Last April when I was hired as the editor-in-chief of The Phoenix, I realized I’d be in charge for the paper’s 50th year.
That seemed like a lot of pressure: Taking charge of this storied student newspaper in the year of its golden anniversary.
How was I supposed to deal with that pressure!? What if I mess up and ruin the paper during this important year!?
Loyola’s original student paper, the Loyola News, folded in its 50th year, was The Phoenix doomed to repeat its fate?
I’m happy to report we’ve made it to April and there are no signs of The Phoenix crumbling in the last month of the semester.
While every issue of this year’s Phoenix has commemorated the birthday on the front page, we hadn’t had a proper celebration.
So, in the middle of this week’s issue of The Phoenix is an insert celebrating our 50th anniversary.
We had a lot of fun going through the archives — because we’re strange journalism nerds who love digging through old things.
The special insert includes some of our favorite stories, some of the most impactful stories and some of the srtrangest stories (I would recommend checking out the panty raid story we ran on the front page in the ‘70s).
And, if you’re interested in hearing us discuss the paper’s weird history, check out our podcast, The Byline.
While digging through the archives of the paper was a blast for all of us, we couldn’t have done it without the wonderful help from Loyola’s archives staff.
The two archivists, Kathy Young and Ashley Howdeshell, love old things just as much as we do and were incredibly helpful facilitating our dive through a half century of Loyola history.
As we went through the archives, I found myself thinking about the paper’s history just as I had when I took the job last year.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the 49 editors who came before me, the 49 Phoenix staffs who worked their butts off every Tuesday night to make sure the paper came out on Wednesday.
The 49 groups of people who formed lifelong bonds over the stressful, difficult, frustrating, amazing, fun, hairpulling, nailbiting, stomach wrenching and rewarding job The Phoenix is.
I’m glad I’ve been the shepherd of this paper for a year and I hope in 50 years our predecessors are reading my stories.
This week, News has a story about students with disabilities struggling with accessibility on campus.
Opinion has the Editorial Board’s view on the graduate student union’s fight to get recognized.
Arts & Entertainment has stories about Chicago’s Donut Fest, a milkshake bar and flavored water made by a suburban Chicago mom.
Sports has stories about the men’s volleyball team’s fight to make the NCAA Tournament and a column about the Cubs dismal start to the season (I can hit back, too, Nick).
We’ve got a great issue going into the archives this week, enjoy now or in 50 years.