Southeastern, Pass Christian High School expanding 'the Robin Connection'
Contact: Christina Chapple
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THE ROBIN CONNECTION – Principal Cathy Broadway and guidance counselor Melissa Mannion Melissa of Pass Christian High School visit with Southeastern Louisiana University President Randy Moffett and Provost John Crain while touring the campus with Anthony Ranatza, assistant director of admissions. The Pass Christian High administrators were on campus in connection with a new scholarship that will be awarded to a Pass Christian High student in the name of “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, who is a graduate of Southeastern and Pass High. From left, are Crain, Moffett, Mannion, Broadway, and Ranatza.
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University and Pass Christian High School already have a common bond. They share a famous alumnus, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts. And the connections between the Louisiana university and the Mississippi high school could become even stronger, thanks to a thoughtful Christmas gift.
The gift is a full tuition, four-year scholarship to be awarded in Roberts’ name to a “Pass High” senior. Roberts’ Good Morning America colleague, Diane Sawyer, gave it to her on air during a “Secret Santa” present exchange last December.
Roberts was visibly touched by Sawyer’s gift, which was also a happy surprise for Southeastern and for Pass High, where it has created quite a buzz of interest, said Principal Cathy Broadway.
Broadway said she was in the middle of lunch duty when a “Good Morning America” producer called to give her a heads up about the planned Christmas surprise. She said she didn’t hesitate to endorse the plan.
“I thought, ‘You’re giving one of my babies a four-year scholarship? This could change one of our kid’s lives,’” Broadway said.
Broadway and guidance counselor Melissa Mannion visited Southeastern Jan. 31 to learn more about the university where, as a student in the early 1980s, Roberts majored in communication, was a stand-out player on the Lady Lions basketball team, and launched her broadcasting career on campus and local radio.
When asked how many of Pass High’s 80 seniors are interested in applying for the new scholarship, Broadway and Mannion laughingly admitted, "All of them!"
“We want to make sure that the student who receives the scholarship is ‘a good fit’ for Southeastern,” Broadway said.
“We're very pleased,” Broadway told Southeastern President Randy Moffett, as she and Mannion chatted with him and Provost John Crain during a campus tour. “We like the smallness, the academic excellence we see here."
They were also interested to hear from their tour guide, Anthony Ranatza, assistant director of admissions, about other financial aid options for qualified seniors, such as Southeastern’s out-of-state fee waiver.
“And we didn’t realize how close we are,” Broadway added. “It only took an hour to get here.”
Broadway said the school plans to announce the scholarship recipient at its awards banquet in early May. Meanwhile, at least one Pass High senior checked out Southeastern at a recent “Senior Day” informational session for parents and students and more students plan to visit for Junior Day on Feb. 10.