Grambling State University has set a new record. But this time it’s not because of its storied football team. It’s because of the family that has now been deemed Guinness Book of Records worthy for most graduates of a single university.
The Wayne Family of Marion, Louisiana was notified last month that their bid had been accepted. Out of the 86 family members that attended Grambling State University, the HBCU best known for the legacy of Eddie Robinson, who coached a winning football team at the school for 56 years, 40 graduates were accepted.
Spanning the years between 1956 through 2010, Wayne family members graduated with degrees in everything from education, criminal justice, computer science, electrical engineering, business, music education and English literature. Hattie Wayne, a 1971 graduate of Grambling, told the Dallasnews.com that 86 of her family members attended Grambling and 52 graduated.
Due to some missing and/or lost documentation, Guinness accepted 40 Wayne family graduates, handily beating out the Alabama family that set a previous record with 15 family graduates of the same college or university.
“I’m personally excited not just for our family but for our little town of Marion, for the state of Louisiana, for Grambling and for all historically black colleges and universities,” Hattie Wayne, a public relations executive in Dallas, who collected the required birth, school and graduation records, told the Dallasnews.com.
Once the records were gathered, Grambling State University had to verify them and then Guinness did an extensive verification process. The quest for the Guinness began after Hattie Wayne attended an alumni event in Dallas and realized her family graduates far outweighed those of other alumni.
All of the graduates descend from Wayne family members Lillie Wayne Talton, Matilda Wayne McElroy, Ida Wayne Rivers, John Wayne Sr, King Wayne, Thomas Wayne Sr, Sandy Wayne, Sam Wayne, Moses Wayne and Willie Wayne.
Source: Black America Web | Tonya Pendleton