University of Louisiana System CLOSEPRINT

GSU History


Grambling State University emerged from the desire of African-American farmers in rural northern Louisiana wanting to educate black children in their region. The 590-acre campus is nestled in the heart of Grambling, Louisiana, a small, growing community in Lincoln Parish. The University is a few minutes west of Ruston and is within easy driving distance of Monroe, Shreveport and West Monroe and about two hours from Jackson, Mississippi.

Grambling State University combines all the strengths of a major university with the personality of a small college, allowing students to grow and learn in a nurturing, serene and positive environment with an academically rigorous educational program. The campus houses students in its 19 apartment-style and dormitory-style residence halls on two campuses.

The University enhances and promotes student life with numerous student activities throughout the year, many of them coordinated or facilitated by the student-led Student Government Association and the student-led Favrot Student Union Board.

through its impressive student union and bookstore, and appeals to other areas of life and improvement through buildings such as the dining hall, library, intramural center, and health center.

More than 45 degree programs are offered at Grambling State University in three colleges, the College of Professional and Graduate Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business. In addition, GSU recognizes stellar academic students through the Earl Lester Cole Honors College. Local, regional, national and international employers recruit graduates from Grambling State University's academic programs, including but not limited to its excellent nursing, computer science, mass communication, teacher education and STEM programs.

A wide variety of student associations, clubs and organizations ensure that each student has the opportunity to find an activity of interest. Honor societies, sports, art, religion, politics and Greek organizations are some of the organizations appealing to its diverse student body.

One of the most popular groups is the university's World Famed Tiger Marching Band, frequently touted as the number one collegiate show band in the world. Formed in 1926 by GSU President R.W.E. Jones, the marching band has become a household name after performing at home and away football games, in numerous football classics and at national and international venues. The band has been featured in television commercials, the major motion picture "Drumline" and as guest entertainment on television shows. The GSU marching band entertained Liberian President William R. Tolbert at his 1972 inauguration. The World Famed was the only university marching band to participate in both of President Barack Obama's inauguration parades in Washington, D.C., in 2009 and 2013. Those are just a few reasons why the Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band has become known as "The Best In The Land."

Intercollegiate athletics has also made Grambling State University a household name. It was head football coach Eddie G. Robinson who became the head football with the most wins in all of NCAA Division 1 before he retired from GSU. Known as the "Cradle of Pros," Grambling also produced the first black football player in the NFL and the first black quarterback to start in the NFL. Grambling State is the home of Doug Williams, the Most Valuable Player in the NFL's Washington Redskins Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos more than 25 years ago. The basketball, football and track and field programs have rich histories, including 31 track and field championships.

Presidential History

1901 - 1936  Charles P. Adams

1936 - 1977  Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones

1977 - 1991  Dr. Joseph Benjamin Johnson

1991 - 1994  Dr. Harold W. Lundy

1994 - 1997  Dr. Raymond A. Hicks

1997 - 1998  Dr. Leonard L. Haynes III (INTERIM)

1998 - 2001  Dr. Steve A. Favors

2001 - 2004  Dr. Neari Francois Warner (INTERIM)

2004 - 2009  Dr. Horace A. Judson

2009 - 2014  Dr. Frank G. Pogue

2014 - 2015  Dr. Cynthia Warrick

2015 - 2016  Dr. Willie Larkin