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GSU President Hosts Last Spring Convocation

Dr. Frank Pogue spoke on accomplishments and the future of GSU.
GRAMBLING -- Grambling State University President Dr. Frank Pogue spoke at his last spring convocation on Tuesday morning. 

He used it as the first of a few last opportunities to say what’s on his mind and to thank those who helped him during his nearly five-years as president.

It's Dr. Pogue's fourth time retiring after 52 years in academic leadership.

"I'm excited," said Pogue, after the convocation speech. "I feel sad in a very special way."

Pogue says he faced many challenges in his five years -- such as correcting audit findings and last year's football boycott, but the biggest challenge he says, has been budget cuts.

"I have had two budget cuts every one of those five years," said Pogue. "We have spent an enormous amount of time trying to remain afloat."

Pogue said many organizations and universities face serious challenges these days. He said he doesn't have any advice yet for the next person to fill his shoes.

"He or she, will be entering one of the finest institutions in the country. it's a lot to work with here," he said.

In his nearly 30 years of teaching at GSU, faculty member Willie Daniel has watched several presidents come and go.

"He's involving individuals, throughout the communities, to get together and be committed to the future of Grambling," he said. "Through him and his philosophy of giving back, I've established an endowed scholarship in my name."

He hopes the next president shares a certain trait of Pogue's.

"The academics are going to be there, I don't have an issue with that. The skills are going to be there. But is there a special suit, a special favor of the next president to generate funds? That's what we sorely need at this university," said Daniel. "We need someone who is very strong in fundraising, from the stand of corporate dollars."

Dr. Pogue says he is moving closer to family in Delaware. He will work as a consultant with a national firm that helps univerisities hire leadership.  He says he will assist in finding a new president if invited to do so.

In leaving GSU, pogue says he will miss the simple things.

"When I look out my window at grambling, I see the students and faculty walking across the campus and I see myself," he said.

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EARLIER:
GRAMBLING, La. (GSU Press Release) -- Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue’s last spring convocation is Tuesday at 11 a.m., and he’s looking at it as the first of a few opportunities to say what’s on his mind and to thank those who helped him during his nearly five-year stay as president.
 
"This will be my last spring convocation at Grambling State University, and I plan to highlight some of the many accomplishments for which I am thankful, thankful to faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters for sticking with me and helping me get these things done," said Pogue. "I'll point to some things from a few years ago when we first started dealing with severe budget cuts and new performance expectations, and I'll remind the audience about some things they may have forgotten.
 
The convocation will be held in the T.H. Harris Auditorium, the place where Pogue has led spring and fall convocations each year since 2009 when he arrived as a consultant and quickly became interim president before landing the job permanently.
 
The spring convocation theme is “Enhancing the Academic Profile of Grambling State University,” and Pogue will be the only speaker other than those providing a welcome or invocation. The university’s World Famed Tiger Marching Band will play twice. Under the direction of choral director Natorshau Davis, the university choir is scheduled to perform “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” arranged by Lloyd Pfautsch, and “Oh, What a Beautiful City,” arranged by Stacey V. Gibbs.
 
GSU’s eighth president, Pogue plans to talk about widely known accomplishments as well as some improvements that may have gone unnoticed.
 
"This can be considered a "State of the University" address," added Pogue, who is scheduled to retire June 30. "If anyone wants to know what specifically has been done in my nearly five years at GSU, join us at the convocation and you'll hear about many of those things -- and how I feel about Grambling State University and the many people who are committed to empowering us to enhance our academic profile."

By E’VONNE GIPSON, Grambling State University Media Bureau
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