I truly believe that those that one works alongside greatly impact not only the work that is produced, but the person he or she becomes as a result. This year, I have had the privilege of deepening my understanding of that belief as I worked with 10 beautiful souls on the Waltonian staff, seven of whom are seniors, and six of whom will be graduating next week. Spending every Monday morning and every other weekend in the office with them, and sharing life here at Eastern both in and out of the classroom with them, has been an absolute joy. As these seven move on from their time at Eastern, they pass their roles along. With these roles come great responsibilities, as well as high expectations, set in place by these who have formed The Waltonian into what it is.
To our seniors on the Waltonian staff, thank you. Thank you for each being the type of person I strive to be, in character, in excellence, in wisdom and in your pursuit of truth, both in The Waltonian and in your lives as servants of Christ. I have learned far more from you than I could have anticipated. A special sort of friendship forms when a group bands together to use mere words, photographs and design to give a voice to something larger than themselves, and I feel our team has succeeded in providing Eastern’s community with the truth. So thank you.
To those who will step up into the roles left behind, you have an exciting opportunity to take what has been built and to continue to add to make it greater. To point you in the right direction, the current seniors have some words of wisdom to pass along. Treasure everything they’ve offered; they are exceptional people.
Anastasia Carroll is our Copy Editor, and she is the sunshine, if the sun found its fervor in commas, sentence structures and AP style. Anastasia explains, “My hope for future Copy Editors of The Waltonian is that the passion for good grammar and punctuation remains unwavering.” She further explains, “Know that this place is for you, but don’t forget that there are so many people working to make this a place for you. Be involved; take into consideration the roles of those around you; use your resources wisely; and above all, love and take care of this place so that people for generations to come can continue to call it home.”
Our photographer is Matt Wolek. More than taking pictures for the newspaper, he is consistently teaching those around him to see the world more like a photographer would. He sees beauty in the broken; he understands that light.
Russell Risden is the News Editor. If I ever happen upon someone who doesn’t know Russell, I tell them that Russell is Eastern’s hidden treasure, the epitome of an old soul and someone they need to have a conversation with as soon as possible. Russell has brought back to The Waltonian the quest to keep history alive, as well as the influence of the written word, and reminds future editors, “Years from now, if Eastern chooses to publish the 100th anniversary history of the school, The Waltonian will be an instrumental source for researchers.” Russell adds, “Never stop searching for the truth. Don’t be led astray by biases, prejudices or personal passions. Rather, be passionate about the truth. Society tells us that truth is relative, but this is not so: Christ calls us to overcome the world and be a part of His kingdom seeking truth in love.”
The Features Editor is Madeleine Harris. Features is a unique section because it can take a variety of article types. The editor for Features needs to be attentive and involved in Eastern’s community but equally needs to have a knack for fun. When I found out Madeleine was going to be the Features Editor, it just made sense; she redefines what it means to be an intellectual. Madeleine offers these words to remember and has lived these words in such an admirable way: “Be kind. Listening is often more important than speaking. Pay attention to people, and be willing to make sacrifices for one another.” Madeleine has done truly wonderful things in Features, forming it into a section that doesn’t shy away from big stories and does so while still having spunk.
Our Sports Editor is Shelly Lister, and if you can imagine taking the care, talent and captivating honesty she is known for in her writing and translating that into an entire newspaper section, that is exactly what she does, week after week. One wouldn’t imagine the sports section of a college newspaper to have so much heart, yet, thanks to Shelly, ours does, and her advice to those who come after her is simple yet profound, and isn’t realized enough: “Don’t forget to do the things you love.” When asked about her hopes for the future of Sports, Shelly replies, “I would love to see editors and writers continue to explore the faith of EU athletes and the integral role that faith plays in athletics at large.” Athletes make up a significant portion of Eastern’s community, and Shelly has transformed the sports section by highlighting the faith of those behind the jersey numbers.
Jordan Kolb gracefully took over the position of Managing Editor this past year, and as strange as “graceful” may sound for that statement, it is the most apropos word I could provide. You know that phone call home you make every so often, when you honest-to-God believe your life is falling apart, then whoever it is you called just puts everything into perspective, and suddenly, magically, life’s not so bad? That’s Jordan on the other side of the phone call. Jordan is peaceful; she is organized; and she has the absolute kindest heart, which translates well when working on the Waltonian staff. Jordan suggests, “I think the question to keep consistently at the back of your mind is, ‘Is this worth reading?’ Not everything will be worth reading for everyone, but everything should be worth reading for someone.… Eastern is a very special place, and the Waltonian staff needs to remember that…when you challenge things, do so with the goal of building up the beauty and goodness of this place.”
And what would The Waltonian be without the heart of the newspaper, our Editor-in-Chief, Lauren Murphy? The most down-to-earth person to work under, Lauren has truly made our staff into the quirky, loving group that we have become. Lauren is undoubtedly a truth-chaser, but more than that, she is kind in everything she does, which is a dynamic pairing. Murphy believes in The Waltonian and says, “We strive to…include as many voices in the conversation as we can.”
Murphy’s words matter, as she states, to conclude, “Choose something that you think matters, and do it.”
Farewell From the Editor-in-Chief:
I am running out of words now, so I will offer just a few more.
What an incredible journey this has been. I will cherish the four years I have spent with The Waltonian. My heart is full.
Thank you to the Waltonian team: our student writers and editors, especially our Managing Editor, Jordan Kolb; our adviser, Kat Hayes; our publisher, Bettie Ann Brigham. And thanks to you, our wonderful readers.
Always remember that the truth will set you free.