What a journey it’s been

Article 282: Farewell, my friends


Amy DeVault

Members of The Sunflower staff pose with certificates earned at the Kansas Collegiate Media conference, held last month in Wichita. The staff collected 42 awards at the conference.

So, here it is. The one thing I have dreaded my entire collegiate career: my goodbye column for The Sunflower.

Ever since I found out about this tradition, the idea of writing a goodbye column has terrified me. I have thought, many times, about how to write it, but I’ve never truly known what to write until I sat down to type this out.

This has been an incredible adventure. I walked into the newsroom in late July 2012, hoping to get a job. Luckily for me, the editor at the time was feeling generous and he hired me Aug. 1, 2012. Four-and-ahalf years and, with this column, 282 stories later, I could never have dreamed what would happen.

I never in a million years thought I’d be The Sunflower’s editor-in-chief. Yet, I decided to go for it and the Board of Student Publications chose me to serve in the role for the 2014-15 school year. Although being a manager was difficult, it was important for me to take that step. I did not take it lightly and I hope I served this newspaper and campus well.

Fortunately, the two editors who succeeded me were kind enough to let me stay around and continue to report and copy edit stories. We’ve had, for lack of a better term, a crazy last two years with all of the news on this campus. I am so proud of how things have been handled and the work completed by my fellow student journalists.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t call out a number of my colleagues, both past and present, and thank them for what they have done for me. I’d love to thank every person individually, but I doubt we have the room for that. Instead, here is a call out of 15 staff members, who have meant the most to me during my tenure.

Austin Colbert for taking a chance and hiring me.

Liz Simmons for welcoming me warmly to the staff and agreeing to be one of my book editors.

Ishi Regier for being as into this job as me and for liking all of my bad jokes about news.

Kathleen Martin for teaching me how to lead the paper.

Jake Trease for staying on as managing editor when I took over as editor and for working so well with me.

Ann Hoskinson for sharing my love of writing and being such a great listener.

Kevin Brown for reminding me to always find humor in situations.

Shelby Reynolds for keeping me sane during big news nights.

James Kellerman for becoming sports editor after just a month of working here and for all the laughs.

Sean Jones for being a wonderful colleague in advertising while I was editor.

Jillian Clough for making so many of my visual ideas come to life with beautiful designs.

Sarah Carlson for being my favorite fellow copy editor and almost birthday twin.

Evan Pflugradt for having a wicked sense of humor.

Chance Swaim for showing me the power of great investigative reporting.

Andrew Linnabary for letting me pass on some of my knowledge to another rising star and for being such a great friend.

Two people vital to The Sunflower I also have to thank are Robbie Norton and Amy DeVault. Robbie, thank you for the many chats in your office and for keeping the newsroom together. Amy, thanks for helping me grow as a reporter, student, editor and person.

To the readers, I got into this job to serve you. You may not have always agreed with my coverage, but thank you for reading all of the stories and for sharing your thoughts.

This is difficult. I hate having to say goodbye, but I will certainly be keeping track of what’s to come.

I leave The Sunflower in great hands. These student journalists will serve you well and I cannot wait to see where they take this newspaper.

So, my friends, until next time, I bid you farewell.