Today Show co-anchor offers shout out to Wayland

PLAINVIEW, TX — Wayland Baptist University caught the attention this morning, July 8, of Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb.

“Let’s give a shout out to Wayland Baptist University!” said Hoda as she pointed at senior Josh Tucker, a Communications/Media major who has been in New York City with his family since Saturday.

A Today Show producer caught the moment on Josh’s phone, along with a couple of pics of Hoda posing with Josh and his mother, Kristin Tucker of Childress. Fortunately, Josh happened to put on his Wayland basketball swag when he got up at 5:30 a.m. EDT to go to Rockefeller Plaza, where the Today Show studio is located on the first floor.

“My mom, she watches the Today Show pretty much every morning, so obviously I’ve seen it quite a few times,” Josh said this afternoon. “This is our first time in New York, so we decided to wake up early and see how hard it would be to watch. It was easy! You just had to walk through security — no charge — and it was like right around the corner.”

Arriving at 35 West 48th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenue, Josh and his family joined other tourists who gather outside the studio each day to wave signs in the hope of getting on television. It was Josh’s Wayland basketball swag that sparked conversation during more than 90 minutes of waiting for the show. Then, came the magic moment.

“Once they finished the show, she came out and was just taking pictures of everybody. I really was just going to get a picture of my mom and her, but one of the producers offered to take my phone and take a picture of the three of us. Then, she was like, ‘Where are you from in Texas?’ and I was like, ‘I'm actually a communications major.’ She read my shirt and was like, ‘Do you play basketball there?’ I said, ‘yes ma’am.’ We talked for a second and then I said I had this idea. I said, ‘Would you do a shout out to the school?’ She was happy to do it. It was cool!”

In addition to the shout out, Josh also got to talk to several Today Show producers about internship possibilities and application procedures.

Noting that the whole event was unplanned, Josh said, “I guess I saw an opportunity to give Wayland a little bit of publicity, and she was happy to do it.”

Promoting Wayland is nothing new for Josh, who serves as a President’s Ambassador.

“I’m happy to be an ambassador for our university,” he said. “Even in a town like New York City, I’m proud to tell people I’m from Wayland.”