Senior Sendoff: A long list of thanks

Me at a Lexington Legends baseball game, posing next to the seat that my late grandfather sat in the previous year. Photo courtesy of Aaron Mosley Jr. 


There’s a good chance that if you know me, you have heard the story of how I joined the Collegian. 

Regardless, I will tell it anyway. 

I joined the Collegian during my first year at Butler. I had gone through the interview process smoothly and was excited to be a part of the staff when my first semester started. But for some reason, I got cold feet. The first staff meeting of the year would be my last, and I did not return to any more meetings or write any stories. Instead, I did what every first year in college does: try to fit in. That went about as well as you would expect it to go for an 18-year-old Black kid at a predominantly white institution who had no clue who he was or what he stood for. 

Of course, the whole year wasn’t a failure. I was able to make a few friends. I joined the Black Student Union, which gave me a sense of belonging on a campus full of people who don’t look like me. My sports media classes were so much fun and everything I had hoped for when I chose the program the year prior. Most of all, I felt that I was independent for the first time in my life. 

That independence, however, was a double-edged sword. I found pretty quickly that I was not always in the mood to be an extrovert and was alone in my dorm room quite often. I thought I could just get over that by joining a fraternity and finding my “real friends.” Things were great at first, but I started to realize that Greek life just wasn’t for me. Then, as if on cue, another curveball was thrown my way. Once I went home for spring break, I wouldn’t return to campus for a year and a half. 

Staying at home during the end of my first year of college and the entirety of my second was not easy, but I look back at it as a blessing in disguise. During that time, I had to face what is likely my greatest fear in life head-on: being alone and forgotten. 

Of course, I had my parents and two dogs with me at home. But outside of them and my extended family, I talked to very few people. I felt like I had no one to talk to and no one who cared about me outside of my family. I was very close to transferring schools and just starting fresh somewhere new. But after talks with my family and some great faculty at Butler, I chose to stay. 

I decided that I was going to make the best of my situation and make sure that when I graduated from Butler, I left it better than when I found it. While I might never really know how much of an impact I have had on anyone or anything on this campus, I know that finishing out my time at Butler was the best decision I could have made. 

When I finally rejoined the Collegian at the beginning of my sophomore year, the only interactions I had with the staff were via Zoom. Nonetheless, my love for writing was reignited by the support I received from my peers. Once my first article was published, the feeling of pride I got by seeing my byline confirmed that I had made the right decision. 

Over the past three years, I have been able to make some incredible memories with incredible people. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I’m grateful for the people I have in my life that have given me the grace to learn from them and become a better person. When I look back on what I have done at Butler that has gotten me to this point in my life and career, joining the Collegian is very high on that list. 

I’ve been able to go to places like New York because of the work I did with the Collegian. I’ve been able to work for a professional sports organization because of the work I did with the Collegian. After I graduate, I will be attending a prestigious sports journalism program, interning with a professional news outlet and pursuing my master’s degree because of the work I did with the Collegian. Hopefully, you are catching on to the theme that the Collegian — in some way — has and will continue to give me the opportunities of a lifetime. 

Looking back now, a part of me wishes Kobe from 2019 would have gone to that second meeting and stuck with the Collegian all four years. But at the end of the day, I’m just glad that I found my way back home. 

This is the part of my senior sendoff where I thank everyone that I can possibly think of for their impact on my growth and success. I hate leaving people out of these things, so bear with me. 

Thanks to all the past editors who came before me for laying the foundation of what it means to be a member of the Collegian. In particular, thank you to Dana Lee, Drew Sandifer, Drew Favakeh, Donald Crocker, Henry Bredemeier, Devin Abell and Caitlin Segraves for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself and instilling the confidence in me that I could be an editor. 

Thanks to the sports section from this year and last year. I hope I was able to help you all learn more about being a sports reporter. I know whether or not working for this paper is for you, there are bright futures ahead for all of you. 

Thanks to the 2022-23 editorial board and design team: Emma, Alison, Mae-Mae, Gabi, Annie, Sarah, Matt, Leah, Owen, Aidan, Reece, Maeve, Ethan, Lauren, Isabella, Haley, Elizabeth, Isabel, Abby and Maggie. I never would have imagined how close we would become this year, and I am so glad that we did. Staying up till 3 a.m. every week tends to bond people together, and I am thankful for the time I have spent getting to know each and every one of you. Collegian Nation will always have a special place in my heart. 

Thanks to the Collegian’s number one fan and faculty advisor, Dr. Karaliova. You have impacted my time at Butler in so many ways: as a professor, an academic advisor and a mentor. One thank you is not enough for all the knowledge and confidence you have given me over the years. 

Thanks to Black Student Union and the Efroymson Diversity Center. People do not give these groups the credit they deserve for the roles they play on this campus. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people who have worked and are continuing to work in these organizations. One day, I will be in the position to give them a proper thank you. 

Thanks to AAH — if you know, you know. 

Thank you to the people I have met at Butler who I hope to remain friends with for life: Matthew Crane, Ben Hutchinson, Duncan Stone, Kendall Hyams and Celine Kwan. You all have been there for me at the highest and lowest points of my time at Butler. Life after college wouldn’t feel right without you all in it. 

Thanks to Dr. Brooke Barnett, Sherri White and Dr. Brandy Mmbaga. You three have each played an important role in making sure that my Butler experience — and my sanity — was the best it could possibly be. 

Thanks to Akeem Glaspie, the first sports journalist I met while at Butler. You made me realize that this career is something that I can really achieve and exceed at, and I appreciate the mentorship you have given me over the last few years. 

Thanks to the Washington Journalism and Media Conference — WJMC. It was at this conference that I fell in love with journalism, and for that, I will forever be an advocate for this amazing program. 

Thanks to Kobe Bryant. Though I will never be able to tell you this in person, your love for basketball is what ignited my love for storytelling. 

Finally, thanks to the two most important people in my life, Mom and Dad. I could write another four pages thanking you for all the things you’ve done to help me over the last four years, but I will just get to the point. I love you two so much, and I hope that I have made you both proud. And of course, I will pay you back for those student loans. 

While this thank you list is super long, I know there are way more people who have impacted me in some way. So to those people — you know who you are — thank you for believing in me. That same 18-year-old kid is a little older and wiser now, and because of you, he’s finally gotten rid of those cold feet.


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