By Fred Woods
Nancy Parker, a 1984 Opelika High School graduate and daughter of prominent Opelikans, Mr. and Mrs. William A. Parker, Sr., (better known as Patsy and Bill), continues to receive recognition for her many significant accomplishments and her outstanding career. The latest occurred in mid-April when the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama awarded Nancy their Bert Bank Distinguished Service Award.
This award, which is a university-wide award, is presented annually to an Alabama native who has shown exemplary and extraordinary service to the College or to the University of Alabama, or the state of Alabama or to the United States. Ms. Parker received the award at the College’s Honors Day Program. That program summarized her career accomplishments as follows:
“Nancy Parker (B.A., ‘88, journalism) is a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who has spent almost 25 years covering news in south Louisiana. She currently anchors the 4- and 5-p.m.[news] broadcasts at WVUE FOX 8 in New Orleans.
Nancy, a native of Opelika, Ala., began her love affair with news during her senior year of high school when she landed a job anchoring evening drive news at WJHO, a local AM radio station.
During her years at the University of Alabama, Nancy wrote for The Crimson and White and worked for WUAL radio. She landed her first TV news job in 1989 as Alabama Bureau reporter for WTVM Channel 9 in Columbus, Ga. Next she worked for WSFA News 12 in Montgomery, where she quickly moved to anchoring morning news cut-ins and reporting.
In 1990, Nancy moved to the five o’clock anchor position in Baton Rouge and for six years anchored the number one five o’clock broadcast in the city. She moved to New Orleans in 1996, as weekend anchor at WVUE, and spent 10 years co-anchoring the 10 p.m.broadcast starting in 1999.
Nancy has covered amazing stories over the years, including Pope John Paul II’s St. Louis visit and the canonization of St. Katherine Drexel in Rome. She was one of only four Gulf Coast reporters invited to the White House for an interview with President George W. Bush on the Hurricane Recovery in 2006.
She was most recently honored with two Emmy Awards in December 2014 for a documentary on WVUE’s 60th anniversary and for a story on a dramatic apology by a police officer to the family of an unarmed college student whom he had mistakenly shot and killed. She also received Emmys in 2010 and 2001.
Nancy has received four Edward R. Murrow Awards and several first-place Associated Press and Press Club Awards. She was recently honored with a Viewers Choice Award for more than 20 years of service in local news. She also has published two children’s books, “The Adventures of Yat and Dat: What’s Cookin” and “The Adventures of Yat and Dat: Superdome!”
Her proudest accomplishments are her children: twins, Piper and Pierce, 10, and her oldest son, Parker, 14. Nancy has been married 20 years to longtime newsman and now JPSO [Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office] public information officer Glen Boyd.”