As hard as it is for us to accept, Gloria Campos' 30 years at WFAA-TV is coming to an end.

Friday night, she will anchor her last newscast for Channel Eight, ending her career as a broadcaster, and entering a new phase of her life. And while trying try to condense her 30 years in just a few words would be impossible, some time spent with her packing some of her memories speaks volumes about the Gloria Campos most never knew.

The memories are all over her office.

'It was one of the most memorable moments of my career to work with Oprah,' Gloria said as she packed many of her photographs away.

Not one of those moments was taken for granted.

'It meant a lot to me to interview Marie Tippitt,' she said. And to know Gloria Campos is to know what she says, she means -- just one of the reasons she is so beloved in our newsroom.

So how will Gloria Campos put 30 years at Channel 8 behind her?

She says she's not sure yet and told that to the volumes of fans who flooded her phone lines on this, her last week. And while Gloria will miss the attention, it's something she never sought.

'Well it's nice. It beats the alternative -- to be told you suck!' Gloria said with a laugh. 'So yes, that's very humbling.'

And that is the Gloria we will miss. The humble, plain-spoken, fun-loving, humanitarian Gloria Campos.

Her favorite picture in her office is not of the luminaries and the famous, but of a young Mexican boy, asleep in the fields where he might work the rest of his life.

'I don't ever want to forget people like that because, that could have been me,' Gloria said.

And that's Gloria we all love. Not the one who reads the news, but the Gloria who was always inspired by it.

The one who for decades sacrificed her emotions and her time to finding parents for Wednesday's Child, 'because you know those kids gave me more than I could ever give them,' she said.

Gloria said she will miss that gift, and her partner, John McCaa, and the energy and camaraderie of the newsroom. But she said she'll have no regrets, believing instead in the possibilities of what lies ahead.

'I feel that after doing the news all these years, that there's still a lot that needs to be done in our world and I need to focus more on doing good and doing right than I need to be than getting my face on the news every night,' Gloria said.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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