SUSLA cuts the ribbon on The Roy Griggs School of Business

A little more than a year and half after announcing plans for the project, Southern University at Shreveport (SUSLA) has cut the ribbon on The Roy Griggs School of Business.

Immediately following the regular meeting of the Southern University System (SUS) Board of Supervisors Meeting on June 24, 2022, Interim SUSLA Chancellor Dr. Vladimir A. Appeaning along with SUS dignitaries, Mr. Roy Griggs and family, and business faculty officially unveiled the Roy Griggs School of Business (RGSB) – the new name for the oldest department on campus. Also, on hand for the event, were retiring SU System President- Chancellor Dr. Ray L. Belton, incoming SU System President-Chancellor Dr. Dennis Shields, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, local SUS Board Members Sam Gilliam and Richard Hilliard, and a host of leaders from throughout the community.

For this new chapter in the School of Business Dr. Appeaning states, “Southern University at Shreveport is very pleased that Mr. Roy Griggs – an entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist – has partnered with the University in such a meaningful way that he has graciously provided his name to be associated with the School of Business, which has culminated into the unveiling of the Roy Griggs School of Business at Southern University at Shreveport. We look forward to the Roy Griggs School of Business strengthening workforce and employment opportunities in the Northwest Region of the State, transforming the lives of local community residents for years to come, and creating better and brighter futures!”

The Business Department is named for Roy Griggs who is the CEO of Griggs Enterprise, Inc., and who is the largest franchise owner/operator of McDonald’s Restaurants in the region. With 17 McDonald’s restaurants in Northwest Louisiana (four in East Texas), Griggs is also the largest African-American franchise owner/operator in the region. For more than 40 years, Mr. Griggs has contributed to the economic growth of the community by employing nearly 1,000 citizens at his restaurants and at the organization’s corporate headquarters.

Mr. Griggs stated, “I am extremely honored to partner with Southern University and my family and I are just humbled beyond words at the naming of the school. I just want to do everything I can to help students succeed… I want them to know that if I can do it, they can, too.”

According to the Business Department Program Chair, Dr. Regina Webb, and Professor of Business, Aylwin Holman, RGSB will transform learning for students majoring in Business Management or Accounting by creating an engaging environment that replicates the real-work atmosphere. Students will be better positioned to succeed in a global workforce utilizing state-of-the art computer labs and classrooms updated with industry-standard business software.

Dr. Webb states: “Thank you Mr. Roy Griggs for allowing your name to be used in renaming our School of Business at Southern University at Shreveport (SUSLA) as the Roy Griggs School of Business (RGSB). The future is indeed brighter for our students and this great community. We are elated about transforming the lives of our students with a solid foundation of knowledge relative to the fields of Accounting and Business while developing the communication skills necessary to advance in today’s technological business environment. Opportunity starts here at the Roy Griggs School of Business!”

A year and a half ago, the University announced the project with a kick- off campaign through the Advancement Office. With a lead gift of $250,000 from Griggs, he and Campaign Co-Chairs helped to secure an immediate match of an additional $250,000 from corporate partners for an initial investment of $500,000. To date, the project has raised over $777,000 in donations and pledges to support scholarships, faculty, and program enhancements.

The Campaign was led by Co-Chairs Jean Mosley and David Aubrey and managed by SUSLA’s Chief Advancement Officer, Stephanie Rogers. Along with Mr. & Mrs. Griggs, inaugural investors include: SUSLA, Mr. & Mrs. John Atkins, Home Federal Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Louisiana Board of Regents, McDonald’s USA, Carter Credit Union, Community Foundation of North Louisiana, Grayson Foundation, Red River Bank, AT&T, Committee of 100, BesCA Land Services, FireTech Systems, and “Friends of RGSB”.

The Academic Program Leadership Team includes: Dr. Regina Webb, Program Chair; Mr. Aylwin Holman, Professor of Business; Dr. Barry Hester, Retired Interim Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and CWD, Dean of BSTEM. Marketing was led by Michael Thomas, Director of Marketing and University Relations.

Since starting the partnership years ago with Janice Sneed (SUSLA Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs & Workforce Development), Griggs Enterprise, Inc. has had a collective impact of $1.4M to SUSLA and its students. We express sincere gratitude to the Ribbon Cutting Committee and all who supported the launch of this project.

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