The Vanguard

A day in the life South’s President

USA+President+Dr.+Tony+Waldrop+and+his+wife%2C+Dr.+Julee+Waldrop%2C+at+a+presidential+roundtable+dinner.+
USA President Dr. Tony Waldrop and his wife, Dr. Julee Waldrop, at a presidential roundtable dinner.

USA President Dr. Tony Waldrop and his wife, Dr. Julee Waldrop, at a presidential roundtable dinner.

Richard Narramore

Richard Narramore

USA President Dr. Tony Waldrop and his wife, Dr. Julee Waldrop, at a presidential roundtable dinner.

Richard Narramore, Assistant Managing Editor

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At the end of last semester, The Vanguard sent our intrepid reporter, Richard Narramore, to shadow University of South Alabama President Dr. Tony Waldrop. Below, he chronicles a day in the life of USA’s fearless leader.  

The day started early for President Tony Waldrop. A brief look at his schedule revealed a busy day full of meetings with campus big names like Dean of Students Michael Mitchell and David Johnson, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Waldrop and his staff commented in a humorous tone that his schedule was not as busy as normal.

Waldrop then led me back to his office where the first meeting of the day was held. I surveyed the room quickly. Centered in the room was a large office desk and behind it were various trophies, diplomas, and family pictures, the normal things expected to be on a office desk. Off to the side was a picture of a USA student and Waldrop himself.

The student was De’Siona Grider and the photo was taken at Higher Ed Day in 2017. Waldrop said he was so impressed with Grider’s response when he asked her why higher education was important that he wanted to take his picture with her and hung it in his office. Waldrop touched on this again later, noting that higher education is something he and his wife, Dr. Julee Waldrop, value deeply.

A luncheon was scheduled after the first two scheduled meetings of the day. Waldrop, along with many other leading faculty members from the university met their mentee for the first time. Waldrop participated in a program where he mentored an SGA member. It was fitting that Waldrop be paired with SGA president Carl Thomas. This allowed Thomas the opportunity to relate to someone who knew the weight of being leader and Waldrop to share his experience.

Waldrop returned to his office for a short break after the plates were cleared the table and every hand was shook. This break consisted of business calls and answering emails.

During this downtime, I caught a glimpse of Waldrop’s weekly scheduler. The spreadsheet was splashed in blue and pink. I asked what the colors stood for and Waldrop responded that the blue was his and the pink was his wife’s. He said that he and Julee share a calendar to keep life sane.

Waldrop showed no sign of fatigue as he went from meeting to meeting, just as present and involved as he was before the day started.

After the work day ended, I reconvened with Waldrop later that night as he and Julee opened their home to student leaders around campus for dinner. Waldrop said he liked to have small groups of students to keep the evening and discussion open and intimate. The Waldrop’s home also provided a non-professional setting which made students feel much more at ease.

Their home was well decorated and nicely furnished. There were more than enough seats in the living room to accommodate all the guests. A fireplace sat in the center of the room, providing a cozy, this-is-home atmosphere. The staple piece of the house was a bust of a former United States president.

Per usual for any university event, Amarak provided the food. Sprawled out on the Waldrop’s counter was a variety of Mexican dishes. The tortilla bowls became a crowd favorite with most choosing to fill it with the other selection on the table.

When we found out we would be eating in the living room, a sense of trepidation hovered in the air. Nobody wanted to be the student who got a taco meat stain on the couch. Soon, everyone managed to get through the main entree, with only one or two dropped food incidents.

After dinner, Waldrop welcomed open discussion about free speech on campus. As we students sat gathered in circle, we shared experiences, personal beliefs and ideas.

As discussions drew to a close, Waldrop and his wife walked everyone outside and bid them farewell. The Waldrops then retired to their home and prepared for another day, full of meetings and furthering higher education.

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1 Comment

One Response to “A day in the life South’s President”

  1. Sonya on March 13th, 2018 9:28 am

    Day in the life read. I chuckled at the “taco on the couch” well written.




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A day in the life South’s President