Q&A with Delise Le Pool: Wash. U.’s biggest fan

| Scene Reporter

Delise Le Pool has been the receptionist at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions since 1998 and won the Gloria W. White Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

Delise Le Pool has been the receptionist at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions since 1998 and won the Gloria W. White Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

Do you remember your first impression of Washington University? If Delise Le Pool sat behind the desk at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions when you came as a prospective freshman, chances are it was a good one. Le Pool has been a receptionist in the office since 1998. She sat down with Student Life to talk about her job, her life and her impressions of the Wash. U. community.

Student Life: How did you start working here back in 1997?

Delise LePool: I wanted to work for Washington University really, really bad…I finally found [a position] that was for a telephone operator…it was at the time they were building Goldfarb [Hall], and I was one of those people that didn’t pay attention to the construction signs, so I climbed over some construction that I shouldn’t have, and I tore a ligament in my foot. So I was on crutches, but they called me in anyway to come interview. And I did…and they hired me. And then this job became open…and then I changed my mind because I got intimidated with everything that goes on out here, I didn’t think I could do it. And they gave it to me anyway, and I’ve been here ever since.

SL: What’s a day in your life like in the admissions office?

DL: It is full of activity. You’re dealing with current and prospective students. Especially when the school year begins, a lot of my freshmen have no idea where anything is, and they remember this office as the place that they came to when they visited campus, so of course it would be the stopping point for a lot of questions…Never a boring moment…but it’s always fun. I work with a great family here. I don’t think that I would be in the position that I’m in without my staff and friends. They make it so easy, so I’m very lucky.

SL: What’s one of the most important aspects of your job?

DL: You want to do the best you can to make everybody as comfortable as they can be because they say first impressions are everything.

SL: Rumor has it that you won the Gloria W. White Distinguished Service Award in 2002. What was that like?

DL: I was shocked. When they finally told me that I won the Gloria White Award, I thought it was a joke…and finally, one of my bosses said, “I don’t think she gets it,” and it was like, “you’re kidding me,” and I cried. I was an emotional wreck. Because that was really exciting. That’s an honor.

SL: What’s your favorite part of your job?

DL: [without hesitation] Students. Students. And students. It’s just students. You all are so full of energy! I think that’s what keeps me young; I hang around you all. I’m not ever leaving.

SL: What kinds of changes have you seen at Wash. U. since you started working here?

DL: It keeps getting better because I’m noticing that with the years, my students are challenging themselves a little bit more. You all want to do everything now. You want to major in psychology and do something in business and then dabble in art. You want to join eight groups at one time. It’s like you can’t fill your schedule up enough.

SL: What was a transformative moment in your life?

DL: When I was hired by Washington University. It made a big change. It opened up a lot of dreams. That was the most important because I wanted it, and I didn’t think I would get it, and I got it. And I thought, “well, kiss my grits.” I love it.

SL: What is one of your interests outside of the office?

DL: I love to read Archie comic books…since I was 12 years old. And it shows—I have over 500. Love Archie comic books!

SL: What do you do on the weekends?

DL: Mostly I get movies and to-go food. I’m a homebody. I don’t go out a lot; I’m at home a lot. When my son comes to visit, we do little things around the city.

SL: What are your favorite kinds of movies?

DL: I love old movies, 1930s, 1940s. If it’s the 1930s, 1940s anything, I am all over it…I love me some Cary Grant. And Bette Davis.

SL: What’s one thing the Wash. U. community should know about you?

DL: I love the Washington University community more than I can say. I love the trees. I love the grass. I love the students. I love the ambience. I love the buildings. I love my job. I love Washington University.

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