Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


The purpose of the study was to discover how Grambling State University developed as a black institution in rural North Louisiana given the key problems it faced from 1899 to 1977. Specific details highlighted: structural and operational changes between 1899 and 1977; administrative philosophies; the transformation of Grambling State University into a modern multifacted university; its unique role in educating blacks; and the manner in which the administrative philosophy of its two presidents fulfilled the role, purpose and institutional goals. Data for the study were secured through personal interviews; from minutes of the official proceedings, Louisiana State Board of Education, and the Lincoln Parish School Board; Louisiana State Archives collections; newspapers and journal articles; institution bulletins; personal papers; legislative acts; and unpublished theses. The history of the institution and the two administrative leaders was contingent upon the development of public education for blacks in the South, particularly in Louisiana. Both the town of Grambling and the university originated in a one and one-half square mile area known as Ward II, Lincoln Parish. Grambling State University evolved via the determination and desire of blacks in North Louisiana to provide educational instruction for their children. In 1901, Charles P. Adams arrived in answer to their request for a teacher. The difficulties encountered by Adams as he attempted to establish the school included: lack of money, discontentment among blacks, opposition from whites, and limited resources. He was successful in securing funds from the Lincoln Parish School Board and acquiring state support for Louisiana Negro Normal. In 1936, Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones took over the helm of Grambling State University as the schools second president. Despite the fact that Jones encountered some of the same problems as Adams, he was nonetheless successful in effecting numerous financial, legislative, athletic, academic, and structural development changes, and securing world wide acclaim for the school. Adams' philosophy was embodied in the fundamentals of industrial education. In contrast, Jones viewed the whole educational process as a matter of composite adjustment in education, pursuant to the changing needs of society.