David “Rusty” Ponton has been named Vice President for Student Affairs at Grambling State University. The post that he has already held in an interim capacity becomes official on July 1, 2017.
Ponton, 53, is no stranger to Grambling State University and is very popular among the student body. He has worked himself up from the bottom and has served in many capacities at the university. He began at Grambling as an assistant men’s basketball coach in 1988. He later would become the head Women’s basketball coach. He served as director of the Favrot Student Union, Dean of Student Activities, Dean of Students, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, and Interim Vice President of Student Affairs.
No job is too small for Ponton as even as in Interim Vice President, his title wasn’t too big that he couldn’t push a broom or move props on a stage during a coronation ceremony of Miss Grambling or at the annual Miss Calendar Girl Pageant.
“Dr. Ponton is committed to spending countless hours serving the students, ensuring that we receive a quality education as well as a pleasant experience here at Grambling State University,” said GSU Student Government Association President Adarian Williams.
Although he is a die-hard Grambling Tiger, he does carry alumni status with the university’s rival. He graduated from Southern University with a mechanical engineering technology degree, but later earned a doctorate at Grambling State. The Bayou Classic experience for Ponton is certainly one of excitement. He worked as a process engineer for Owens Corning Fiberglas in Kansas City, Kansas and in retail marketing for Shell Oil in Houston and Dallas before coming to work at Grambling.
Ponton, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., received praises from GSU President Rick Gallot. Gallot said that Ponton is a good man. However, the fact that he was well liked and had the passion for the job, wasn’t enough, for he still had to go through the selection process.
“We have a good man in Rusty Ponton. We had a strong group of candidates and, in the end, the committee chose the guy who is already here. That’s a good thing when that can happen, but we needed to be certain, to be sure, we were doing the best thing for our students and our university,” Gallot said.
In selecting Ponton, the committee had to certain that he was the man for the job, for many departments within the university will now officially fall under his direction including: Student Government Association, Favrot Student Union, the Foster Johnson Health Center, the Orchesis Dance Company, the cheer squad, the intramural center and intramural activities, Office of Student Conduct, a variety of campus ministries, student clubs and organizations, a comprehensive counseling center, campus police and student housing.
As he’s had a taste of what’s expected of him, Ponton says that it’s business as usual.
“They can expect more of the same. I have been here over 28 years and I love my students, the university and this community,” he said.