From Student Leader to University President: Martin Lemelle’s Journey at Grambling State University

The University of Louisiana System (ULS) Board of Supervisors has appointed Dr. Martin Lemelle as the new President of Grambling State University (GSU). He was one of three finalists interviewed for the position, making him the 11th president of the ancient university.

Lemelle, a third-generation GSU graduate, succeeds Rick Gallot as the school’s president. He graduated in 2006 and had previously served as the student body president.

“Dr. Lemelle’s appointment as the 11th president of Grambling State University guarantees a leader well-prepared on day one. I am confident that under President Lemelle’s leadership, Grambling State University will continue to thrive with its best days yet to come,” said former university president Gallot.

Lemelle was executive vice president and chief financial officer at GSU from 2016 to 2021, before taking on his current role. He reportedly helped Gallot enhance the university’s fortunes by more than 200 percent. He also played a key role in the creation of breakthrough cybersecurity, healthcare, and cloud computing initiatives.

“To this illustrious board, to our Gram Fam across the globe, to our students, current and future, to our alumni community, my family, friends, and supporters… This is our story. This is the Grambling State University story,” said Lemelle, who is currently executive vice president and chief financial officer at Maryland Institute College of Art.

In addition, he is running for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District in 2020 and has managed projects for the United States Senate, PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM, General Electric, Dean Foods, and Industrial Retail Group.

Lemelle earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Grambling State University, an MBA from George Washington University, and an executive doctorate in business administration from SKEMA Business School in Paris, France.

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