May 7, 2001

Here's a Texan 'Adios!' to everyone who reads this

Josh Renaud
editor-in-chief

Around here, we like to pride ourselves on the colorful history of The Current. Well, this is our final issue of the 2000-2001 year, and I'd like to use this column to thank and congratulate a few of the folks who helped get the new millennium off to a good start for The Current.

I'd like to begin by thanking my entire staff, all 30-plus of you. I respect you all, and I wish there were room for me to talk about each of you. I tried every which way to write a column that mentioned everyone, but the brief sentences didn't do anyone justice. This was a tremendous year for the paper. We set some pretty high goals, and together we reached almost all of them. I'm so appreciative that you gave me the chance to lead you.

Brian Douglas took the job I wasn't sure I'd find anyone to fill—managing editor, one of the most important jobs at the paper. Brian and I didn't see eye-to-eye on everything, but I respected him and appreciated the unique approach he took to his work. Brian did great at coaching writers and keeping the office light-hearted. He called me "chief" and he was able to anticipate my needs and my questions. He was an enormous help every day. Thanks for everything, Brian.

Anne Porter took over as managing editor when Brian graduated. I know that her promotion raised a couple eyebrows among present and former staffers. But Anne rose up to the challenge and did very well. She was everything I needed her to be, and I appreciate her hard work. She endeared herself to the staff by bringing in food from time to time, and then calling them on the phone practically every week, at my request. She also had a fantastic first semester as features editor.

As business manager, Inshirah Al-Bawazeer did great. She was easy to get along with and always responded to the challenges I had for her. Of course getting stuck in her home country this winter was frustrating for her and for me, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She brought balance and perspective to the leadership of the paper, asking questions I wouldn't have thought of. Next year's editor, Nick Bowman, is lucky he'll get to work with her.

Of all the people I've worked with here, Tom Wombacher is the one I got along with best. He's friendly—a charmer—and smart to boot. That's probably why he has so many friends on campus and why he's so good at selling ads. His hard work as ad director and production associate this year was worth more than gold.

There were others who helped along the way—administrators (retired or not), professors, staff members, police officers—and I owe them so much. If you treat my successor half as well as you did me, he'll be doing great.

I'll close with an anecdote. When I was young, we would frequently take family vacations at my great-grandparents' house near Clearwater Lake. Before we returned home, my parents always made sure we did some sort of project—mowing the grass, patching the stairs, installing a new door. "We want to leave the house in better shape than when we got here," they'd say.

That was the approach I took to being editor-in-chief this year. I firmly believe that this organization, which was already strong when I started as editor, is even stronger today. Now that I'm finished, I look forward to seeing the greater things it will accomplish in the years to come.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.


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