Going into the Flat Hat office Monday night, I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. It was my last night as Editor-in-Chief. At last, I could get back on a regular sleeping schedule. Every time it rained and the Campus Center basement flooded, I would no longer have to worry about computers frying. New e-mail alerts on my phone would stop interrupting me every five minutes. And I’d actually get the chance to once again have the normal College of William and Mary experience — thirsty Thursdays included.
Still, as I was leaving the office — long quieted after the paper had been put to bed it dawned on me that this would be my last time walking out those doors. And I have to admit, I felt the pang of nostalgia. This has certainly been an exhausting experience, but every second of it has been worthwhile.
If the time you put into things at all reflects your commitment to them, I guarantee you will not find a more dedicated group of students than your Flat Hat staff. These men and women, continually working to bring you news even outside our twice-weekly production nights that reach into the wee hours of the morning — do it all without any compensation and with little recognition. They sacrifice their days and nights, their social schedules and sometimes even their grades all for the thrill of being a part of this award-winning newspaper and contributing to the campus conversation. Every single person is here because they are passionate about what they do.
This year, the 100th volume of The Flat Hat, was a big year for the paper. In addition to centennial celebrations, we successfully launched our new interns program, expanded drastically in our use of
multimedia, amped up the aesthetic feel of the paper, and had compelling coverage in every single section.
I would like to thank my friends and colleagues on staff who made every bit of it possible.
Managing Editor Matt Poms ’11 has been my right hand man during the last 12 months He has pushed the News and Sports sections to be their best and worked extensively behind the scenes to help keep the paper running smoothly, and our coverage professional. I owe him my personal gratitude as well, when he was, on several occasions, willing to step up for me and help shoulder the responsibilities of editorship.
Executive Editor Russ Zerbo ’11 undertook a tremendous responsibility this spring, stepping up from Online
Editor after Jess Gold ’10 graduated this past December. Both Russ and Jess performed admirably in their roles as Executive Editor. With their experience in Opinions and Variety, respectively, Russ and Jess led those sections through tremendous growth over the course of the year. Both should be lauded as well for keeping the office calm with their tremendous senses of humor and wit when it might otherwise have been tense.
We were fortunate this year to have several seniors leading sections and playing pivotal roles in the paper, bringing along their extensive experience.
News Editor Ian Brickey ’11 deserves serious kudos for tackling the News section — arguably the most difficult and time-relevant section of the paper — solo last spring. When he was joined in the fall by Chris Weidman ’11, the two formed a dynamic duo who radically revamped the section, taking the efficiency of its production to new levels, completing their section often hours before editors in the past, myself included, had been able to finish.
Sam Sutton ’11 helped the News section tremendously as the paper’s Chief Staff Writer. With a sharp eye for investigative journalism and a passion for the craft, he sought out stories where others might not think to look, and he quickly taught new writers the ins and outs of professional-quality writing.
Sports Editor Jack Lambert ’11 brought his vast knowledge and connections within the athletic world to help bring insightful features and fantastic stories to the section.
Caitlin Fairchild ’11, the paper’s first Art Director, helped with the paper’s push for more compelling layouts and graphics.
Photo Editor Melissa McCue ’11 brought her keen artistic eye week in and week out.
Katie Lee ’11, a long-term member of The Flat Hat’s Copy staff and Copy Chief for the past three years, has continually improved the paper’s quality through extensive knowledge of both Associated Press and Flat Hat style. Her comedic relief and delicious baked goods will be missed as well.
Kelsey Weissgold ’11, our Business Manager, led the absolutely essential task of maintaining the paper’s production by bringing in ad revenue, taking over the section her freshman year during one of the paper’s worst financial crises, and turning it around completely, even bringing in a net gain of funds last year.
Maggie Reeb ’11 served as the paper’s first Staff Resources Manager, helping develop the intern program and working behind the scenes with recruitment efforts.
Olivia Walch’s ’11 remarkably witty, poignant and well-drawn cartoons have graced the paper since her freshman year. Though Allison Tse ’11 only joined this year, her cartoons have rapidly become a staple of the paper. Both will be missed.
Stephanie Paone ’11 has contributed to the paper greatly with her photoshop talents.
Kevin Mooney ’11 rose through the ranks from a columnist to the paper’s Editorial Writer. His editorials, some of the finest in years, were able to take what were often muddled discussions amongst our editorial board and extract precisely the message the board was trying to convey, with strong writing.
While many seniors will be leaving, a remarkable staff stands ready to take the reigns of the paper. The next 53 issues will be theirs to cover in this ever-changing school. The short turnaround time between issues will certainly keep them on their feet, but I have faith that they will approach their work with the highest standards to produce a paper worthy of The Flat Hat’s name and history.
For the first time, a trio of editors will take over for the news section. The greater numbers will allow Ariel
Cohen ’14, Matt Giattino ’14 and Vanessa Remmers ’12 the flexibility to expand the paper’s news potential with both online and print stories. Chris McKenna ’12 will offer his remarkable talent for reporting as the section’s Senior News Writer.
Elizabeth DeBusk ’13 continues on staff as Opinions Editor. Her quiet wit and outright dedication have served the paper well this year, leading to a tremendous page showcasing a wide cross section of student views. The paper is lucky to continue to have her.
Variety Editors Katie Demeria ’13 and Katherine Chiglinsky ’14 will provide a fresh perspective on arts and culture at the College. The section will thrive under their leadership and I look forward to seeing their new ideas.
Jared Foretek ’14 joins staff as the paper’s Sports Editor. He has rapidly proven both his dedication to the paper and raw talent, and will continue the section’s tradition of phenomenal coverage.
Walter Hickey ’12 will return as Online Editor. Walter took over for Russ midway through last semester and has been improving our online presence ever since.
Michelle Gabro ’13 remains as Photo Editor. She proved her commitment earlier this year when she was asked to step up from an associate to the section editor. Not only did photos thrive under her careful watch, but even expanded. She has rapidly learned the ins and outs of photojournalism, and I can only see the paper’s visual elements improve.
Alex Cooper ’13 rises from Associate Opinions Editor to The Flat Hat’s Editorial Writer. I have full faith he will maintain the quality of this essential part of the paper.
Rachel Pulley ’13 and Allison Hicks ’14 will remain cartoonists for the Opinions section. Their style and humor have seen incredible growth this year, and will continue to be valuable additions to the staff..
Stephanie Hubbard ’13 remains as Copy Chief and is joined by Kate Hoptay ’13, who has quickly learned the joys of ensuring that stories are readable.
Ellie Kaufman ’13 will move from Variety Editor to Chief Staff Writer, bringing her excellent ideas and vast experience in writing both features and News’ stories to help lead the writing team and train new staff members.
To oversee this fantastic staff, Becky Koenig ’12 steps up from Associate News Editor to Managing Editor, and Jill Found ’13 comes from Variety Editor to Executive. Becky’s extensive knowledge of news and the goings on of the campus, city and state will come in handy to ensure the paper maintains its standards of quality. Jill, an active contributor on Editorial Board, and with experience in both news and variety, will thrive as she looks over the columns and stories of Opinions and Variety.
To lead them all, I am proud to announce former Sports Editor Mike Barnes ’13 as my successor. Time and time again he has shown his dedication to the paper. His work with sports this year has led to some of its most interesting stories, and his talents with design and layout were appreciated by nearly all sections. Continually offering new ideas for both features and the paper’s organization, Mike will push his staff to new, previously unseen heights. He has lofty goals for the paper and I, for one, cannot wait to see where he can take them.