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Coach Rob Site Gets Needed Boost

BY NICK DERISO
THE NEWS STAR

It took less than five minutes last week for the Louisiana Bond Commission to make the Eddie Robinson Museum project a reality.

The commission approved $1.3 million — $300,000 in cash and a $1 million line of credit — for the project.

"We are on our way," proclaimed local museum fundraiser and Robinson family friend Wilbert Ellis. "This is the booster shot we needed. I'm tickled to death."

State Treasurer John N. Kennedy, who chairs the Bond Commission, said: "We wanted to fast track this. That's why we did it with lines of credit. They can move right along and get it done."

Organizers sought the money for renovating exhibit space on campus and hiring an exhibit designer, said board-appointed museum board chairman John Belton.

The museum will be housed in the former women's gym on the Grambling State campus, where Robinson coached for 57 years.

At GSU from 1941-97, Robinson retired as the winningest football coach in college history with 408 wins — leading the Tigers to 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles over the years. He passed away on April 3 at age 88, sparking renewed interest across the nation in this project.

This museum was first proposed eight years ago — two years after Robinson's retirement at Grambling and several before the onset of the Alzheimer's-related symptoms that ultimately led to his death.

But these are the first state funds ever specifically earmarked for it.

The museum will be a part of the Department of State Museums Program, administered by the secretary of state.

The project will be a welcome addition to our area's growing tourism assets — museums, parks, history, archaeology and outdoor attractions. Its path to reality apparently is assured now.

 

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The Eddie G. Robinson Museum is a landmark that officially recognizes the outstanding contributions to the state of Louisiana, the nation, the world and the game of football made by Coach Eddie G. Robinson.  - more