I hear the conversations our stories start, and I witness the change we affect.
“I hear the conversations our stories start, and I witness the change we affect.”
Evan Harris

One last letter from the Editor: Thank you

In her last letter, Editor-in-Chief Christa Dutton reflects on her time at the Old Gold & Black.

I remember the first time I ever walked into the Old Gold & Black office. I was scared as hell. 

I had only written a handful of news stories, and I didn’t know anyone on staff. I didn’t even know Benson had a fifth floor. Someone showed me the ropes that night, and it gave me all the confidence I needed to see myself belonging there. My parting advice to my staff is to notice the people around you. Recognize that your skills and experience are a gift to pass on to others. As I often encourage you, leave this place better than you found it. 

That first night in the office, I learned how the paper was made. Stories were pored over by editors, carefully designed on the computers and then printed out to be “walled.” Stories pinned on the corkboard meant they were ready for publication. A few months later, I’d wall my first page as news editor. There was no better feeling to me, perhaps other than seeing my name on the top of the masthead. 

Being editor has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of my life. It’s rewarding in that I see the fruit of our collective labor. I hear the conversations our stories start, and I witness the change we affect. I see our publication’s content improve and gain more recognition. I watch nervous and insecure writers blossom into more confident journalists and people. The latter is always more important to me. 

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To me, the most fulfilling aspect of this job has been that it has strengthened my Christian faith, and in return, my faith has strengthened my leadership. A characteristic of God that spurs on my faith is His trustworthiness. Similarly, the pursuit of honesty and truth inspires my work in journalism.

A beloved Bible passage of mine is Philippians 4:8 — “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” That’s what this job is about — reporting what’s true in hopes of creating solutions toward a more admirable, excellent world. That world isn’t here yet. In the meantime, we tell the truth. 

Several people deserve a thank you for their support during my editorship. In this issue, you’ll read about my grandfather, one of the earliest influences on my love for writing. My last words to him were thank you. I’ll say it again now. Thank you. 

To my family, thank you for reading what I write. 

To my friends, thank you for bearing with me when the newspaper had to come first sometimes. Thank you for believing in me more than I believed in myself. 

To my fellow executive editors, thank you for being brilliant and leading the Old Gold & Black with tenacity. 

To the editorial board, thank you for being boundlessly creative and good at what you do. Thank you for making this work fun. 

To my adviser, Professor Phoebe Zerwick, thank you for your wisdom, advice and the home-cooked meals. 

To my predecessor, Connor McNeely, thank you for trusting me with the paper you brought to new heights. 

To my successor, Maddie Stopyra, you got this. 

To the readers of the Old Gold & Black, thank you for giving purpose to what we do. 

It’s sad to think these will be among the last words I write in the Old Gold & Black. This paper has given me a place to belong on campus, and it’s given me work that I love to do. It’s been an honor.

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    Margaret whiteDec 1, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    Another great article.