Tiger Marching Band[edit]

The World Famed Tiger Marching Band performing at the 2019 State Fair Classic

The GSU Tiger Marching Band also known as "The World Famed Tiger Marching Band" is a historic marching band. They are the only HBCU marching band in the nation to perform at two consecutive U.S. presidential inaugurations.[20] "World Famed" was founded in 1926 and serves as one of the premier ambassadors of the university.[21]

Campus media[edit]

  • The Gramblinite is the university's weekly student newspaper that is consistently awarded for excellent journalism.[22][23]
  • 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.[24]
  • The GSU-TV Media Center is operated by the Department of Mass Communications to train students interested in broadcasting careers.[25]


Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of Grambling State include numerous MLB, NBA and NFL players, public officials, lawyers, doctors, scholars, journalists, business professionals, and artists.


  1. ^ "Grambling Audit" (PDF). LLA Default Homepage. Louisiana Legislative Auditor. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  2. ^ Thissel, Raven (September 16, 2019). "Grambling State's Enrollment Reaches a Seven-Year High". Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "Grambling State University (thegramblinite) News and Classifieds". Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  4. ^ "Caldwell, George A." Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "Clinton touts importance of family to Grambling seniors - May 23, 1999". Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  6. ^ "Descendants of Lemuel Holstead". Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  7. ^ "Grambling State University Historic District" (PDF). State of Louisiana's Division of Historic Preservation. Retrieved July 17, 2018. with 16 photos and two maps
  8. ^ "Digital Library - Grambling State University".
  9. ^ "Grambling State University Breaks Ground on a new Digital Library". September 9, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  10. ^ "Grambling State unveils new digital library plans". AP NEWS. February 1, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  12. ^,to%20head%20this%20historic%20university.
  13. ^ "Willie D. Larkin Resigns After 1 Year as Grambling State University President - Higher Education". June 23, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  14. ^ "Best Colleges 2023: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  15. ^ "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  16. ^ "Grambling State University - Academics".
  17. ^ "Accreditations". Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  18. ^ "Board of Regents Approves Cloud Computing Degree at Grambling State". May 29, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  19. ^ Grambling State University eFact Book (PDF) (15 ed.). 2022.
  20. ^ "Playing for the President, Grambling Marching Band to Return to Washington". January 14, 2013.
  21. ^ "Grambling and Southern clash at Battle of the Bands". WGNO. November 29, 2014.
  22. ^ "Grambling State University - Gramblinite Staffers Win Journalism Awards at Southeast Journalism Conference | News". March 4, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  23. ^ "Region 12 Mark of Excellence Awards winners announced in Fayetteville, Ark. | Society of Professional Journalists | Improving and protecting journalism since 1909". April 14, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  24. ^ "Grambling State University - KGRM". Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  25. ^ "Grambling State University - Campus Media". Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  26. ^ 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 July 27, 2019.

External links[edit]