HAMMOND — For Robin Roberts, “Everybody’s Got Something.”
In the case of the co-anchor for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” it’s her new memoir of that name, which details her battle for her life. And, on Saturday, that “something” was an honorary doctorate of humanities degree from her alma mater, Southeastern Louisiana University.
The 53-year-old spent a hectic day on the campus, where she was a star basketball player during her college years, and where in her commencement address she told graduates, “When fear knocks, let faith answer the door.”
Earlier in the day, she helped dedicate the press box at Strawberry Stadium to the late John A. Chauvin, whose family has long owned the Northshore Broadcasting System of radio stations in Hammond where Roberts got her start in broadcast journalism.
After graduation, Roberts hurried to the student union to autograph copies of “Everybody’s Got Something.” A crowd of about 250 greeted her with cheers and applause.
“I spent four of the best years of my life on this campus,” said Roberts, who graduated in 1983. “And great memories come back every time I visit Southeastern.”
Roberts’ new book recounts her battles first with breast cancer and then with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare disease that is sometimes known as pre-leukemia. After many months of treatment and rehabilitation Roberts returned to her desk on “Good Morning America.”
In the book she credits many with her recovery, especially her family members. The book is dedicated to her sister Sally-Ann Roberts, longtime news anchor for WWL television station in New Orleans and a bone marrow donor that helped save Robin’s life.
Describing her return to the campus, Roberts observed, “I am honored, and humbled that so many people all around the nation are eager to meet and greet me, and I appreciate all of them. But there’s nothing like coming back to Hammond and Southeastern … You know what they say, ‘There’s no place like home.’”