Senior montage

ReAnne Utemark

I never thought I would be writing my farewell editorial, which is completely illogical because one’s tenure as editor in chief can only last so long. I am sure that most of the seniors are going through a retrospective phase as graduation looms. I just get 500 words to wax poetic in the newspaper. One of the perks of the job, I think.

That said, as you are reading this on Monday, I will have been the chief editor for close to 60 issues of the Washburn Review, and I have been on the editorial board for close to 90. I am proud of the work we did, and I am honored to have served on staff with many wonderful, hard working students who honestly care about student media and the future of journalism. To all of those who worked with me on student publications: thanks, I learned more from you than I ever thought possible. I hope you have enjoyed this time as much as I have. We have won national awards and, this year, became one of the best newspapers in Kansas – officially!

I would not have had such great success without the support system of wonderful professors who genuinely care about students. One of the things I love about Washburn is the professors who care about students and education. I took a class with a business professor during my freshman year. To this day, he recognizes me and says hello. That has so greatly impacted me because it reinforces to me that students don’t get lost in the crowd at Washburn. They are provided with the tools and opportunities to excel. On the flip side, the students who don’t appreciate these opportunities and waste them piss me off. Your time at a university is some of the most important time you will ever have. Jump in, engage and soak up every minute.

I cherish my Washburn experience. I have traveled the world, learned valuable skills, met lifelong friends and the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. Those experiences are available for those who take them.

I hope my university does not screw this up. Washburn University is great – don’t be afraid of saying that. We are not a community college branch of KU and we are not second best to K-State. I know that times are tough and might get tougher. As a 22-year-old kid, I know little about budgets and university administration. Sure, everyone is tired of talking about it, but if we stop talking about it, we are just going to stagnate. What I do know, however, is that I want this university to maintain its momentum. I want students to stop being so apathetic and I want university officials who actually care about students and academics – the two things that a university is actually about. It’s not about making money, contrary to popular belief. The business model may have worked for AIG and Chrysler…oh. Wait…nevermind.

As some parting wisdom:

Everyone should take at least a couple of history classes. There is no substitute for understanding history. It is through history that you understand the present and the future. Also, it will just make you the smartest person in the room.

To the members of history department, who were always ready with support and a swift kick in the shorts when I needed it: thank you. I learned so much from all of you.

To Josh, Eric, Nicole and the rest of the upcoming staff: you will do great things. Don’t get bogged down, and don’t do something because “that’s how we’ve always done it.”

To Andrew R., Travis, Chris, Shalyn, Andrew D. and the rest of my fellow outgoing seniors from history and student publications: good luck, I feel so lucky to have known you and worked with you. You are all so extraordinarily talented and I look forward to hearing about what you accomplish.

To the greater Washburn community: thank you for my Washburn experience.