I’ve sat down to write this letter half a dozen times, but it’s always seemed like an impossible task. My predecessors, sitting where I am today, have reflected elegantly on their time at Whitman and spoken about how much running The Pioneer and producing The Circuit have shaped their college experiences. These sentiments are no less true for me––without a doubt, The Pio has been the defining aspect of my college life. During my time here, I’ve gotten to interview the likes of Dan Savage and Rigoberta MenchÃº, received a national college journalism award and used my experience to get a real job at a daily newspaper. I’ve also had days where work kept me busy from 7 a.m. until midnight, nights spent curled up in a ball crying from sheer exhaustion and weeks where I relied on the promise of hugs and home-cooked meals from my friends to find the strength to get out of bed.
At Whitman as in the rest of the world, people with long lists of impressive accomplishments or leadership titles are held up as examples. But if there’s one thing my work on this campus has taught me, it’s that we’re only as good as the community that holds us up. During my time here, friends, classmates, professors and colleagues have supported me in more ways than I can count, by listening, caring, distracting, feeding, encouraging and inspiring. And while my experiences aren’t universal, I’m willing to bet that all leaders on this campus, whether they’re running ASWC, editing a publication or doing groundbreaking research, have only been able to achieve what they have with the love and support of others.
Support work isn’t often acknowledged. It doesn’t raise your GPA and it can’t be put on a resume, but it’s absolutely vital for the structural integrity of a campus built on achievement. I’m immensely grateful to everyone who has allowed me to accomplish what I have while at Whitman, and I hope that someday, we can recognize how many friends cooking dinner or offering a shoulder to cry on are contained within a groundbreaking newspaper article.