Goodbye, Gannon Knight

I wanted to spend some time flipping through the old bound volumes of The Gannon Knight before I graduated.

I had it all planned out: I could slip into the office on a quiet Saturday morning and pore through the old issues, stepping into different lives and stories before finishing my own chapter at Gannon.

The university shut down before I had the chance, so instead, I spent this weekend looking up the final columns of some of the previous Knight editors I admire most.

I’m thinking specifically of former editor-in-chief Kelsey Gehring and former features editor Kyle Joseph. They probably have no clue who I am, but writing like theirs hooked me on The Knight and kept me picking up a copy every week since my freshman year.

Kyle’s final column, from spring 2018, was dedicated to “airing his grievances” about the university and was as smart and funny as all his other work, if a touch more poignant (underneath the jaded surface, of course).

Mine, on the other hand, is definitely going to lean toward unabashed sentimentality.

I struggled to find my place during my first two years of college, but I can now say that Gannon and Erie are inextricably woven into the fabric of my life.

Residence life, the STEM Center and the biology department have been amazing in helping me discover purpose and community.

But of all the things I’ve gotten to be part of at Gannon, the newspaper has been my favorite.

Schuster Theatre’s “Trojan Women” was the first show I ever reviewed – on a whim, as a junior biology major!

Clearly, I fell in love. Over the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing every Gannon production, plus shows from local community theaters. Finding and refining my voice through the Erie arts scene has been an absolute blast.

Joining the editorial staff this year was even better than I could have imagined – Tuesday quickly became my favorite night of the week.

Ben, thank you for welcoming me to the Arts & Leisure section with open arms, and for all the rap-fueled rides back to Lubiak when production nights ended way after dark.

Maddy, thank you for keeping your cool amid all the errant Oxford commas as our eternally patient copy editor.

Chloe, thank you for the laughs and that vegan cupcake. You’re going to be an excellent editor-in-chief.

And to our adviser, Frank Garland, “thanks” doesn’t begin to cut it.

From the first critique email I received, I knew you were someone I wanted on my side, pushing me to become a better writer.

Your dry humor, excellent insight and trusty red pen will certainly be missed as I move on to what lies ahead.

“You might think no one reads The Knight, but people will be looking at your work years from now, whether you believe that or not,” Frank wrote in an email to the staff this year. “Your work – and your words – won’t be going away any time soon. Make it – and them – count.”

I’m not sure exactly where I’m going from here, but I’ll try my best to make it count.

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