Editor’s Note: The Daily’s seniors offer their parting words on their last night of production.

Matt Aaronson, Managing Editor

As a writer and an editor for The Michigan Daily, I’ve covered everything from the minutiae of student government politics to down-to-the-wire state budget negotiations to a misery-stricken Michigan football program (and a completely disoriented community grappling with it). Through the entire experience, I’ve grown more and learned more than I have from all of my coursework combined.

I may never have a job as exciting or as rewarding as this one. I may never love the place I work or my co-workers as much as I love 420 Maynard and the amazing people I’ve come to know here. If anything tops it, I’ll be enormously fortunate. But I’m already fortunate.

To those who have taught me, challenged me and shown faith in me, thank you. To 2011’s editors, I can’t wait to see what you produce. You will be overwhelmed, and this job will at times seem impossible. But there’s a reason that for 121 years, a class of Daily editors has graduated knowing that there’s no place on campus as special as this newsroom.

Nicole Auerbach, Senior Sports Editor

To those who made my experience at the Daily a positive one: I truly thank you for the ridiculous road trips, late nights playing chair monkey and the epic SportsMondays we put together over the past four years. I would never have discovered and developed my passion for sports journalism without you. Some of you still have a year or a few left at 420 Maynard, and I wish you all the best.

To the coaches, players and SIDs I’ve come across at Michigan: It’s been a pleasure working with you and learning from you.

Jillian Berman, Managing News Editor

Like many, I first walked into the doors at 420 Maynard St. hell-bent on becoming a reporter.

But somewhere in between learning the art of crafting the nutgraf and acquiring the patience to fit a wordy headline into a seemingly impossible space, I gained more than the journalism education I was bargaining for.

Through countless late nights filled with editorial (and dinner) decisions I got the chance to have a small say in how the past few years on campus and in Ann Arbor will be remembered. I honed the skills that I came to the Daily to perfect and discovered some that I never knew I had.

But most of all I got to work with brilliant and talented colleagues who became some of my best friends.

For all of these things, I am indebted to this historic institution and to the people who make it their own every day. It’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s a little bit easier knowing that what the Daily gave me, I’ll keep forever.

Jamie Block, Managing Arts Editor

In my three years at the Daily, it has served as my family, my purpose, my passion and the bane of my existence — often all at once. The Daily has given me more than I can ever hope to repay it. First it made me a better writer, and then it made me a better leader. It gave me experience — not just as a journalist but also as a person — that I will appreciate for the rest of my life. But those experiences and that personal growth aren’t the greatest gift the Daily gives. It’s the strength of friendship that can only be forged working together five nights a week until as late at 4 a.m., solving problems together when things go horribly wrong (which they do), being each other’s toughest critics when we’re not busy being our own, sharing a passion — a common goal. The Daily gave me a family here at Michigan. I will never forget the people I met here, and after over 250 nights putting together the best college newspaper in the country, it’s still the friends I made here that make me the most proud.

But as futile as it may be, I do want to give back to the Daily in the one way I can now: some humble advice for its future leaders.

Remember: As much enjoyment as we may get from our work here, this newspaper is bigger than all of us. At the end of the day, what matters is keeping the integrity and high standard of the Daily intact, even if that means making personal sacrifices. This may sound overly pragmatic after what started as such a sentimental goodbye, but it’s at the crux of everything. It was seeing people passionate about making this newspaper great that inspired me to get involved. And if it weren’t for that spark, I would never have been able to get all that I’ve gotten out of the Daily experience.

As I sit here writing this, I wish I could go on forever. It’s not a matter of lack of ideas that’s stopping me — I could fill books with everything I’ve loved and hated here. But I know I can’t put off the inevitable, so — having done everything I can, everything I hoped and everything I never even knew to hope for at this newspaper — I guess it’s finally time to stop writing and move on.

Trevor Calero, Magazine Editor

There’s nothing more I can really say besides thank you. Thank you to everyone who had a part of shaping the most meaningful, frustrating, challenging, enlightening experience of my life.

Max Collins, Co-Managing Photo Editor

Exhausted, humbled, blessed, and inspired. Thank you.

Chantel Jennings, Senior Sports Editor

I never thought I would end up being a journalist. For that, I have the Daily to thank.

Four years ago, I was convinced that I was going to be a college basketball player studying pre-med. That dream started to derail during my junior year of high school when I was diagnosed with mono. At the time, it seemed like life was ending. Looking back, I’ve never been so thankful to convert to an all-liquid diet, miss two weeks of school and lose 15 pounds.

I came to Michigan in the fall of 2007 and made my way through chemistry, calculus and a few other science classes. During my sophomore year I was sitting in my biology lecture while my professor was busy talking about tree bark. I looked up from my computer and realized there were few things on earth that I cared for less than bark. No matter how I thought about it, I couldn’t imagine bark being made out of cells. It’s made out of bark. I knew that there was no way I could ever become a doctor if I couldn’t even imagine trees being made up of cells, let alone the human body. So I stood up and left during the middle of lecture.

On the way back to my dorm, I called my mother, told her I was dropping biology, leaving my pre-med major and pursuing something I actually enjoyed — writing. Her confused response included tears and a few words including “not lucrative” and “no job market.”

The next phone call was to my father, who told me that I should consider going to the Daily to look into sports writing. And my final call went to my high school English teacher, Jo Muszkiewicz, who told me that she was proud of me for pursuing the riskier route and the thing that would eventually make me the happiest.

Nearly three years later, I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that I want to be a journalist and it is the thing that makes me happiest. I’ve spent late nights (and several early mornings) putting together a product with some of the most passionate and inspiring people I’ve ever met. It’s been an incredible journey, so for the young writers — keep with it. If you give 420 Maynard the time, it will become one of the most crucial parts of your college career and possibly your life, whether you choose to be a journalist or not.

So thank you to my fellow editors and writers. Thank you to every beat I’ve ever been a part of (including my basketball beat family), John Lowe, my friends who’ve not understood a minute of this but supported me through it all, my parents and sisters, my sophomore biology teacher, my high school boyfriend who gave me mono, bark and the non-lucrative field of sports journalism.

Here’s to every person that’s tread lightly through the 121 years of editorial freedom.

Lila Kalick, Local Cuisine Columnist

Thanks, Daily, for giving me the chance to meet and work with some of the most committed and caring individuals I’ve encountered at the University of Michigan. Thanks for providing me with an outlet to push myself creatively. Thanks for helping me realize that writing is what I love to do and for allowing me an opportunity to do it.

I’ll miss lollygagging around 420 Maynard looking for excuses not to leave, because sticking around was just too much fun.

Ryan Kartje, Managing Sports Editor

After one semester of college had flown by, I knew I had to do something with my life at the University.

And after idolizing Scott Bell’s SportsMonday Columns for a semester, I knew that my best option was to join the Daily. Never ever did I think that three years later, I’d be writing those very same columns.

The Daily has given me everything I’ve ever wanted out of it. And as a young, peppy freshman looking for something to do with my life, I never knew that this amazing newspaper would actually become my life.

Forty hours a week have flown by for the past year, and there is a long list of people who deserve thanks for that:

Thanks to Denard Robinson and Red Berenson for giving me amazing stories to write about them. Their stories were truly a joy to share with the world, and although I’m pretty sure they may never read what I wrote, I hope they know how much I respect them both.

Thanks to my amazing team of senior editors. Especially the women’s bball beat. For Joe, thanks for caring about the Daily enough to be a the right-hand man I needed. For Chantel, thanks for our nights of vodka and sour patch. I can’t wait to invest in your olive farming business. For Tim, you and I have been there through it all, man. Just keep working hard like you always have.

Thanks to Burns for being George Costanza and to Pyzik for all the awkward moments. Thanks to Spar and Florek for putting your heart and soul into all of this. Thanks to Aaronson for putting up with everything we put you through. I know it was tough at times.

To the young writers at the Daily, keep at it. You’re bound to get disappointed at some point. But just remember that if you work hard and put everything you have into this, you’ll never really be disappointed.

And remember to always tread lightly.

Andrew Lapin, Senior Arts Editor

There was a moment somewhere.

It may have been one of those times dancing the Crocodile Rock. It may have been getting into a shouting match on one of the Film Squad’s “who will win the Oscars” podcasts.

Perhaps it was when I stumbled out of a 12-hour unopposed Editor in Chief election and straight into a band uniform, or partook in a Diwali celebration on the only successful Arts Bonding trip to date.

It may have been when I wrote that one article no one read or made that one editorial decision I still regret.

But there was definitely a moment when I realized how lucky I was.

Life is short. Do what you love. Thank you to everyone at The Michigan Daily.

Salam Rida, Staff Photographer

For the past year, I’ve worked as a photographer for the Daily. Within that one year I have been allowed to experience so many things I would have otherwise not been a part of. While at the Daily, I’ve shook hands with Reverend Jesse Jackson, pissed off Kaki King, was on stage with Of Montreal during their set at Land of Nod and was knocked in the face by a flying basketball during a game — just to name a couple memorable moments. Yet, at the end of the day, I like knowing how amazing it is that as a student publication we, The Michigan Daily, have that kind of power. Never stop printing.

Jenna Skoller, Deputy Magazine Editor

When I first walked into 420 Maynard freshman year, I was overwhelmed by the hugeness of the newsroom and the century-plus years of Daily history. I never anticipated feeling this at home in a place that was at one time so intimidating. So, thank you to the people who made this whole experience so incredible, the long nights editing memorable and the dinner choices so difficult. And thank you to the Daily for teaching me so much and for providing me with my best — and most stressful — experiences of my time at the University.

Jacob Smilovitz, Editor in Chief

It’s strangely comforting to know that the best job you’ll ever have you had when you were 20 years old.

Joe Stapleton, Senior Sports Editor

I have to thank the Daily for all it’s allowed me to do. Covering Michigan basketball was always a dream of mine and the Daily allowed me to do that. Covering the football team was also amazing. Feeling like I was a part of that epic machine on football Saturdays was awesome and I’ll miss that next year. The Daily is an invaluable resource on campus. It’s not always perfect but it’s a hell of a product given that it’s made up of students teaching students. All the people who spend their days in the comments pointing out grammatical errors in a college newspaper: suck it. Get a life.

Ryan: I’m amazed at what you’ve been able to do the past year. Your boundless patience and ability to stay true to yourself through everything is something I envy and admire. You put up with all my shit as well as endless teasing from…

Nicole: Your dedication to this profession and otherwordly work ethic can’t be overstated. I would be happy with one tenth of your drive (and my GPA would probably be above a 2.5). Your unflinching belief in yourself and your principles never ceased to amaze me (and annoy the crap out of Matt).

Timmy: thanks for helping me up instead of hurdling me a couple times. You’re gonna do great.

Zak: Don’t stop being you. No matter what.

My humble advice to the Daily: stop taking yourself so seriously. You’re a student newspaper. Feel free to act like it every once in a while.

It’s been real.

Maureen (Mo) Stych, Senior Design Editor, Former Managing Design Editor

Darling Daily,

I know our relationship is fairly touch-and-go, but I sincerely hope you’ve never doubted my affection and admiration for you. I’ve sacrificed my GPA, sense of reality and sanity to assure your pages look as design-savvy, coherent and innovative as possible.

I trust you appreciate my efforts, for I am incredibly grateful for all you’ve given me these past three years. I greatly enjoy mock-captioning your photos in the late hours of night. I also appreciate the fine leather couch (courtesy of the Photo department), where I’ve spent many a night soundly sleeping.

Though I’m rarely speechless, I feel there are no words to describe my endearment. But if I must verbalize my love for you, I might choose from the following words: “eternal,” “carnal” and “regrettably undeniable.”

You know where to find me (and, knowing the capacity of your die-hard and tenacious reporters, I’m sure you’ll always know how to find me).

CMYK (Compassionately Mastering Your Kerning),
Maureen (Mo) Stych

Eshwar Thirunavukkarasu, Senior News Editor

In less than four years, 420 Maynard has become my home away from home. A century older than this gangly kid with the ridiculously long last name, the Daily has given me much more than I could ever repay in kind. For that and everything else, thank you.

Rachel Van Gilder, Editorial Page Editor

I came into the Daily three and a half years ago as a somewhat terrified but mostly exhilarated freshman who just needed something to fill up some time. I joined the paper because I read an ad in the Daily. It read, “Want to write for the Daily? Come to our mass meeting.” My response: “Okay.”

And now here I am. I have spent the last year running the opinion page of a newspaper that is renowned for its liberal ideals.

It still surprises me how much I love this place. By rights, I shouldn’t. I’m too conservative — too different from what the Daily has stood for over the last 121 years. But I do love it. And I wouldn’t trade a single second of the last three and a half years.

Thank you to my family, who listened when I complained, brought me food, did my laundry and kept your mouths shut when I spouted off liberal rhetoric at the dinner table.

Thank you to my predecessor, Robby Soave. You were the example that encouraged me to do this job. And you taught me about what it means to think about the world and then put those thoughts into words.

Thank you, Editorial Board, for being wonderful, thoughtful people. You have been the highlight of my week for the last three and half years.

Thank you to my subeditors — and there have been a lot of you. Laura, Emily and Michelle: you have helped me to keep this circus in line. I couldn’t have done it without you. You are strong, smart, well-organized women, and I admire each of you. Will, Grundler and Harsha: you have improved drastically since your two-hour crash course in InDesign — and you have made Tuesday nights a joy rather than a hectic rush.

Brian and Pat, you are both steadfast and you kept me calm. Alex, I respect your drive. Erika, you have been a loud voice for as long as I’ve known you. Do not quiet down. And Sparky, my life will continue to suck without you.

Finally, thank you to the staff of the Daily, who took a chance on me. I have served you as best I can. I hope that I have upheld your expectations.

Goodbye, Daily. I leave you with this advice: Don’t cut anyone any slack.

Sam Wolson, Co-Managing Photo Editor

I’m leaving it behind now. I’ll take it with me where ever I go. It’s been the defining
factor of my college experience and I’m humbled to have been part of it.

Adi Wollstein, Copy Chief

I would like to thank some people who made this experience a truly wonderful one:

Katie: without you, there would have been no me at the Daily.

Melanie: you complete me. I will miss you terribly.

Dani, Erin, and my Tuesday- and Thursday-ers: you made every night an experience. You are the best!

The entire section: Chloe, Dave, Josie, Emily, Dana, Emma, Jillian, Aaron, Christine, Tammy, Melanie, Hannah, Emily, Neethi, Emily, Haley, Molly, Elizabeth—it has been a pleasure getting to know and working with each and every one of you. Thank you for your hard work!

The senior news editors—Nicole, Steph, Kyle, Eshwar, Devon—and Jillian: thank you, and good luck!

Finally, Josh and Eileen: Congratulations! You are both more than capable and qualified for the position, and I am confident and excited leaving the section in your hands. Do great things!

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