A wise, chubby yellow bear with a love for fine honey once said something that makes sense of goodbyes.
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
This week, I say goodbye to The Murray State News and all of its people.
I’ve designed 44 front pages, 14 special sections and one 52-page annual magazine. I’ve held weekly meetings with three different Murray State presidents. I quit counting my bylines on TheNews.org after 40. I’ve covered Board of Regents meetings, Murray State volleyball, budget issues, smoking bans, track and field, football, a presidential search, a contract nonrenewal and that’s just skimming the surface.
I’ve spent full 24-hour periods in the newsroom. I’ve napped on my futon (which isn’t comfortable, by the way). I’ve been screamed and cussed at, and I’ve been hugged and thanked.
I’ve laid on the floor with Kayla MacAllister, our chief copy editor and one of my best friends, and I’ve cried out of stress, anger and laughter.
I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough. I’ve been told I didn’t know what I was doing. And I’ve been told I’m a great editor. Whatever the truth may be, I know this room with no windows and impressively stuffy indoor conditions has changed my life.
I’ve worked at The News since the end of my freshman year and I’m so thankful for the experience and the people who have passed through the glass doors on the first floor of Wilson Hall.
I want to take a little bit of space and ink to thank the people who have supported me the most.
Kyser Lough and Joe Hedges have guided me, listened to me complain and calmed me down on many occasions. Kyser, especially, has genuinely played the devil’s advocate when I needed it the most, and has provided life lessons I’ll always carry with me.
Orville Herndon is the most reliable and hard-working staff member I’ve worked with. He’s helped every time I’ve hugged our printer at 2 a.m., praying it will come to life or every time I’ve screamed from Quark crashing. I’ve never said thank you enough.
Austin Ramsey is more of a role model than he’ll ever know. As the editor-in-chief before me, he set the standards for excellence at The News. He knows the importance of strong writing, of community and of the people in the newsroom. He has more courage than most people I’ve met in my life.
Rebecca Walter is one of my best friends, and has been for many years. Since we were kids, running around the halls of St. Paul Lutheran Church, we’ve always been strong personalities. She’s been my roommate twice, listened to my rants after a long day at work and is a passionate, dedicated news editor.
I also have to thank Ricky Martin – (no, not “Living La Vida Loca”) – a former sports editor at The News and The Murray Ledger & Times. He is the first person I called when considering changing my major to journalism. He’s always been there to celebrate my victories and let me know when my ego was growing too large. Of course I want to thank the rest of the staff who has been here since I have – none of what we do would be possible without you. From the laughter to the threats of quitting, I’ve appreciated every single one of you.
And the University staff – Don Robertson, Catherine Sivills, Dana Howard, Jay Morgan and so many others – you understand and appreciate the role of college media. Nothing is more important to us.
So, as I empty out my little office and hand my key over to incoming Editor-in-Chief Mary Bradley, I hope you all know how much this has meant. And I hope you give her a smooth ride.
I’ll miss The News and Murray State when I’m in Chicago this winter and wherever I go from there. But you will all be just fine without me.
Column by Lexy Gross, Editor in Chief