Sister Marie Carol Hurley
Sister Eileen Rice: Today is September 17, 1985. I am Sr. Eileen Rice. We are in the Barry Oral History room in the library. I am interviewing Sr. Marie Carol Hurley, the director of Telecommunications.
Sister Eileen: Sr. Marie Carol, would you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where were you born?
Sr. Marie Carol: I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and lived there until I was 12 years old and then we moved to West Palm Beach, where I met the Adrian Dominican Sisters and began my education with the Adrian Dominican Sisters at St. Anne's High School in West Palm Beach. That is how I happened to enter the Adrian Dominican community. Then I was educated at Siena Heights College, after I entered. From there I went to Catholic University of America and received my Master's in Speech and Theater. There was not a doctoral program, but I finished what was considered a terminal degree at that time. I was very lucky, I had wonderful teachers. Fr. Harkey was chairman of the department and I studied Directing and Speech particularly Advanced Extemporaneous Speaking with Fr. Harkey and Directing with Walter Kerr and with Val Schneider. I was privileged to work with a lot of really excellent people. Those were known as the good old days at Catholic University, when the Speech and Drama Department was really at its top level.
Since then, I came to Barry to teach Speech and Drama after teaching in the high schools in Detroit and Chicago, Mount St. Mary's in St. Charles, Illinois, Dominican High and St. Ambrose in Detroit and St. Edwards in Elgin. A number of our high schools where I taught English and speech and drama and I suppose whatever had to be taught, particularly Speech and Drama. I directed theater productions most of the time in those years and then I was appointed to Barry.
A few years before that I went to the University of Michigan and took some very specialized speech courses, that was about 1951 or so. Then I came to Barry and became chairman of the Drama department. Thinking, a few years later, that we would introduce this before we opened them. Ms. Minnaugh was at the time with me and she went to France to study. I first went to Northwestern and University in Ottawa and the Canadian Film Board. So we decided that here, at Barry we wouldn't try to get all that equipment. We would do on a small scale film making, but if people wanted to specialize in television they would go to Channel 2 and intern. So only now in the last three years, we have a telecommunications department, but at that time we made the decision not to invest in all the equipment. We knew that soon it would be outdated. So that is the way we went at the time. I continued to be in the Speech and Drama department until 1974 when I was requested by the congregation to go into the ministry of preaching, so I went to study at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. I had wonderful teachers - Carol Mueller, Don Senior, I really did an emphasis on sacred scripture since I was going to join a preaching team where I would be teaching scripture and that made a big difference in my life. That ability, that privilege of studying theology and particularly scripture and now a lot of my television work relates to that scripture.
Sr. Eileen Rice: Then you came back to Barry in 1981?
Sr. Marie Carol: In 1981 I came back to Barry and I did some special projects, a program for black ministers and a program for Haitian refugees and some outreach programs for Sr. Jeanne O'Laughlin. In January of the next year I joined the Telecommunications department when they were ready to go into productions and I came on to produce the shows that we show on Miami Cable.
Sr. Eileen Rice: Let's go back to 1954. What was Barry like when you came here? Just tell us about the spirit on campus, the curriculum, students, some of the people you remember.
Sr. Marie Carol: Yes. In 1954, when I came to Barry it was still an all girls' school and there were a lot of healthy things and a lot of old fashioned things. A bell still rang in the morning at 6 o'clock for all the girls to get up for Mass and a lot of energy was spent by faculty on dormitory discipline and dining room discipline. We still had a lot of lovely things. I think although they didn't want to come to the dining room once a week, we had a dress up day. Secretly, I think, it added some culture to the campus.
We had a culture series at that time and the students fought against coming to that but they were introduced to music and drama and excellent speakers. I think if you would ask a lot of students from those days what benefited their education, I think they might mention the culture series. We had all girls for the drama department too, but we were allowed to recruit men for the plays. So we were sort of pioneers in what we had. That was not the beginning of the drama department. The drama department was begun early in the history of the college. Sr. Trinita, who later became the president was the first head of the drama department and then she was replaced by Sr. Grace Alma. She was here one year 1953, and when she became ill I replaced her in 1954. After the year since Sr. Trinita had begun the department there were three years in between where it had not grown. But immediately afterwards we had a large enrollment and drama majors including Mrs. Minnaugh were in that first class and some excellent drama majors, and that helped.
There were four seniors who had been Sr. Trinita's freshmen in this class of freshmen and we became the nucleus of the drama department and a theater group that was supposed to really be an asset to the university I think for years. That year we had the building of the new auditorium. There was no auditorium or the fine arts center, so in 1954 when I came, that was one of my duties to sort of be present for the building of that auditorium and I didn't in the end really have too much to say. There were some things marvelous about that auditorium and other things which were perhaps not as good as they could be. We had an executive Vice President, Sister Mary Edmund Harrison.
Sr. Eileen Rice: How long were you under Sr. Edmund?
Sr. Marie Carol: Well until she left -I guess that was four years. And then we had various administrations I stayed until 1974.
Sr. Eileen Rice: Well, you stayed under Sr. Edmund and Sr. Mary Alice.
Sr. Marie Carol: Sr. Mary Alice was executive VP before Sr. Dorothy. Sr. Dorothy was still president when I left. It was during that year 1954, Marian, year, we had our first performance. Under my direction in what is now Weber, what used to be Stella Matutina, in the social hall which was built really for performances. It had a sort of stage in the lobby and then the auditorium replaced it. So our first was a Marian year production, an original year production for which I wrote the book and Sr. Thomas Gertrude and Sr. Mary Catherine Brennan wrote the music and it was called "The Three Canticles." It was based on the three canticles of the Magnificent, Benedictus and ___ it was Mary in each of these and so we had a really beautiful production. One historic thing, Sr. Carol Coston who is now an Adrian Dominican Sister was the archangel Gabriel and I had decided that it would be very innovative that she would dance the Magnificent instead of just say it. Sister had written beautiful melodies and sung them. Another time she would dance while the chorus was singing. Sr. Mary Edmund, of course (that was so innovative for her in those days) was appalled at the angel Gabriel dancing so we had a little modification of that. We were not as innovative as we thought. But it was a beautiful production. Sister Thomas Gertrude wrote beautiful music. And from the beginning to end the audience loved that, so I always felt that was really an auspicious beginning of my work here at Barry.
Sr. Eileen Rice: Is the music still around, do you know? Still here or somewhere?
Sr. Marie Carol: I don't know where that music is. I think Sr. Mary Catherine would be the one to know where the music was, because she just composed it for that. I've never heard it played. However we were asked that year to send everything we had done to Adrian where all the things of the Marian year were sent. That is where my script went. If I have a copy of the script somewhere I don't know where it would be. We made a bound copy of the script and the music and sent it to Adrian because that was the request.
The auditorium opened in 1955 with the production of "Brigadoon." It became a tradition to open the season with a musical which involves a lot of people. Then that gives you a core of actors and singers and dancers and workers for the year. I don't think anyone was ever as blessed as we were. A Scottish dancer came and taught really authentic Scotch dances and Sr. Trinita kind of helped with that part of it. Sr. Thomas Gertrude and Sr. Mary Catherine were able to pull together an orchestra. She still had music connections and music pupils so we had our own orchestra which for years we have not had. Sr. Denise had really begun to build that music department. There were still people who had played with Sr. Denise and they were around and we had them. The whole production was a corporate effort. Sr. Jeannine was in the art department and she assisted me with the set. The theater people painted the beautiful drops with just some sketching and things from art students, but it was a cooperative effort.
It was the beginning of our famous musicals and our successful drama department, it was a sellout and we had to run it another week. I remember the newspaper review said Barry's "Brigadoon" was a sleeper. Nobody knew it was going to be so good and then we couldn't seat all the people who wanted to come. The girl who played the lead was Mary Katherine Cliatt, now Sr. Mary Katherine Cliatt and Joe Wessel -Marge's husband had a marvelous voice and he sang the lead. It was just really a great joy and a beautiful production. We did all the costuming for that. We just involved everybody and had a great opening of the auditorium with "Brigadoon."
We established the custom of having a serious production and then a comedy in the spring. We did "Seven Nuns from Las Vegas" that spring. I think the name sounds kind of wicked and it was really such an innocent play. We had a request from the Bishop to send a copy of the play. Anyway we just had an excellent beginning to the drama department. It seems to me that some schools have a football team and we have a theater department. And we became famous for that. Where ever I go I meet people that say "Oh, I never miss one of your plays" and we really were blessed with somehow always new talent and always excellent production. Sr. Maura Phillips joined the department and was teaching here. She often directed the chorus. Those days it would just be the easiest thing to get huge choruses. Now we would have to weed them out. "The King and I", I remember 60 wives. It seems very strange to me now they don't have that number of students for the chorus. I think there is a different spirit among students, and maybe they have too many other options for recreation, but the pride and joy was to be in the Tara singers. They were called the Barry Tara singers and they were really well known. Each Christmas we did Sr. Denise's oratorio and I directed the drama and music department singing and we staged it. We still have the costumes.
When I left here in 1974, or the last year we did it, 1970 I guess, we still had the costumes. Sr. Michael James had been the first librarian here and had an interest in theater. She had made these costumes and we were still putting them up together and pinning up the pieces for the shepherds' costumes. We occasionally bought a new Mary or Angel costume, but we kept those because they were so artistic. They were the most artistic rags you can imagine and so we had them. It was such a tradition and when I first came in 1954 the whole student body was involved. You sang in the chorus or you were in the candle light procession. Everyone in the entire student body looked forward to it and performed in it. It was done outside in front of the chapel and we still had those beautiful coconut palms. We set up the final scene which was the crib scene, under those palm trees and the chorus sang all around on the hills. Thompson Hall wasn't here so that was a hillside where the shepherds came across and the audience sat out in the mall and we prayed for good weather. It was sometimes cold, but we always had it. Then of course it became such a big thing that we had to have it a couple of nights. The mall was filled. We had this beautiful oratorio before Christmas and one year I believe under the direction of Sister Maura they made a recording of it. Sr. Denise's oratorio which is beautiful should be resumed as a tradition. I know they don't have that.
Sr. Eileen Rice: I wonder if we still have that.
Sr. Marie Carol: The recording? I listened to it some place last year, but I don't know where it was.
Sr. Eileen Rice: What other plays stand out in your memory?
Sr. Marie Carol: Well, my favorite was "Kiss Me Kate" and it is based of course on "Taming of the Shrew." Sr. Mary Edmund as you remember was an English scholar, but she was not sure about "Kiss Me Kate" which has beautiful music. I guess that may be one of my favorites. It was a very successful production and very beautiful. Clarissa Molina, still teaching theater some place in Georgia, Atlanta, I believe, was excellent in that. Joe Esso also played in that. The dancing, the singing everything... We were really blessed with a lot of talent in the production of "Kiss Me Kate." It was probably our most lavish production. Well, they were all lavish. They looked lavish even though we didn't spend all that much money, we had a beautiful production of it.
I remember that I had an old Shakespearean actor from the Shores and he was a wonderful actor but very absent minded in keeping the scene straight or costume straight and we were televising on Channel 4. Ralph Renick sent out someone to do a little excerpt thing to come out, can you imagine, and do a little bit of our shows and put them on the news. We were news in those days, the drama department. And so we were in the midst of it, of a part of the show where they are in Shakespearean costumes and out came this old gentleman in his contemporary clothes and walked into the scene. Well! I tell you there was a loud bang in the back and that was I hitting my clipboard because somebody didn't take care of him.
You know, I think we had more of a community theater since we had to recruit men. We had open try-outs and so the whole of Miami Shores, a lot of Miami, was involved and it had always been so, because early on, Sister Trinita had recruited men and worked with Fr. Julio..., that famous Dominican preacher. He worked in the cathedral here before he entered the Dominicans and feels he owes his vocation to his association with Barry College because he didn't know Dominicans before that. His name will come to me in a minute, but anyway there were other productions. I think I liked "Trojan Woman" which we took to the state. We were often invited to the state festival. At that time there was a strong American Educational Theater Conference and each state had its regents, South East and then the state. I was an officer during those years with South East Theater Conference and we would be invited to bring a production so we brought "Trojan Women" to St. Petersburg. We had a lot of difficulty and sorrow getting it there, but it was the most touching and beautiful production. I believe it was among the most artistic productions that I have ever done. I can remember still the image and the costuming and how I was able at the time to give a unified whole to it.
"Miracle Wonder" which is the Helen Keller story, I believe that that production I also did for the National Catholic Theater Conference. I had seen the professional one with Anne Bancroft, but the young woman Lucille Moss, who did Annie Sullivan and still works in television and radio. She did a couple of television shows for me this fall, I believe she did just a superb performance. She was just marvelous and we had a wonderful little girl role Lorrie Stocked. Those were some that I loved.
"Camelot" perhaps was the most excellent set and costumes that I did. I had designed a set, I am not a designer but I have a good eye for stage sets if somebody will execute them for me. So we made a set that was a permanent set of archways and stairways and it has been used for every production since, still using platforms and steps that we designed. It was well built by some carpenter here. We didn't try to build it ourselves and so it lasted and has been secured so we didn't have wobbly stairs. It was a beautiful one and I did it in reds and golds. The students were wonderful in sewing and putting those beautiful costumes together. We did "Camelot" and then it was a tradition to open in November with the big musical, the year we were doing Lily Carnival was the day of our opening.
It was the day President Kennedy was shot and that was just memorable. We had been working and had put in a couple of months work and your assignments, students credits depended on all that work and people were canceling things the night the president died, meetings canceled and this and that. Everybody was in such a state, we really didn't know how we could get word to the people out of town and all who were coming to the production. So when the students arrived they came to the dressing rooms, and I talked to them all and I said, "Do you think you can go out there and sing and dance at this occasion and be joyful? Shall I cancel or would you like to do it and dedicate it to the memory of the president?" So, they said yes, and I thought that was best because you can't waste the time you have involved, you can never pick it up again and do it the next time. So we did it and I went out in front of the curtain to make a little speech about that. That was one of the hardest things I ever did, but the students were very into it and I don't think I had ever had a more excellent production than that night dedicated to President Kennedy. That was a very memorable night. There is a young man, Dalton Caffey, who is still acting out in California and he said that night made it meaningful for him to be in the theater.
To bring great joy to people in the time of their sorrows, all the gifts you have to give in theater and so of course that sticks in my memory. And of course "Fiddler on the Roof," because that is such a beautiful play and had so much to say and because our production was sort of a spiritual thing. Jim Kosicky played Tavia, who was really a great influence with young people. The whole thing, the wedding prayer was so beautiful, but also the comedians were very good. I think maybe singingwise, dancingwise, actingwise that was perhaps our best ever production. Each year of course you always like the one you just did.
Sr. Eileen Rice: I remember "The King and I" with Marilyn.
Sr. Marie Carol: Very lavish production of "The King and I." And also Jeannie Tidman who was in the music department sang for many years with us. We were always blessed with good talent, really excellent talent. From Fiddler, the young woman who did the youngest daughter Nancy Franchoni. I have seen her on soap operas, but she went to Yale after she left here and then immediately to New York. Dona Cellini, who sang the lead in "The Sound of Music" is now opening this coming weekend in Atlantic City with the Bill Cosby Show, so you knew you couldn't get better than that. She is very lucky, I hope she has a successful recording, but she has been singing ever since. So, we had some graduates who are teachers, some who are performers, but everyone has said "My training has really meant so much to me." People said, "Why did I go into theater?" but that has been in the background of everything I have done and made all the difference to me. Each group that I had was a special blessing. Some year you have more in number, but some you have more in talent. And I have seen in 19... late 60's, the boys from Biscayne wanted to major in it. We used to keep a dual catalogue and they could take courses, but it really wasn't just that they were taking all their courses here, graduating from Biscayne, which is St. Thomas now. But they are listed somehow, a lot of them as Biscayne graduates, but they were really educated at Barry and it was not until in the '70's that the boys were allowed to be Barry graduates. Jimmy Tweed who was in last week's segment of "Miami Vice" and later got his Master's at the University of Miami and acts with Burt Reynolds sometimes, graduated. He was one of the first boys to get his degree here, though there were men of course in the graduate school for a long time, and I think in the school of social work.
Sr. Eileen Rice: When you came back to Barry in 1981 was there anything different? How would you compare it with your period here before?
Sr. Marie Carol: Well, the changes in the course of the time I was here in the twenty years were great, but the changes between '74 when I left and '81 when I came back, I think were several. First of all it had grown from a college to a university. That was gradual but it had changed so that it was a larger institution with a larger vision and divided into schools, so that, although some people may have said it lost its small character, I think not, it kept that by any means. I think that first of all Sr. Jeanne had that in mind and when she first had her office there on the first floor of Thompson Hall, she sort of made it a family. She knew students by their first name, she came out of the office and spoke to people and she kept a family or whatever the advantages the small institution has. I found the character was warmer when I came back. The whole atmosphere in the place was warmer. Now in the course of the years we had built up a faculty of sisters so that at one time there were 60 Adrian Dominicans here including some students and although that number had decreased, when I came back in '81 it was beginning to increase again. There was beginning to be that old feeling of Barry hospitality, very prevalent on the campus, which it had lost in the interim years, I felt visiting here. Although there were new people that I didn't know, there was enough that was retained, so that it was Barry still. I think there was the change in goal perhaps. And that it began to see itself more as a part of the larger Miami scene and I began to feel that was a bigger thrust.
As Sr. Jeanne says one of the four fillers... of the vision was outreach to Miami. I was coming back to do part of that, because I was specifically coming to do a program with the black ministers, to help the conditions in Liberty City. You may remember Sr. Jeanne asked, what could Barry do for Liberty City because we were inserted close to Liberty City here. She was told "Educate our leaders," so she said, "what leaders" and they said, "The ministers." The ministers are often the leaders in the black community. but I guess it happened here somewhat that they felt if they had better education they would be more credible leaders, more able with the young. So she inaugurated this program. She came to Washington where I was working and she asked me about it and I took time to write it up. I thought it would be a program that would be helpful to ministers so I sent it to her and she showed it to a couple of her deans, particularly in the school of Adult and Continuing Education. Tony Powell was in charge and then Tony said she thought that would be the ideal program. And then when Sr. Linda came in she said that the thing was good, so Sr. Jeanne on the next visit to Washington asked if I would come and work in the program. That was one of the outreach things, to work with the black ministers which I think had been an important contribution that Barry made to reach out to that segment of the black community.
And then the other problem was in the '80's we had the influx of Haitian refugees. So in '81 Krome, the Haitians had the long consignment to Krome camp. There was a problem and Sr. Jeanne visited the refugee center at Krome and was appalled particularly at the conditions for the Haitian women. So, she asked me, "What do you think we could do for the Haitian women?" I had been studying that problem of course because she was interested in what should Miami be doing about that situation and she had visited Krome. So i came down and I visited Krome camp and Beverly McFarland, one of our graduates, as Public Relations person for I.N.S. I went through it with her and saw the situation. My reaction was not to do anything at Krome but to cooperate in any way with their release, to try to get them out of Krome because they were innocent people being held in an atmosphere they felt was a prison.
We had never put refugees into that kind of prison-like atmosphere with 10 foot high barbed wire fences. You always let the people who come to their place of first refuge have a hearing before you incarcerate them. Those people had not yet had a hearing, so I thought we ought to enter into some process to help them be released. I think this was the attitude of the bishop at the time too. Although priests were going down there, their chief concern was to release those people from this prison atmosphere, particularly the women who were kind of melancholic, having done all they endured and having thought they were coming to a place of freedom. Instead they were coming to a place of incarceration. So Sr. Jeanne called a judge and he said yes, he appreciated our prayers and concern and he would ask us to help. So, when the case was won and the Haitians were released from Krome, he asked Barry to take on a kind of an intermediacy or third party position, of seeing that these refugees were cared for by their sponsors, both their personal sponsors and the agency that released them, so they weren't out on the street, they weren't lost, as INS had said they would be.
That was one of the jobs that I took, to be sort of the advocator or the third person for the refugees released from Krome. So now since they have been released, I had done that job. At first they had to report every week, their sponsors, to us and then we informed INS: "yes, they're lost. They changed their address. Yes they're working," whatever the status of those, we had about 620 refugees who were released to Catholic Charities and they report to us. The others who were released to other agencies report to ___ in N.Y., but we have worked it out to a system now that the judge says they only have to report once a month. There are agencies that have an 800 phone, they take care of contacting people for me. So, I only have to be responsible for a few phone calls coming in.
But the first week of every month the 620 Haitians are my responsibility kind of to know where they are. And I could be taking down numbers and all but I have tried to be solicitous. We need a lot more reporting to find out why, to be involved with what was happening to them and to get some kind of work with the agencies when there was some slowness about checking up on them. Right now it has been so long that we've lost a few, that is, we don't have contact with few. But on the whole of 620 maybe there are 50 or 60 that don't report every month or they go off to work in Virginia or some place and we don't know their whereabouts. It seemed to me that Barry was involved in such things as this and that I came back to be involved in it since I had been a part with the Miami community and since I am a Floridian. Sr. Jeanne asked me to come, so I felt that was certainly a growth on the part of Barry to reach out to the community.
Sr. Trinita was interested in that, but the university had been to a point, but not to the point of activity of actual reaching out and inserting oneself in being an influence on an environment, of being a real university in that way. That is one of the big changes I felt. I felt that Sister Jeanne had a policy of being rather proud that we were a Catholic institution but seeing our position as a place where we were Catholic in both senses of the word. Although the Chair of Jewish studies had been inaugurated previously she gave an impetus to that and she herself never lost an opportunity to be present to this community nor has she. So she has made her influence felt.
In many ways I have been able to do that too. I think I had always done that. I had been President of the First Sister Council established here and been part of the Catholic community here teaching in the seminary. I still am able to do that with such things as doing the workshop for the diocese and Office of Worship for lectors and teaching homiletics to the permanent deacons. Being involved in those programs I feel that is a difference that the whole university is more involved in the community of Miami. I also feel that there is more importance given once again to the presence of Adrian Dominica Sisters that is a personal feeling, but I have that feeling. I had visited the campus almost yearly while I was away because I came to the campus ministry workshops. When I was home on one visit I came and visited Sr. Agnes Louise and other members of the faculty.
Since Sr. Jeanne's coming I have found a feeling once again this is our college and we Adrian Sisters matter and we are involved in the growth of this college. Sisters are welcome here.
The attitude toward Sisters who are retiring is that they were urged to stay, that their presence on campus was welcome. That was a new policy because there had been a policy that once you were no longer a full-time teacher you couldn't reside on the campus. So, I found that at Barry, that encouragement or that desire to have a Dominican presence. There was an increase in the numbers of Dominican fathers present. The actual movement was to make a spiritual center here for Dominican life. Although I don't think it has succeeded yet, but there is certainly a big effort to have it. That is not Sr. Jeanne's fault that it hasn't exactly.
But I think there is a movement that this would be so and I find that a very good thing. I think this is where there is a strength because our roots are Adrian Dominican and you have to be true to your roots. And I think to have a presence of Adrian Dominicans here is a really good sign, a very good witness. I guess I find once again something, a new architecture, School of Business, the new dormitories all of these things, the spreading out to use the buildings around, has been a sign to me not only or ordinary growth, but to return to the architecture of the red roofs and the style that Barry once had, is like to grow but to grow out in your own roots. And so I really like that, the fact that the unity of the campus is visible in those new buildings.
Some of the new growth has been in such things as computer science of business and my own areas perhaps, in the liberal arts, my interests in the humanities. Yet, I can see that you meet people in the community where they are and you try to fill the needs. So, I think Sr. Jeanne has done that, to try to fill the needs of this community. If it was for a computer center or school of business, that has been where she has put the buildings or the interests in all of that. Liberal arts, I believe, she values and if we don't grow, maybe it is our own fault or the time is not right or something, but it hasn't been shunted off and the requirements here still exist for basic liberal arts courses. You have requirements still which some colleges did away with. Any kind of basic requirements, now they try to come back to that by having core courses, but it is not the same thing. I suppose it would be great if you were able to ask once again for those requirements in languages, but perhaps that will come too, eventually.
Sr. Eileen Rice: Do you want to tell us about telecommunications, how you got into that?
Sr. Marie Carol: That was always my interest and when I was in Washington that is the kind of work I was looking to do because I wanted to combine my interest in preaching and spreading the Word with my background in communications and theater. So, I was looking for a position where I could do programming in spreading the Word of God. Any positions that seemed to be open there in Washington were desk positions, organizational or administrative positions. What I really wanted to do was to be in production and programs. So I came here for the other reasons, the black ministers program, for the Haitians, for the outreach to adult education. I was teaching full-time in the school of Adult and Continuing Education. I was really loving that because I was able to teach in both the speech and drama areas, creative dramatics and speech, but also to teach in the scripture area. Well, it seemed like an ideal combination. We entered into a consortium with the Archdiocese to produce programs for a Catholic Channel here in Miami and so the college made a commitment to producing programs for this cable Channel 9.
Although we had a telecommunications department beginning here and starting a new major in telecommunications, both on the undergraduate and the graduate level that had been begun, there was nobody in that department in production who was qualified to produce programs for Catholic cable or to produce programs, or had that as an interest. They were interested in teaching the technical side or whatever telecommunications, but not at producing programs. So since Sr. Jeanne had made this commitment, that we would produce programs, the school was in need of someone to do that. So, they interviewed a couple of people and then Andre Cote', the dean of Arts and Sciences, which telecommunications is under their wing, came over to me at the school of Adult Education and explained to me what happened, that they were involved in this and committed to this and had no person to do it and I didn't want to leave Sr. Linda in a lurch at all. They spoke to her first and said would she mind and they spoke to Sr. Jeanne, would it be alright if they interviewed me. So, I came over and they talked me into it or I was happy for it. It seemed to be what I was supposed to do.
So although I have kept in touch with the black ministers programs, I do teach there at least once a year, so far a couple times I have in the years that I have come over into telecommunications, taught the black ministers, also kept an interest in that program and I still take care of the Haitian report. My full-time job is production of programs for telecommunications for TV Channel 9. Well, we do religious, educational, and cultural programming. IT is only on cable and so a lot of people don't see it. But we're learning how to produce programs and some people see it, and we're fulfilling our obligation to the diocese for the Catholic channel doing the English speaking programs.
When I saw the small range that we reach, Channel 9 goes to just a small segment of the community, I went down to Channel 17. They said they would take our tapes. So the tapes that we make are shown on Channel 9, on Channel 29, and on several other cable channels in the city, so we are reaching a much bigger audience now with our programs. We make a religious program called, "The News is Good" which is a gospel sharing program that Fr. Michael Burke does with me and Sr. Cathy Flanagan and just some people who also come and share. We do the kind of gospel sharing we did when I was with the preaching team. We make a weekly half -hour show called "The news is Good." And then we do several other types of cultural and educational, religious programming, whatever I can get made because I have to use volunteer help. I have to be sure I have some camera people from the telecommunications department which gives them the experience that they may offer a practicum to their students. Not many get that up there by help, but enough.
Sr. Eileen Rice: Do you think you are ever going to get anybody on Channel 2?
Sr. Marie Carol: Well, Channel 2, we have students who intern over there and learn.
Sr. Eileen Rice: I mean your program.
Sr. Marie Carol: No, I don't think so. Channel 2, you'll notice doesn't do much local programming anymore. A very small amount of local programming originates. And T.V. station, they do the news and maybe one weekly program like "Montage on One" or "Focus," Florida Focus" or something on Channel 2. They are not doing much local origination. Therefore Channel 17 is the other educational channel. It broadcasts the school programs as 2 used to when it first started. During the day it broadcasts those specifically classroom television programs, but the rest of the time it is open for community access, they say. Community produced programs can be on it. Cable television is supposed to be a different thing. It is supposed to be a local programming so the people have an alternative choice. So, I guess that is what I try to do. I produce alternative programs. So that if you don't like what is on commercial TV, you can turn to Cable. The thing about production on the others is it's so expensive. Even though we don't get paid for the programming we don't have to pay for the time.
So it is a good chance to spread the word and to get public relations and not pay for actual television time which is so expensive. I guess, my ideal would be that I would get a series that I really liked well enough and I would send it to the National Catholic Cable, so that it could be seen all around or that cable would be straightened out so that the programs would be available. I think I just want to be an alternative, that people could turn to as Channel 2 is. But Channel 2 is a big thing now to bring us these classical and cultural programs on the national NET and therefore they don't do much local programs. They don't make a policy. Then if I did get on that I would have to be so careful that it wasn't religious. If we produce a religious program, then every other Church wants to. Whereas a lot of Churches have their own stations like Channel 45, a lot of religious programming. I think the public stations have to be careful.
Sr. Eileen Rice: Do you think we may ever have a channel here?
Sr. Marie Carol: Well, there is a lot of talk about that. Right now we can't even get a dish here because we're in a spot where the reception is not good. There is all kinds of interference, many places in the city that are not good for an uplink or a downlink. Sr. Jeanne wants a telecommunications center so we may build something and find we are doing a certain kind of programming. The diocese is also interested in getting its own channel. Some kind of link so that we can join on, as channel 17 is, some kind of link that anybody on any cable or anybody with a satellite dish could get us. Or we would uplink and send stuff up that people could bring down. I think eventually we may do it because Sr. Jeanne has really good plans for the future and I do too, but I never believe in waiting, until you get the ideal. I believe in doing now what you can do so that when you get the ideal, you have some programs going, you have a background in how to do it, you know, while I am putting up with this but if I had my drothers, if I had the studio I need or want, you know what to ask for.
Sometimes you don't even know what to ask for and you get a lot of equipment that you don't use. This has happened. There was old equipment around from a grant the Nursing department had and was rejected or never used when the grand ran out, so it is like "Where did all that money go?" They sent the equipment over to us but it wasn't compatible with anything we had. Cameras that were not able to be used; and so money was spent on what looked like a really great thing, but it was only the spending of money. Maybe it was great at the time -I am not questioning that. I want to know what we need to know, I want to know what we can do.
Sr. Eileen Rice: What do you think about the future of Barry?
Sr. Marie Carol: I think telecommunications is a part of the future. Sr. Jeanne has this notion that we have no obligation since we are inserted so near the Caribbean to the islands that we have an opportunity to bring to Central America and the Caribbean islands education. Maybe when downlinks are provided in those poor sections we can bring simple nursing programs, simple nutrition, sanitation, things like that. We did a little bit of an experiment with that, so that when the time comes this is possible we will know how to produce some software for that or know where to get it and put it on.
Also, in the school of Adult and Continuing Education we're offering some courses through Channel 2, that you can be certain, not that... you have to look everyday or just TV watching. It requires coming to campus and being enrolled in a class but it also involves viewing, reading a lot of books, reading some excellent programming and then conferences with the teacher, and you can earn up to six credits. This is a future thing I see for Barry. This kind of use of television, not just looking at a box and taking a test. I guess I see that Sr. Jeanne keeps a lot of options open. There are many areas for growth. I do see that we have a good potential for the future here. As far as I can see, having athletics is a little step towards attracting young people, but the outreach program in the continuing education, the Master's programs, those things attract serious students and I think add to the stature of a university. So, what I see is a balance, not all the concentration on recruiting the eighteen year olds out of high school by having an attractive athletic program, this is one thing. But the other thing of constantly building in the areas for adults, for returning students, for whatever she sees is the need, or whatever the community of Miami or the Adrian congregation sees as the need. So, I see an excellent future for Barry. I think we'll go into the 90's very healthy.