Forging Genuine Connections
Class of 2000
If you had asked Larry Mowry’s high school teachers in Loudonville, Ohio, they would not have predicted that he’d address hundreds of thousands of people on camera every day.
“I was to some degree a shy kid,” says Larry. “Valpo was a place where I could really discover myself and feel like a part of many groups, instead of just settling into one little niche.”
Immediately after graduating from Valpo with a B.S. in meteorology and a minor in mathematics, Larry found work as a broadcast meteorologist in Erie, Pa. His solid grasp of the scientific methods and technologies of weather prediction, combined with the superb storytelling skills that help him communicate the forecast to viewers, made him a standout broadcaster. He soon moved from Erie to South Bend, Ind.; from South Bend to Chicago’s famous WLS; and from WLS to Orlando.
When he became the chief meteorologist at KTVT, the CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, Larry was just 29 years old — and running the meteorology department for a network affiliate in the nation’s fifth-largest media market.
Since his move to Texas, Larry has won nine Lone Star Emmy Awards, and he was named best weathercaster in the state for three of four years.
“Where Valpo really helped me most was teaching me how to build relationships and connections with people — the sense of making good friends and interacting with people from different backgrounds and really learning how to be a communicator,” Larry says. “That comes from the wide range of experiences I had at Valpo, the variety of courses I could take, and the diversity of people I was able to meet.”
Larry says that meteorology sparked his interest when he was in high school, but he wasn’t certain that he wanted to pursue it until he visited Valpo’s campus. Valpo, especially the geography and meteorology department, “felt like the right place to be,” he says. “Everybody seemed to know everybody, the professors were really friendly; it was a very welcoming environment.”
“Valpo was the ideal place for me to flourish,” Larry says. “I loved the department, and I also became involved in a bunch of campus organizations outside of meteorology. Every one of those interests I pursued helps me make connections with new people I meet.”
That’s important, Larry says, in a field that requires an expert to communicate complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand and inspires trust.
“The weather here in Dallas-Ft. Worth is very volatile and can be life-threatening,” Larry says. “One of the best parts of my job is that I’m able to go out into the community, through school visits and other personal appearances, to educate people about severe weather and weather safety. I learned how to forge that kind of connection at Valpo.”