Granny Franny Gets Network Coverage for MNU

By Katy Ward ('14)
December 9, 2013
Granny Franny Gets Network Coverage for MNU Joelle Garguilo with Granny Franny

12-21-13 Editor's note: The NBC Today Show Weekend Edition aired the Granny Franny segment today. Enjoy!

Four months ago, MNU was blessed by an incredible woman named Frances Wood or as we know her, Granny Franny. Her story captured the hearts of students and the campus welcomed her with open arms, even awarding her the honorary title of Granny Homecoming Queen. Yet it was not enough for the campus to share in her story, the local news (KCTV 5) wanted a part in Granny’s life and now, a national news network wants to tell her story.

NBC’s, Today, Weekend Edition, came to MNU on Dec. 3 and 4 to interview Granny and to follow her around campus for a couple of days. Joelle Garguilo was the producer/reporter in charge of the story, filming and interviewing.

Throughout the filming, Joelle interviewed numerous students including Junior Terrin Garber and Seniors Caitlin Wienck and Rachael Enick. She also interviewed President Spittal and Dean for Residential Life, Kristi Keeton, who were instrumental in Franny's attendance at MNU.

“It was fun watching Joelle interact with Granny and the students,” said Keeton. “You could see Joelle’s excitement when she would meet new students or hear about different experiences Granny has had with the students.”

Joelle is an exceptional reporter who put the interviewees at ease and made the interviews fun and entertaining. Terrin, one of the young men who took Granny to homecoming, said that it was easy to talk to Joelle, even though she had a camera with her.

Granny Franny Gets Network Coverage for MNU Joelle Filming Granny Franny's Presentation

“She just let me talk, which helped me be myself,” said Terrin. “I know that she’s going to put the good stuff in, so I was able to say whatever came to me.”

Caitlin, who enjoyed sharing the limelight with Granny as MNU’s other 2013 Homecoming Queen, said that it was fun to interview with Joelle and that it was interesting to watch all the filming.

“I think that it is important for people to hear Granny’s story,” said Caitlin. “She’s an amazing lady.”

Joelle also wanted to show Granny Franny’s day-to-day life at MNU. She filmed Granny on campus with other students, playing ping-pong against Konner McIntire and Melissa Miller, and giving a presentation to her Kansas History class. Since Joelle wanted to show how Granny has touched the lives of MNU’s students, Granny’s classmates were encouraged to share their thoughts about what she means to them. Students’ statements were funny, touching and real.

Not only has Granny Franny touched the lives of the students at MNU, she also touched Joelle’s life. As she was leaving to go back to New York, she told Granny that it was an amazing experience getting to know her.

With tears in her eyes, Joelle said, “I’ve got two Granny Franny’s now. My own grandmother and now you.”

“I can’t believe that they wanted to do a story on me,” said Granny. “I really can’t believe it."

When Joelle’s segment airs (scheduled for Dec. 14) on NBC, the nation will have the chance to hear the story that has changed so many lives here at MNU. Special thanks to Joelle Garguilo for her interest in the story and her professional kindness. It was a great experience for all!