Anderson University alum Loretta Rogers Cooper was an ABC news correspondent based in Washington, D.C. She covered the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and the scandal and impeachment proceedings involving President Bill Clinton.
Fresh from college, she worked a radio spot in Kokomo and then TV in Lafayette. Then, ABC News asked her to cover the Mike Tyson rape trial in Indianapolis.
On TV, she was known as Lauren Rogers. “I never liked the name Low-retta,” she said. “I looked in a baby book and Loren was an abbreviated version of it.”
Born in Phoenix, she graduated from AU in 1988. Top stories she covered ranged from the 2001 execution of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing to an interview with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.
She is now a communications consultant. Married, she has two children. She recently visited with AU students and then chatted with Madison. Here are excerpts from the interview.
Madison: How did you come to choose AU?
Cooper: I grew up in the Church of God. My parents grew up in the Church of God, and my grandparents grew up in the Church of God. So for them, Anderson University was Harvard. And I was the first member of my family to go to college. Especially for my dad, this was his dream for me. This was a big deal for him. ... They came to camp meetings for years and years. I was potty-trained at camp meetings.
Madison: You knew you wanted to go into communications?
Cooper: My mother was actually an actress, she was part of what grew up to be the Arizona Opera Company and my father was very involved in Republican politics, so the hybrid of those two people is quite obviously a political reporter. ... I remember the first time I saw Mary Jo West, who was anchoring on a CBS affiliate in Phoenix, was the first time I’d ever seen a woman on the air in television, which is hard to imagine now, but it was like 1970 something. I was just sort of entranced. I remember my mother stopped and stared and stared at the television. And my mom turned to me and said, ‘You could do that.’ I actually called Mary Jo West and she became a mentor of mine.