Dear Mount Community,
My heart is breaking as I’m trying to figure out how to say “see you later” to this wonderful place. I can’t thank the staff of The Mountain Echo enough for their love and dedication over the past four years. You mean absolutely everything to me.
First, allow me to reflect on my experience with the Echo for a moment. I fell into being a reporter completely by accident, having been told by Professor Egan that it would be a good opportunity for a pre-law student. I added the Echo to my resume, and started to write without giving it another thought. Quickly, I became astonished by the newsroom, and the perseverance required on my part to actually be good at this—the first article I wrote was absolutely horrible (thank God for good editors).
Junior year, I became news editor, where I worked alongside Ryan Golden, a managing editor who left enormous shoes to fill. As an editing staff, we faced more challenges in the 2015-2016 year than I think any student newspaper ever expects to face. We did nothing but support and encourage each other, enabling each other to turn the Echo into something that the community can be proud of. We took all of the adversities that we encountered, and became resilient in the face of hardships.
This year, as managing editor, it’s bewildering to think that when I joined years ago, it was just for a resume builder. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.
I have been pushed to my limits, I have been questioned, I have been complimented and I have been criticized. I have learned to take responsibility for my own actions, and to lead others to do the same. I have developed passions I never knew existed, and have fostered the absolute best relationships. More than anything, I have fallen in love with my work.
Being a reporter or photographer for the Echo is one of the most underrated roles on campus. This staff works so incredibly hard every single day, with every piece they work on and every word they choose to include. Their passion drives the Echo’s mission. I have no doubts at all that Louis Lawrence will be able to lead the team to even greater success as Managing Editor for the 2017-2018 school year.
When this letter comes out, I will have 24 days left. That’s it. As sad as I am to leave Mary’s Mountain, I know that it’s time, and that the Mount has prepared me in ways I never thought I’d be prepared. I don’t want to go, but I know that I’m ready.
The Mount has so much that I will miss. From grilled cheese bar and Thanksgiving sandwiches, to sounding terrible at Karaoke nights, to stargazing on Echo field. Crab fries at Ott’s, hiking to Indian Lookout, and, of course, screaming until we lose our voices at basketball games. From fist-bumping Dr. Rehm in the halls, to being the most annoying student in the world to Dr. Field and Dr. Hansen, to hundreds of advising meets with Dr. Buck. I will cherish even these smallest occurrences forever.
It’s been a wild ride over the past four years.
I would be remiss if I did not include a series of “thank yous” to a few special people on this campus:
To Professor Egan, the faculty advisor to the Echo at the beginning of my Mount career. Thank you so much for pushing me to always be the best that I can be. Thank you for trusting me, and having faith in me, even in my darkest times at the Mount. Thank you for helping me to harvest my passion for writing.
To Dr. Kumar, thank you for stepping in when the Echo needed guidance most, and for teaching us to always be resilient in reporting. Your unwavering encouragement is something I will never forget. I am so lucky to have been able to learn from you.
To the 2016-2017 editing staff: Louis Lawrence, Jillian Doyle, Kayla Barrett, Tom Hand, Victoria Barry, Sarah Bomberger and Michelle Whissel. I could not have possibly done it without you. You are the most hard working, dedicated, destined-to-succeed individuals I have ever met. I am honored to have worked by your side.
To the 2016-2017 staff as a whole, I could not have asked for a better group of people to spend the past year with. I always knew that I could count on you for literally any task that I asked of you. You are the heart and soul of this publication.
To President Trainor, I thank you for your trust. I thank you for your encouraging nature in a time when student journalism needed it most.
To the entire Mount community, I am speechless. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to you. You have truly changed me, made me a better person and made me recognize what my values are and how to stand for them.
What a wonderful place this is.
With the utmost sincerity,
2016-2017 Managing Editor