GRAMBLING, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Juneteenth is now an official holiday for Grambling State University.

The University’s observance of June 19 as an official holiday means a campus-wide closure for the day.

Juneteenth commemorates the date in 1865 that the last documented illegally detained slaves learned that they were free roughly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law.

“The observance of Juneteenth in our holiday schedule will support awareness of African American History and promote ongoing enlightenment among our students, employees, and other stakeholders about the continued significance of HBCUs,” said Martin Lemelle, Executive Vice President of Grambling State.

The Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute, now Grambling State University, was founded in 1901, 36 years after the end of legalized slavery in the United States.

“Grambling State helped to do something incredible in North Louisiana at a crucial time,” said President Rick Gallot. “Our visionary founder Charles P. Adams took on the challenge of entering a post-Civil War south to battle all forms of racism and systemic oppression in order to build an institution that would shift the culture away from the mindset of an unpaid Black labor force into more brilliant, empowered Black experience. Juneteenth marks the start of that shift.”