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On this date in 1901, Grambling State University was founded. It is one of over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in America.
Grambling emerged from the desire of Black farmers in rural North Louisiana to educate their Black children in the northern and western parts of the state. In 1896, under the leadership of Lafayette Richmond, the North Louisiana Colored Agricultural Relief Association was organized. One of the objectives of the 1500-member organization was to organize and operate an industrial school for children. The organization purchased 23 acres of land from John Monk, a Black man, on November 21, 1898, at $5 per acre, and began construction of a two-story building to serve as a school and meeting place.
The Association wrote to Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama for aid in organizing an industrial school. The answer to their appeal arrived on August 4, 1901, in the person of Charles P. Adams. Early in September, he took over the construction of the building that had been started by the Farmers' Organization. On November 1, 1901, the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School opened with three teachers and 125 students. About 20 of the students were boarding students whose fees were $5.00 per month. Since most of them could not pay in cash, some form of commodities, such as peas or potatoes, were offered in lieu of the fee.
Grambling State University, a constituent institution in the University of Louisiana System, is now a comprehensive university offering undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education programs. All programs are designed to meet the educational needs of the state, first, and the national and international communities, second.
Grambling State University assumes in a unique way the role of a public university. It strives to provide equal access to higher education for all applicants regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, and veteran status. It tries to provide opportunities for students to develop intellectually, to acquire appropriate job skills, and to achieve self-actualization through instruction, research, public service, and special programs which seek to meet the needs of all students, including those who have been adversely affected by educational, social, and economic deprivation.
It also exists to provide services to the community and to the citizens of Louisiana, to expose students to opportunities that enhance their potential for appreciation of diverse cultures. It also helps prepare students for participation in a global society and to serve as a repository for preserving the heritage of American people of African descent.
Grambling State University believes that education is the cornerstone of an enlightened, creative, and productive society. It strives to be true to its motto: "Grambling State University is the place where everybody is somebody."
Black American Colleges and Universities:
Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, & Professional Schools
by Levirn Hill, Pub., Gale Group, 1994