Alumni Share Their Memories of the Journalism Program

By the Diederich College of Communication

Recently, alumni of our Journalism program shared their favorite memories of college through the Marquette University Facebook page. We’ve selected a few favorites to share with our readers.

“You mean we have to compose a story right on the typewriter? We can’t write it out long-hand first?!?!?!”
–Linda Drezdzon on her first day of Journalism 101

“Learning to write tight. Sitting at a small table w/ Prof Reedy as he described turning points in political campaigns. Researching my assigned Milwaukee address for Prof Salsini’s Jour 101. Media law w/Dr Scotton. The Journal couch. The green glow of Trib VDTs. Laying out the Hilltop into summer. Prof Brill’s guidance. Job leads from Ed Pepan after graduation.”
–Kim Doyle MacGregor

“Late nights at the Trib—then walking home at 4 a.m. in the snow.”
–Melanie Hinchey

“Doing the weather for a friend who was a journalism major and delivering the paper all over campus…”
-Shelly Strauss Rollison

“Late nights in the basement followed by later nights at Jim Hegarty’s.”
-Chris Thompson

“Taking a class with Prof. Reedy. There were only 8 of us. I was scared and awestruck because Prof. Reedy and others were so smart. I didn’t talk unless asked.”
-Nancy Chadwick-Burke

“That I married a journalism major from Marquette :-)”
-Michele DiStefano Boyd

“Everything I needed to know I learned in the Trib office, including how to avoid bats.”
-Erica Meylan Ferdani

“(Prof.) Reedy invited Russian dissident writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, to speak to us shortly after he was booted out of the USSR. The two of them in one room was awe-inspiring. Most of us were speechless.”
-Anne Newell May

“Spending some late nights in the darkroom due to being a photo editor for the hilltop yearbook. I miss that since it is all digital now.”
-Armand Luna

“Dr. Thorn and Scotton. Last class before walking the stage was with Scotton, then it was off to Hegarty’s for a couple games of pool.”
-Brad Peterson

“As Dr. Ksobeich used to say, ‘It depends…’ He always taught me to be specific, Dr. Havice taught me the importance of versatility, Dr. Slattery taught me the value of news judgment and Dr. Porter enhanced my ability to express things creatively.”
-Chris Altruda

“Class with Prof. Reedy and trying to figure out what he’d had for breakfast by checking out the front of his shirt. Oh, and learning more about American politics in one semester with him than I ever did in any poly sci class…”
-Brigid Skoog

“Learning to sculpt a story; chipping away the superfluous until only the essential text remained. I also remember the fun and camaraderie at the Trib — back when the paper was laid out using X-ACTO knives, wax and blue lined graph paper — and those late nights cramming with my team on our senior advertising campaign project.”
-Patrick Hurley

“My girlfriend and I taking a copy editing class together. Thirty-six years later we got married.”
-Eric Compton

“Being able to learn from so many incredible people, from students to faculty & beyond.”
-Vedran Agovic

“Watching black and white images appear like magic on blank paper under the light of a dim red bulb. I loved the smell of Dektol in the morning! In the photo lab in the basement of Johnston Hall, one never knew the time, and there was always film to be developed, contact sheets to be printed, or a photo to be enlarged.”
-Michael Gallo

“The foundation of my career! I remember the wonderful experience I had in Dr. Havice’s classes… and, how he made us try every newsroom role. I was bad at anything behind the scenes, but Marquette helped me find my voice – and, showed me how to report with social justice and community in mind!”
-Melissa Deis

“In his quiet way, Professor Art Olszyk, made an incredible difference in my life. Heaven got a special angel when God took him.”
-Deborah Scott Danner

“Working on the Harbinger, the alternative voice newspaper, circa 1992. Late nights in various apartments putting the paper together, combined with ad sales and handing them out on street corners. We were such rebels.”
-Dave Boyd

“Long before these days of spellcheck or Word programs (heck, you were lucky if your typewriter was electric) one prof marked one of my assignments with an “F” and noted I had a spelling error somewhere within. Find it, and he’d regrade me…. I went over it and over it. Twice, I took a stab at what might be the offense, using alternate and acceptable spellings, retyping the entire story each time. Still wrong. So, he finally loosened up and told me the word is spelled “whisky” not “whiskey.” Ummm, not according to the Irish in me. And so I learned that day, the Irish drink whiskey and the Scotts drink whisky.”
-Anne Newell May

“The wise leadership of Dr. Scotton, the insightful lectures by Dr. Griffin, the practical challenges of Paul Salsini and the advice and mentorship of Ed Pepan. Even those of us who didn’t end up in the journalism field learned communication skills that have served us well.”
-Linda Drezdzon

“Having Professor Olyzek as an advisor and his friendship after I graduated. He kept me going after my near fatal car accident six months after graduation with his encouraging words.”
-Marcie Eanes

“Taking a story and writing it in 100 words initially and then taking it down to one sentence by the end of class.”
-Becky Moylan

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The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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