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Senior Send-off: David Friedlander
Leave it better than you found it
The people of The Chronicle gave me a community, responsibility and trust. Nearly four years ago, I walked from my absurdly hot room in Ledges to SC225 in the student center for my first Chronicle meeting (SC225 now houses Starbucks Coffee). I joined the news team and tackled my first assignment, a feature on the newly-elected freshman class president. After doing my first interviews and pulling together the information into one cohesive article, my story was published on the front page of the newspaper. I became obsessed with the process.
Every Tuesday night thereafter, at 9:15 p.m., I was at The Chronicle meetings. I saw the way that the then-Editor commanded the room and guided meetings with effortless poise. I saw how his confidence drove the section editors, and it made us, the staff, feel like our work was powerful. We were writing the “first rough draft of history,” as former Washington Post President and Publisher Philip L. Graham famously said.
Three years and 81 issues later, I was the senior at the front of the room with my name at the top of the masthead. Every Tuesday night, nearly 50 incredible people stop what they are doing and come to the meeting to improve and contribute to the organization. This is in addition to the endless hours and late nights that they spend working on their articles, photographs and designs.
I have always said that there is something truly remarkable about a student who chooses to get involved in student media. These are the people who do their coursework each day and think, “This isn’t enough.” They seize opportunities and build networks on campus that I would argue are unparalleled, and for those who are staff members on The Chronicle, I am extremely thankful. Thank you for expressing your ideas, showing your dedication and welcoming accountability that would scare so many away.
To the editorial board, thank you for your supreme dedication every week. It has been a true honor to work alongside each of you, and to watch how each of you develop as leaders. Many of you are staying on the editorial board for next year, and I know that you will take our staff and content to new heights. Thank you for challenging me, supporting our organization and being assertive role models for the staff.
To our loyal readers, thank you for allowing The Chronicle into your life and depending on us for the truth. We strive to earn your reliance and trust as we navigate the ever-changing media landscape.
As a student media leader in college, I only had one year to leave the organization better than I found it. I honestly believe, along with the phenomenal team of editors, writers, designers and photographers, that we did that.