Founder of Grambling State University


Charles P. Adams was the founder of Grambling State University, in 1901.

He was born on July 21, 1873 in West Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was one of three sons and he was destined to become one of the few educational leaders the Southern portion of the nation had produced. At the age of 22, in 1895, inspired by the example of Booker T. Washington, he was motivated to advance himself and enrolled in Tuskegee Institute in Alabama where he remained for six years. Booker T. Washington made a great impression upon and taught him the necessity of teaching Negroes skills for their advancement.

In 1901 the North Louisiana Farmer’s Relief Association, desiring the establishment of an agricultural and industrial school, wrote to Dr. Washington seeking his recommendation for a man who could build a school. Adams, then 28 years old was chosen by Booker T. Washington for the task. He arrived at Grambling on Sunday, August 4, 1901.

The school he established was first called the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School, set up and fostered during its first five years in the nearby Allen Green Community. For the next 35 years, 1901 through 1936 he nurtured the school and the idea it embodied. During his lifetime, he was the recipient of many citations, awards, and special honors, among which was an honorary degree from Tuskegee Institute, the L. L.D., in 1934.
He served as the president of the Louisiana Education Association, Inc. in 1933. He was married to Martha Adams of Tuskegee Alabama.