Phoenix Farewells

Phoenix Farewells: Departing Staff Say Goodbye

Austin Hojdar | The PhoenixGraduating editors reflect on their time on the Phoenix during their last production night in the news room.

Editor-in-chief: Katie Anthony

I’ve written lots of stories for The Phoenix (139 to be exact) but this might be the hardest. I’ve been on The Phoenix as long as I’ve been in college, from a nervous first-year to accepting the job as editor-in-chief.

Taking on a nearly full-time job with low pay and high stakes on top of a full class-load might seem crazy, but somehow The Phoenix provided me with a sense of comfort these past four years — a lot of tears too, but I knew I was doing something meaningful with people who really cared.

People make The Phoenix. I’m lucky to graduate alongside my favorite journalists, who inspired me to be a better reporter and leader. I’ll miss our off-topic staff ed meetings, 2 a.m. productions, Whole Foods trips and excursions to the O. I’ll really miss the newsroom, our windowless little home in the basement of the SOC that we all treat as a second, shared apartment.  

To my fellow seniors, Leslie, Zack, Kayleigh, Leen, Amelia, Lu, Alec, Rylee and Paige: here’s to us! To the remaining staff members, Nicky and Fer, don’t mess up. 

Phoenix 4L.

Co-managing editor: Zack Miller

The Phoenix has been everything for me over the last three years so this is a pretty tough farewell. I really wouldn’t be anywhere without the people who came before me so this is dedicated to them.

I’m thankful The Phoenix let me write about all the bands no one knew even if all the name stylizations confused everyone. 

I want to thank Bob Herguth for challenging — and, at times, scaring me — into learning some of the toughest lessons in journalism. 

To my friends, whether you’re still on The Phoenix or not: thanks for riding the CTA with me, making me laugh when production night delirium starts and for braving the fast food establishments near campus (even if that means standing in a drive thru line). 

And a special shout out to Katie and Rylee for all they did to run things this year — I may be biased but I think we were the best to do it.

Co-managing editor: Rylee Tan

Courtesy of Rylee Tan

For the past three years, my life has revolved around The Phoenix. When I visited the college as a high school senior, I picked up a copy and made a promise to myself that I would join when I started to attend. Now here I am, my last time in the news room and most likely last time in a Loyola building. 

I’m not saying goodbye to Chicago — I still have at least a couple more years here — but I am saying goodbye to a paper that’s given me so much. I hope I was able to give The Phoenix as much as it gave me. I want to thank everyone on staff now and the writers for — ironically — keeping me sane as my final months at Loyola wind down. 

I know as much as I look forward to getting back my Tuesday nights, I know every time 5:00pm rolls around I’ll feel a pit of emptiness as I sit in my apartment, thinking back to my time here. I can’t wait to see what the next couple years have in store, but I’ll always look back on this time and think fondly and wish I could get just one more year. 

Thank you for everything, and good luck next year Nicky and Austin. 

News editor: Kayleigh Padar

I’ve officially finished my decade-long student newspaper career that started when I became an 11-year-old editor-in-chief of a tiny printer-paper publication. 

A hundred words isn’t enough to explain the way journalism has been my life force for even longer than I’ve loved One Direction. 

Just know the past four years I’ve spent working on The Phoenix have everything to do with who I am today — it’s how I found my voice, my therapist, my college family. 

To the twinks of this newspaper (and allies too), thank you for making our windowless newsroom a home I can bring my full self to. 

I’m crying on the floor of a space that won’t be ours in the morning, but at the same time, my phone has been set to a blissful do not disturb since our predecessors were named. 

My biggest comfort is seeing the people I helped mentor begin to grow into themselves the same way we had the privilege to — I cannot wait to watch them flourish. 

Even though it’s the end of the era, I’m honored to take a seat (and a breather) in The Phoenix’s corner forevermore. 

Co-assistant news editor: Leen Yassine

When I took on my first story as a naive but eager first-year, I didn’t know that joining the student paper would be the best decision I made during my time at Loyola.

Four years later, as I sit in the School of Communication’s room 009 for one last production night, I think about how I’ve probably spent just as much time in this basement as I did in the library studying. Maybe that’s because it’s pretty easy to lose track of time in the windowless little box that is our newsroom, but I’d also argue that being surrounded by my fellow Phoens and seemingly endless stacks of newspapers while laying out pages is the better option.

To the student journalists I’ve worked alongside over the last few years, as well as our faculty advisers Bob Herguth and Katie Drews, thank you.

A&E editor: Alec Karam

I’ve always been long-winded. So, saying goodbye in 150 words is virtually impossible. The Phoenix has been one of the most impactful experiences of my life. I spend almost every weekday under the fluorescent lights of our basement newsroom. 

As I sit here, I feel devastated. But I also feel proud of what we’ve accomplished. A&E oftentimes gets the shaft in journalism, but our section has consistently proven top-tier. 

Social media editor Leslie Owen just looked over my shoulder and laughed at “I feel devastated.” She said this should be funny, mission accomplished.

I love my fellow Phoens and I love “rendezvousing” with co-managing editor Rylee Tan to get food at 9 p.m. and drive people insane by leaving for seemingly forever. 

I often started my pages as late as possible, much to the chagrin of our editor-in-chief Katie Anthony. But that’s because I love it here. The night is changing, and we’re just going to have to change with it.

Assistant A&E editor: Paige Twenter

When I went to weeklong girl scout camp every summer, my mom would write me letters about how she already missed me and would mail them before I ever left. Saying goodbye to my Phoens before the end of the school year feels the same. 

I know I’m going to miss them, but it just hadn’t hit me yet.

It’s been a gift getting to meet with my 15 little ducks — how I refer to the A&E writers in my head — every Sunday afternoon to hear their wild story pitches and hot takes about on-campus dining. 

I’m so proud of the A&E cult Alec and I built this year. The only regret I have about graduating from college a year early is that I only got one year on staff, but I’m so excited to see the little ducks grow and join the editorial board.

Sports editor: Lu Calzada

Considering my final goodbye to the sports section is already up on The Phoenix’s website, I’ll try to keep this one short and sweet.

I often tell my friends Loyola Phoenix was the best decision I made in college, and it’s held true after four years at Loyola. I can’t imagine graduating without all the opportunities and experiences I’ve had here — let alone the lifelong friends I’ve made.

My biggest thank you goes out to my former editors who always believed in me and pushed me to keep improving and trying new things. I’m eternally grateful for all the times they encouraged me to do things I didn’t think I could. Special shoutout in particular to Abby Schnable, without whom I wouldn’t be the journalist I am today. 

To everyone else who I could go on forever about — staff advisors such as Bob Herguth, my fellow sports editor Amelia Ickes and everyone in between — know that I’m ever appreciative of your impact on my life. 

The Phoenix and the people I’ve met here will forever hold a special place in my heart. Best of luck to the future residents of COMM 009 and the best section of all — sports. 

Co-assistant sports editor: Amelia Ickes

I feel like I’ve said goodbye a billion times at this point, but I’ll never pass up an opportunity for a silly little sentimental moment or the chance to say thank you. 

I’ve grown so much this year and the Phoenix has seen me through a lot of it. That is thanks to so many people, and you’ll find a bunch of them in the basement of the SOC. To my friends on staff, you rock. 

I also want to thank my advisors for Rambler Sports Locker, who are also massive supporters of Loyola student media, in print. Jessica Brown, Eleni Prillaman and Jim Collins have believed in me from day one and I am so grateful. 

Social media and engagement editor: Leslie Owen

This was my first and last year on The Phoenix. Well, sort of. I technically wrote restaurant reviews for A&E for a month during my sophomore year but we don’t talk about that. 

I wasn’t a total newcomer though, my roommate of almost four years is the (former?) editor-in-chief of The Phoenix, the one and only Katie Anthony. For three years of my life, I knew the ins and outs of The Phoenix without being on staff. I like to say I was forced onto the paper because hearing about everything through Katie made me feel like I was already on it. 

Joining The Phoenix as social media editor was probably one of the best decisions I have made — I discovered a passion for social media through the freedom that the position gave me and I’m forever grateful for that.

The Phoenix’s newsroom is my safe space; I’ve spent more time in the basement of the SOC than I have probably in my own apartment. 

I can’t wait to see what exciting things The Phoenix’s social media does next (maybe TikTok…?).

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