The Guinness Book of World Records has officially recognized the Wayne Family of Marion, Louisiana, for having the highest number of graduates in a family and from the same university – Grambling State University.
Grambling State University is probably best known for Eddie Robinson the coach – for 56 years – of a winning team. Now, the university has another achievement to be proud of. The Wayne Family was notified last month that their bid to be recognized had been accepted. A total of 86 members of the family attended the HBCU out of which 40 graduates were accepted by Guinness.
The Wayne family has been a part of the university’s student body from 1956 to 2010. They graduated with degrees in a diverse range of subjects: education, criminal justice, computer science, electrical engineering, business, music education and English literature.
Although the family made a claim to 52 graduates, only 40 of them were accepted because of missing and/or lost documents. Yet, they still managed to beat the record – by a large margin, it must be said – that was previously held by the 15 family members in Alabama.
“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 said.
A public relations executive in Dallas, Hattie was the one who collected all the required documentation that included birth, school and graduation records. She got the idea when she attended an alumni event and realized that the graduates in her family were much larger in number than that of any of the other group of alumni.
Once she finished collecting the necessary evidence, Grambling State University had to verify it. This was followed by another verification process by Guinness.
“For the Wayne family, Grambling State University has been our ‘village’,” Hattie Wayne said. “Education has always been of importance. We believe our efforts of giving back will leave a legacy and will inspire others.”