Collegian celebrates 100 volumes

by Breanna Adamick

This academic year, The Collegian staff is recognizing something very meaningful: our 100th volume of this newspaper. Beginning with this issue and concluding with our final issue of Spring 2023, we will have a full 100 volumes of Collegian newspapers skillfully thought out and created by past and present Greensboro College students.

Back in 1926, the first volume of The Collegian was created entirely in the spring semester of that year, with a full nine issues. While a typical volume of The Collegian spans both the fall and spring semesters – encapsulating a full academic year – there were a couple instances over the years where a previous Collegian staff did things differently. So, while The Collegian is on its 100th volume this school year, it is not quite the 100th year of The Collegian’s existence just yet. In 1926, the staff listed five editors with slightly different positions, such as associate editor, contributing editor, social editor, humor editor and typist editor, with the editor-in-chief heading them up. Four reporters were listed on staff as well, with a “business staff” of two. Those 12 members were running the newspaper for Greensboro College when it began in 1926, not counting the two faculty advisors. Today, we typically have a few editors at a time and the majority of our staff are writers, photographers, a few cartoon artists, and web team and social media editors.

The Collegian staff of 1926-27, the first year of the newspaper’s existence.

Being a small school, organizations typically consist of fewer people than an outsider might realize, and The Collegian is no exception. We now have a staff that trends towards about double the size it was in 1926, undoubtedly largely due to the increased student count today versus then, but with the amount of work to be done, that number is still relatively little. Whatever size staff we have had, however, The Collegian has been consistently putting out poignant and purposeful issues throughout its many years.

Since The Collegian first began, several features and stylistic touches have been added and altered, or altogether removed. The Collegian physical archive is stored and well-maintained in Main Building by Director of Advancement Services Elena Henry. Most noticeably, when looking back upon those long-ago issues, there is a distinct lack of photographs or graphics compared to today, which is natural due to the vast technological differences between then and now. Articles were also arranged in tight rows along the pages, some quite long, and others mere sentences.

The volume 1, number 1 of The Collegian in 1926.

There are obvious differences when observing our newspaper today versus back then, but for this 100th volume we decided to pay tribute with a few stylistic alterations. That is why, on the cover, the header departs from our usual design — we are emulating the look of some of the issues from volume one in 1926.

Despite any and all changes The Collegian has undergone, the purpose and ideals of our student newspaper have not changed. We are a publication created by the students, for the students, and for our Greensboro community. We are dedicated to keeping our community informed and committed to bettering it, and ourselves, through creativity and hard work.

In this way, our mission closely aligns with that of our school. We are all aware of the impressive age of our school, and at least partially knowledgeable of its history. Our beloved Greensboro College has been a staple of this city since the mid 1800s, providing welcoming refuge, higher learning and community for all these years. 100 years ago in 1922, Greensboro College remained an all-female college—it did not open its doors to male students until 1956. As such, for the first three decades of its existence, The Collegian staff consisted solely of women editors and reporters at the time.

In our Collegian archives, we still have our very first issue from when The Collegian began in 1926. Like today, topics and content varied between hard news and lighter stories, but over the many years of the newspaper, some very important and well-known topics have been discussed in the pages.

Among these were a beautifully worded speech by GC English professor Dr. John H. Long in November of 1963, days after President Kennedy’s assassination.

“What significance are we thus enabled to perceive in tragedy? Much, no doubt, beyond my ability to know or to express. But certainly we learn that evil begets evil, and that violent deeds weave a web of agony until the catastrophe provides a scene of destruction in which the tragic hero is overwhelmed or becomes a sacrifice, the gods are appeased, and the plague is lifted from the city. We have watched, silent spectators, the murder of a foreign newspaper reporter in Oxford, Mississippi, the assassination of a lonely demonstrator walking the highway of Alabama, the slaughter of the innocents in a church in Alabama, the assassination of Medgar Evers, again in Alabama, and now, finally, I trust, the assassination of the President of the United States and two other human beings, in Dallas, Texas. What a stench in the nostrils of the gods! What a pollution in our land!”

And in 2001, an extra insert was printed which included an article by staff writer Kevin Eagan that detailed the effects of the terror and tragedy 9/11 had across our nation and in North Carolina the day of the attack.

“As GC students begin a new day, having had a full night to digest and reflect on the tragedies of Tuesday, America is alive. Americans have been violated, and, while Tuesday’s tragedies will live in the minds of the victims, the victims’ families and all Americans, the nation will move forward, seeking out those people responsible for the attacks and, if necessary, retaliating. Life will go on, and freedom will remain intact.”

Although we are a small college and the reach of our news may not be so vast as many others, our voice has remained strong and steadfast throughout our history as a college, and the history of our nation.

Looking back 100 years, it can be startling to encounter some of the similarities to events that we are facing today. The most obvious example would be the 1918 influenza pandemic and our own 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. From that, there have been economic and social impacts upon society – recessions, inflation, unemployment – that do not apply only to the time periods, but rather repeat themselves throughout our history.

Through such circumstances and difficult situations, news sources mainly seek to inform their readers or listeners, but to also uplift them when possible. We may be small here at Greensboro College and The Collegian, but we are no less involved and interested in our community’s, and the world’s, welfare. We will continue to serve our school and community for many more wonderful years to come.

This year, especially, we remember and give thanks to all those writers, editors and contributors who came before us to help make The Collegian what it is today. To my fellow staff members currently, your hard work, creativity and dedication is all too evident. You too have made this newspaper a crucial cornerstone of Greensboro College history and a valuable addition to our tight-knit community.

Here’s to 100 volumes of our student newspaper!

Words from past Collegian staff.

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