I’ve always been bad at goodbyes, but this one is especially difficult.
The Sandspur is closely tied to my identity as a Rollins student. In my first year, I eagerly volunteered to write articles during our staff meetings at Olin Library. In my sophomore year, I huddled inside our makeshift office in Elizabeth Morse Hall and edited InDesign files. In my junior year, I served as Managing Editor—remotely and during lockdown. And now, as a soon-to-be-graduate, I have worked alongside Trinidee Mercado, in our new office in Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, to revamp our paper and increase on-campus transparency.
Since my freshman year, I have written over 50 articles, reporting on on-campus issues like accessibility, construction, CAPS updates, financial aid, elections, and fundraising campaigns. How can I possibly write a short letter that both acknowledges my four years of journalistic work and the work of this year’s incredible staff?
We accomplished so much this year. Just one of them was improving The Sandspur’s relationships with administration and staff. We worked closely with many on-campus leaders, including President Grant Cornwell, Vice President Donna Lee, Vice President Micki Meyer, the Student Government Association, and others. I am grateful for numerous on-campus mentors who helped us work toward a common goal: putting students first.
Our reporters are a strong, passionate group dedicated to keeping the student body informed. Last month, The Sandspur won its first-ever Gold Medalist Critique from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and three of our writers received Gold Circle Awards. Not to mention our readership more than doubled this year.
Because of The Sandspur, I will graduate knowing I made a difference. As I pass the torch to Trinidee, I am confident I am leaving the paper in the hands of someone who cares about making a difference. Trinidee, I know you will continue this year’s momentum and lead The Sandspur staff effectively and empathetically. I am so proud of how well we fostered a positive working environment for our staff, making extra efforts to encourage and express gratitude when we felt it.
Jack Kelly and Peyton Poitras, our assigning editors this year, are superstars. Peyton, you will be a wonderful Managing Editor in the fall.
I have watched The Sandspur adapt to many changes over the years. Now it is my turn to adapt to a world outside of The Sandspur. I look forward to applying the last four years to the professional world and beyond.