Layla M. Halterman firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ursinus Family,
When dipping my toes into the waters of journalism, I could have never predicted that it would change the trajectory of my life. When I was first introduced to the entire Grizzly team, I can assure you I was not looking for a new and demanding role.
After, I guess, months of proving myself, Doron and the graduating Editor-in-Chief at the time, Simra Mariam ‘21, took a leap of faith and promoted me from writer to head Editor.
I was a budding writer. What did I know about running a full-fledged newspaper? But I agreed to take the position anyway even though I didn’t know much about what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I was offered a seat on a rocket ship and that I’d figure out how to fly it later.
It turned out to be the best adventure I’ve ever taken. And ever since then, I felt called to turn this paper into a publication that the Bear community could rely on in times of both good and bad.
Like any leadership position, it was no small feat. The late nights, the layout meetings when InDesign would not cooperate, the countless emails that flooded my inbox daily, and the stress of continuous weekly deadlines while keeping up with the demands of my regular course load.
But the satisfaction overtook much of the stress. I am so tremendously proud of all we’ve achieved, the stories we’ve delivered – even the difficult ones, the close-knit culture we’ve fostered, and the connections and trust we’ve acquired from the campus community and beyond. But I’m especially proud that we were able to use the discipline of journalism in a thoughtful and compelling manner to reach a lot of people, inspiring others to be bold and unafraid – to speak their minds even if that means standing alone.
Now, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I am not entirely sure what the future will bring and have discovered that no one truly is. I do know that it will include taking advantage of much-needed downtime – at least until the fall. I’m learning to find comfort in the unknown, to be okay with not having life all figured out.
Over the next couple of days, there will be a transition. I know for a fact I’ve left you in competent hands as Marie Sykes ‘24 will put their hat into the ring.
Thank you to my team – both writers and editors – for inspiring me every day with their commitment to our mission of telling the truth and amplifying voices. There is certainly no “I” in Team, so I seriously could not have done any of this without their unfailing support, devotion, and hard work. It truly takes a village to accomplish great things, and they have proved that to be true through and through.
Working alongside Doron Taussig, a veteran journalist and professor, has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime. He is a true visionary and kind-hearted leader that not everyone is lucky enough to work with over the course of their careers, but I sure have been. Thank you, Doron, for taking a chance and giving me the space to use my voice in a meaningful, impactful way. To have you recognize my passion and ambition for storytelling means the most.
And to the reader, thank you for storing your confidence and trust in my team and I to deliver quality content. We appreciate you taking the time out of your crowded schedules to engage with the paper.
Most importantly, congratulations to the Class of 2023. Our stories have just begun, and I can’t wait to see just how you make a differ- ence in this world, a world that so desperately needs you.
A wise man by the name of Tom Stoppard once said: I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate, short-term weapon. Although we may not have changed the world, we certainly played a hand in changing our little world of Ursinus, and I like to believe it was for the better.
Signing off one last time as Editor-in-Chief, Layla