By Patrick Battle, Scene Editor
Caring, helpful, cooperative, loving, sharing. These are just a few words to describe Deirdre Cherie “D Cherie” Lofton.
Greensboro natives will remember her wise and comforting voice from N.C. A&T’s radio station WNAA (90.1 FM) and as an on-air voice for WGMG (97.1 FM). However, journalism students and alumni recognize her for much more than that.
Police were called to Lofton’s home on Wednesday when she did not show up for work. Police said there were no signs of foul play.
Lofton was WNAA’s award-winning program and music director. When she wasn’t in her office working to keep things organized in the station, she was with a student. Her ambition stemmed from seeing her students evolve as they approached graduation and furthered their skills into the real world. One of her most well-known student interns is alumni Terrence Jenkins.
It brought great sadness to the Department of Journalism & Mass Communications and WNAA, which resides in Crosby Hall, when it was reported that Ms. Lofton had lost her life on the morning of May 3rd.
Allan Meade, a senior Journalism & Mass Communications student, remembers how Lofton gave him his start by letting him have a show on WNAA. “She took me under her wing and helped me grow,” stated Meade. He began to reminisce on hosting his first show on the radio. When the show aired live, Lofton was patient and helped him, despite the mistakes he made. Grateful that she allowed him to continue voice-tracking, Meade said, “She saw potential and didn’t harp on mistakes. She always saw the bigger picture.”
Mario Daye is not only a senior Journalism & Mass Communications student but a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. He remembers the time when he met Lofton. She introduced herself as his sister since she was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Daye and Lofton would meet in her office located in the radio station to speak about advancing his career. Even though Daye wasn’t interested in radio at the time, Lofton would call him to do video projects whenever the radio station would have a guest. “She helped me get involved by using my attributes,” said Daye. Unfortunately, Daye was not able to see her before she passed, saying, “I honestly feel sad because it’s been a couple of weeks. I haven’t had the chance to talk to her. I’ll never get that chance again.”
The Interim Chair of the Department of Journalism & Mass Communications, Gail Wiggins, remembers Lofton as her friend and colleague. Wiggins reminisces on working with Lofton to educate students in the department. “She knows this business of radio. She really wanted to make sure that students would get it right,” said Wiggins. She recalls how Lofton helped students prepare for life after college saying, “She wanted our students to be versatile in this business so that they could fit in at any station when they left N.C. A&T.” Wiggins shows admiration for her influence on students by stating, “Everything that she did was all about the students.”
Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but JOMC students are planning a memorial for next week. Lofton is survived by her mother.