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I never really understood how anyone could love print journalism. And then I saw my first copy of The Lawrence.
I had never considered journalism as something that would pique my interest, but there was something about seeing the professional-looking edition fresh out of the Father’s Building on Friday. I loved the feel it, and I admired the way the content accurately reflected both campus-relevant content as well as my peer’s opinions. I immediately realized that this was something I wanted to be a part of.
I was so eager, in fact, that I didn’t wait for anyone to correct my first assumption that Sam Coggeshall (’08), the then-Opinions Editor, was a teacher of some sort the first time I saw him: The first email I sent him expressing my interest in writing was politely addressed to “Mr. Coggeshall.” Nonetheless, he offered me the opportunity to write, and I spent hours carefully constructing a piece that frankly, I can’t remember. What I do recall, however, is the pride I felt when I saw my work in print.
There was no denying it: I had been bitten by the journalism bug. Over my next two years, I took pride in writing for both Arts and the Opinions section. As welcoming as Lawrenceville is to newcomers with the house system and round Harnkess tables, I only really felt like I found a home away from home when I saw my byline in The Lawrence’s Helvetica typeface. I belonged on the paper. I belonged in print.
One of the highlights of my Lawrentian career was a phone call John Ezekowitz (’09) on a warm evening of my junior spring. I was walking in front of Memorial Hall, and my hands shook as I answered. John told me I would be the Opinions editor of The Lawrence for my senior year, and I couldn’t have been more excited. Little did I know how much the year-long term would mean for me later.
My tenure as an editor was challenging in more ways than I anticipated, but the trials, triumphs and relationships I cultivated in Pop B-13 are some of the memories that made my time at Lawrenceville invaluable. Aside from the unforgettable companionship of my peers, the lasting relationships I formed with History Master Larry Filipone, English Master Sandra Rabin, English Master Gus Hedberg and, Latin Master-Emeritus Ed Robbins impacted my life more powerfully than I would have ever thought. I wouldn’t have been able to get through my term as a section editor without their support, and I’ll never forget some of the moments and stories we all shared.
It seemed like an abrupt truncation of a term, therefore, when I found myself calling P. Nash Jenkins (’11) just a year later to give him the same news. The end of my term as Opinions editor for The Lawrence foreshadowed graduation. It was the end of an era, and I would take from it leadership skills, editing experience and fond memories with me to Georgetown University.
I assumed that everything would change when I arrived to college, but the truth is not a lot did: I jumped right into an assistant opinion editor position at The Hoya, Georgetown’s newspaper of record, where I quickly advanced to be in charge of the entire section. Suddenly, all the lessons I learned in the basement of the Father’s building became the foundation for my work on the paper that prints every Tuesday and every Friday. Though I’ve come a long way in terms of my writing, editing and staff management, all of these skills depend upon what I learned with the 128th staff.
Andrew Toporoff, our Editor-in-Chief, (’10) wrote the column Multumque Unum for The Hoya’s Opinion section under my leadership this past fall. I accidentally collided with Anna Flickinger (’10), our Art editor, while running on the Potomac. I called Kat Zhang (’10), one of our two Executive editors, to discuss leadership tactics for editorial boards as she now steps into the role of Chair for the Duke Chronicle. And Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without having Aileen Yeung (’10), former News editor, join my family over the November holiday.
During my time at Lawrenceville, I thought that The Lawrence represented the standard for all high-school journalism. It’s an amazing paper that gives students the base they need to move on to bigger newspapers in college and (fingers crossed) beyond. But after I graduated, I realized that The Lawrence is more than a newspaper: For me, it was the catalyst to learning what I love and building some of the most valuable friendships of my time.
- Katherine Foley ’10 (Opinions Editor Emeritus)