Enjoy this episode of Buffalo Network as Jermaine and Morgan interview Mr. Larry Thompson, the Director of Facilities & Maintenance here at Arkansas Baptist College.
J: Good morning. On this episode of Buffalo Network, this is your host, Jermaine as well my co-host…
M: Morgan Williams.
J: Today on this episode of the Faculty Spotlight, our special guest for today is Mr. Larry! How are you doing today, Mr. Larry?
L: Feels great, how are you?
J: Great to have you on the show.
L: Thank you.
J: First, we’d like to start up with where are you from?
L: I’m from Marianna Arkansas originally.
J: You said Mary?
J: Marianna, OK. That’s right outside of Forrest City. I know where that is.
M: What would you consider was one of your greatest accomplishments here at ABC?
L: Well, I’ve had quite a bit of influence on the students and I’ve been able to save for college a lot of money by doing repairs where we won’t have to have outside vendors.
J: That being said, how long have you actually been with ABC, Mr. Larry?
L: 18 years.
J: 18 years?
J: That’s a long time. How do you do that?
L: Well, it’s a dedication. I found a challenge here, which I always like a challenge.
M: What are some ways the students can make your job easier?
L: Well, by not being so destructive and not littering around campus.
J: You’re from Marianna, so I know they’re about football and they have some kind of basketball program and something like that. What is your favorite sport?
L: I guess it would be football.
M: What is your favorite football team?
L: Right now, the Buffalos.
J: Oh, OK. I’m with that. I thought you were trying to talk about NFL. I was about to say, oh no. But yes, Buffalos, I like that. Me too.
M: Could you tell us, what do you enjoy doing when you’re on vacation?
L: Well, I like to grow things, so I got a pretty good sized garden. When I’m not here, I’m down there working in my garden, picking vegetables, planting whatever.
J: Just to clarify, it’s vegetables and flowers?
L: No flowers, vegetables.
J: No flowers, just all vegetables in your garden?
J: I’m going to have to come to your garden someday.
L: That would be great.
J: Cucumbers and carrots.
L: That’s great. I have them.
J: Knowing that you’ve been here for 18 years, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen a lot of students that have come and gone. Could you tell us some of the students that you’ve been able to influence over the years?
L: Yes, I’ve had quite a few young men, one of their names was Albert Williams. Albert Williams was one of my greatest tests. I was able to push him through here by me taking him in my own hands. Pushing him and he’s almost had a Master’s now.
J: That’s amazing. So, you’ve been able to push people beyond their normal means or beyond their natural thinking that this is as far as I can go, but you’ve seen more.
J: That’s great.
M: So, Mr. Larry, you know that you’re the here, the go-to guy on campus. What is your favorite tool to use while you’re working?
L: Well, I guess it would be my power drills. I use them more than anything else.
J: More than like your screwdriver and everything else?
J: So, not only have you been here for a long time, you’ve had some people to mentor. You’ve been a mentor to others that look outside and that’s not necessarily in the circle. That being said, what do you feel is your mission and purpose while being here at ABC?
L: Well, I look at this college as a means to save young people lives. I’m proud to be a part of that. I’ve had several opportunities to leave here, but something just kept me here. After that, I’ve thought about why I was here. It means more to me to see some of these students that are straight out of the hood, and we can get that hood out of them and make them become productive members of society. That was my goal, to try to help get the hood out of them.
M: What is your advice for future students who are looking to enroll in Arkansas Baptist College?
L: My advice is to accept what the people have to offer here. Forget about your past because the types of students we get are usually the poor students who have been raised up in the projects and hoods. They have to forget about that to know that there’s something better for them. That’s my purpose, and try to teach something to them.
J: With everything that you’ve done for us and being a big head honcho on campus because we only look towards one person, we thank you for your busy schedule sitting down for this interview. Thank you for the one on one and allowing everyone on campus, as well as those that are not on campus to see the type of person that you are as well as being a mentor and just a god-fearing man. We greatly appreciate that and tip our hat off to you. That being said, on today’s episode of Buffalo Network, it has come to a close on this episode of Faculty Spotlight. Again, my name is Jermaine, my co-host…
M: Morgan Williams.
J: Thank you so much. Until next time, have a good day!
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