Senior Sendoff: A farewell to Fairbanks 210

Ellie Allen proudly poses in her favorite dress on her sixth birthday. Photo courtesy of Ellie Allen.

ELLIE ALLEN | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | emallen2@butler.edu 

The first time I ever visited the Collegian office, I was a timid 18-year-old from a very small high school in absolute awe of any college that had a newspaper. At the time, I was completely sure I wanted to be a journalist even though I had never written a single article. 

When I walked into the office, I could tell how well-loved it was and the passion of the people who worked in it was obvious. I never could have imagined what those four walls would hold for me in the future, but I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

Cut to the end of the summer, and Dana Lee was about to interview me for a position on staff. I also happened to be on a two-week road trip with my family and had very spotty cell service in the mountains of Colorado. I forced my dad to pull over when we got the strongest signal so I could be sure the call would go through. I don’t remember the interview, but I do remember learning that I would be a news reporter for The Butler Collegian. 

Then, I was sitting in the Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building for my first Collegian meeting, and Matt Del Busto and Meghan Stratton were assigning me a story. This was the first of many times that it sunk in that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. 

In the blink of an eye, I am news editor, and I am about to email my application for editor-in-chief. It’s one of the most terrifying things I have ever done, and I am reminded of freshman year when my grandma asked me, “So, you’re going to be editor-in-chief someday?” At the time, I brushed it off because I couldn’t imagine being talented or confident enough to lead the paper. Yet, three years later, I pressed send on that application.

Now, I’m writing my senior sendoff. This is the last article I will ever write for the Collegian. It’s been full of stressful days and sleepless nights, but I owe so much of who I am today to the Collegian and the people who have pushed me to be my best. 

While I could write this sendoff a million ways and go on and on about my time at Butler and what it has meant to me, I would rather spend my last few words printed in this wonderful paper that has stolen my heart — and my sleep — thanking the people who did it with me.

To my former news editors, thank you for guiding me and being patient when I turned in my first drafts that hardly resembled a publishable article. Thank you for assigning me stories that terrified me so I would learn they weren’t that scary. 

To my former editor-in-chiefs, thank you for being amazing role models and the most incredible women. I still don’t feel qualified putting myself in the same category with all of you.

To Meghan Stratton, thank you for seeing the leader in me before I could see it in myself and for reminding me that it’s okay to put yourself first. So much of what I have been able to do at the Collegian is from watching and working with you. 

To Annie Faulkner, thank you for being the best assistant news editor I could have asked for. You brightened the nearly-empty office during COVID-19 and got me through some of the most stressful Collegian days. Thank you for reminding me I can’t “solve” the Israel-Palestine conflict in a single news article and for being one of the smartest people I know.

To all my former news reporters, thank you for working your asses off to tell the stories the Butler community needed to hear even when it meant writing a story every week during a pandemic. News articles will never be the most glamorous or fun stories to write, so thank you for sticking it out. I hope you are better for it just like I am.

To all of our new staff members this year, thank you for trusting me with your hard work. I am so proud of the way that each of you have grown this year. I can’t wait to cheer you on as you continue your journey with the Collegian. Who knows, maybe one of you will hold the title of editor-in-chief one day.

To our amazing Collegian advisor Dr. Karaliova, thank you for always listening and going above and beyond to help us put this paper together. Thank you for only being a phone call away and for reminding us to rest and have fun. 

To all of my professors over these past four years, but especially this last year, thank you for being so understanding when I have to leave or skip class for a breaking news story. 

To Dr. Levenshus, thank you for always being so optimistic and encouraging. You always brighten my day and remind me it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to ask for help. 

To Professor Bridge, thank you for always being our first reader and catching some early morning mistakes. Thank you for putting everything into perspective and reminding me that there are more Collegian supporters out there even if they are quieter than the ones who hate us.

To my best friends, thank you for supporting me through stories and for making sure I was still eating and somewhat taking care of myself even if it meant bringing food to the office. Thank you for celebrating my wins with me and never laughing every Tuesday when I optimistically said I would probably be home at 2.

To my family, thank you for being my most loyal readers and for letting me discuss Collegian stories and issues with you for hours. I couldn’t have survived being editor-in-chief or my time at Butler without your constant support.

To my fiance, thank you for being my staunchest defender and biggest cheerleader. Thank you for accepting all of the weekends I had to spend editing and all of the Tuesdays where I didn’t text you for hours. Thank you for always making me smile and growing with me over these past four years. 

Now, to my amazing editorial board, thank you for going on this journey with me. I am so glad you have been willing to give up your sleep every Tuesday to make this paper successful.

To Ben and Julian, thank you for capturing fantastic photos that perfectly illustrate our stories. Seeing the world through your lenses has been incredible. 

To Madison, Amelia and all of our designers, thank you for making the Collegian’s pages come to life. Thank you for putting up with my last minute changes and still making a fantastic layout.

To Maeve and Ethan, thank you for spearheading the multimedia team and for helping the Collegian get back into the studio. I am so excited to see how you continue to develop the section next year.

To Kobe and Devin, thank you for never making me feel stupid when I didn’t understand sports and for helping me learn so many new things. Thank you for being some of the best sports media majors and for managing our largest section with skill.

To Emma and Mae-Mae, thank you for always being so on top of your section and for patiently waiting for me to read all of your stories on Tuesday night when they have been completed for hours. A special thank you to Emma for picking up where I am leaving off and leading this paper to even better things. I know you are going to do a fantastic job.

To Caitlin and Katie, thank you for breathing life into the paper with satirical, hilarious and deeply important content. Thank you for putting up with all of the unnecessary hate that comes with letting your voice be heard and for showcasing the importance of having opinions.

To Alison, Sophie and Gabi, thank you for taking on the news section and working incredibly hard to make sure we filled the pages and told the stories that the Butler community needed. Thank you for often being the last section in the office and for tirelessly chasing and investigating stories. 

To my three amazing managing editors, I was reminded by a former editor-in-chief recently about the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will jump off the cliff with you, and I am so glad all three of you trusted me enough to jump. I have been blown away by the amount of support all three of you have given me, and I am so glad that the Collegian has bonded us together.

To Emma Beavins, thank you for being such a great listener and dedicated editor. Your creativity and writing ability never fail to impress me. 

To Henry Bredemeier, thank you for keeping everyone in the office grounded and for always driving us home on Tuesday nights. Thank you for making sure the newsletters always look great and for being my favorite sports media major — sorry, Devin and Kobe. 

To Francie Wilson, thank you for trusting me when I said I wanted you to be digital managing editor and for going above and beyond in the position. Thank you for being the funniest and most honest person I know and adding more quotes to the quote wall than I can count. Thank you for yelling at staff to be quiet every meeting so I didn’t have to, and for making sure every single design detail is perfect every Tuesday night. Most of all, thank you for becoming such a close friend. 

Finally, to Fairbanks 210, thank you for becoming my favorite place on Butler’s campus. Thank you for housing a broken blue chair that I sat in every publication night sophomore year. Thank you for being the best place to study and to cry. Thank you for never being clean and for holding some of my best memories over the past four years.

I know the next time I come into the office it will feel different because this is the last time this editorial board, filled with the most creative, passionate and dedicated people I have ever been lucky enough to work with, will be in this room publishing the paper together. But, I am so glad it happened, and I am so glad I decided to be part of The Butler Collegian.

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