Over at the National WWII Museum, the story of the New Orleanians who built the Higgins and PT boats that helped the Allied forces win the war is told daily to thousands of visitors from around the world. Many Delgado students, faculty and staff were among those employed by Higgins Industries during World War II. Next time you’re at the City Park Campus, take a few minutes to visit the monument to those workers on the lawn beside the O’Keefe Administration Building. That’s where a huge Higgins factory was built for the war effort, and it’s a part of local and American history that should be remembered with pride.
Dr. Monty Sullivan, Delgado’s Chancellor, was interviewed this morning at the WWL-TV studios for “The 504,” a talk show with host Melanie Hebert. “The 504” is broadcast on WUPL-TV, Channel 54 (Cox Channel 2), weeknights at 9 pm. The segment with Dr. Sullivan is scheduled tonight, May 30. He is discussing a variety of subjects related to Delgado’s historic and current role in the community, its program offerings, and the future of the College.
As the media representative of the College, I was involved in getting Dr. Sullivan booked on the show and making certain everything went well. Part of this responsibility included accompanying him to the WWL-TV studios in the French Quarter.
Maybe you know, and maybe you don’t, that WWL-TV is on North Rampart Street near Esplanade. It’s a fairly famous area. Cosimo Matassa’s world-renowned recording studio, where Little Richard and other legends belted out their hits in the 1950s, is nearby. It’s a washateria now (laundromat, for those who don’t speak N’awlins).
The Chancellor and I were escorted from the front door to the studio by a production assistant. There, we were greeted by Melanie, the host, who told me she had “seen a lot of quotes” from me in the local news. I said, yes, I suppose I do get quoted pretty frequently as part of my media relations work.
As the two of them settled in on the set and shared pleasantries, I took a seat at the vacant newsdesk across the room. In the anchorman’s seat, just like Dan Rather and Eric Paulsen. (The CBS News “eye” is a prominent part of the WWL-TV studio’s décor.) Dan is my all-time favorite news anchor, and I’ve watched Eric’s noon news broadcast so many times that I feel like he’s an old friend.
I listened and watched Melanie interview Dr. Sullivan for about a half-hour regarding all sorts of Delgado-related issues. It went very well, I thought, although I winced at a couple of questions that showed this would be no softball interview. The Chancellor’s answers, as always, were thoughtful, comprehensive, and well stated.
During the interview, the station’s senior meteorologist, Carl Arredondo, arrived and began working at a desk near where I sat. I am a longtime fan of Carl’s, having first viewed his forecasting talents on a TV set in a hotel room at the Royal Orleans when I was visiting New Orleans as a tourist. Something about him – the name, perhaps, but also his professionalism – made me an instant fan.
So, today, I got to introduce myself to him. I told him that he was the very first TV weatherman I ever saw in New Orleans, and it was a pleasure meeting him after 11 years. We chatted about the likelihood of getting a meteorology program at Delgado, and he offered to visit our College and speak to students about his profession.
Then it was time to leave, and I realized afterward that I had enjoyed myself like a kid on a playground. Anyone watching me this morning would have seen a man sitting calmly behind a desk, texting on his iPhone, doing his job as a media representative. But I was having a ball. Some days, many days, I have experiences like this one that make me feel fortunate to represent Delgado Community College to the media and the public.
Ranked #1 in the nation, the Delgado Dolphins journeyed to Oklahoma last weekend to compete in the South Central Region baseball tournament, which leads to a slot at the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series. The Dolphins played hard, but a tenacious Connors State team emerged victorious. Judging by their Tweets, the guys enjoyed their time in the spotlight and are deservedly proud of what they achieved this season. Here in New Orleans everyone is thrilled by the team’s amazing success. Go, Dolphins! Fins up!