My 529th (and final) paper as an editor for the Collegian

Greg MeesFive-hundred-and-twenty nine. That’s how many Collegians I have worked on during my time at CSU.

As a designer, you may not have seen my work from a byline. But I was there.

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I helped in the coverage of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, the death of Osama bin Laden and the Boston Marathon bombing.

I’ve worked on pages showcasing the firing of former Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk, the firing of former head football coach Steve Fairchild, three Rocky Mountain Showdowns, the on-campus stadium and Notebook to Playbook.

I’ve seen and covered four ASCSU administrations, the ups and downs of RamRide, three city elections, three Cans Around the Oval and former Gov. Bill Ritter’s hiring at CSU.

I’ve had the chance to work on pages with stories covering knives, fires and guns on campus, riots in Old Town, riots in neighborhoods near campus, the Rams Pointe pool party and two blizzards.

Joe Spina dancing in Moby, three years of FoCoMX, Ludacris on campus, and many keynote speakers — I’ve been behind the scenes of an array of stories.

As a member of this news organization, I’ve covered a lot that has happened outside of the newsroom walls, but I’ve also been a part of plenty that’s happened inside them too.

From two minor redesigns (one which involved the birth of the Strip Club) to spearheading another, much larger redesign that will launch in the final paper of the semester on Monday, I’ve witnessed it all.

We’ve been through three different websites and a 120 year birthday celebration.

I helped with the transition from Verve to the Weekender, relaunching Friday’s paper into a weekend entertainment guide to CSU and Fort Collins. It’s been molded and remolded into what it is today, and I can say, redesign aside, it’s the piece of work I’m most proud of from my time at the Collegian.

Other than being known as the sassiest member of the newsroom, I am probably most noted for being the RamTalk guy, having selected RamTalks for a year.

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None of my accomplishments over the past four years would have been possible without the help and support of everyone around me.

I want to start by thanking Virginia Singarayar, Heidi Reitmeier and Alexandra Sieh for believing in me enough to hire me here as a designer in August of 2009. To Madeline Novey, Sam Noblett, Allison Sylte, Erin Udell, Matt Miller, David Martinez, Kirsten Silveira, Kevin Lytle, Cris Tiller, Erin Eastburn, Hunter Thompson and all of the other editors that I have worked with during my run at this newspaper — thank you. Thank you for teaching me, helping me grow as a journalist and always inspiring me.

I have to thank my current staff of reporters, columnists, photographers, designers, copy editors and especially the editorial board for their incredibly hard work and dedication to this news organization. My expectations for this paper have always been high, and at times difficult to achieve, but you all have made my tenure as the editor one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Every single one of you should be proud of what you’ve produced over the past four months because I know I am.

To our newsroom adviser, Mike Humphrey: Even though we will always fundamentally disagree about infographics and the power of GIMP, I have the utmost respect and gratitude for everything you have been willing to do for me.

I have to send a heartfelt thank you to visual journalist blogger and the Orange County Register’s focus page editor Charles Apple for all of his encouragement and promotion of my work over the last few years. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without his kindness and belief in my work.

Thank you Shraddha Swaroop for allowing me, as a student, to join the leadership team of Region 2 of the Society for News Design. Without the society and your guidance, my love and passion for design would not be what it is today. And to everyone else involved with SND: Thank you for opening my eyes to the power of visual journalism and showing me new and innovative ways of displaying information.

A huge thank you needs to go to CSU journalism professor Kim Spencer for constantly listening to my complaints and being my verbal punching bag at times when I needed it most.

I would also not be where I am today if it weren’t for former CSU journalism professor Pamela Jackson. You have taught me so much about the profession and storytelling that I will continue to take with me in my career.

Thank you Randy Bangert, the editor of the Greeley Tribune, for giving me the opportunity to work on the copy desk and get my first real start in the industry.

To Dan Zedek, Greg Klee, Luke Knox, Ryan Huddle, Catie Aldrich, Jane Martin, Jacqueline Berthet, Nicole O’Toole, Lesley Becker, George Patisteas, Javier Zarracina, Alvin Chang, Chiqui Esteban, James Abundis, Patrick Garvin, Martin Gee, Sheryl Julian, Doug Most, Tony and everyone else at The Boston Globe, I am forever in debt for the guidance and kindness you all shared with me during the six months that I worked at the Globe.

And finally, to all of my family, and everyone close to me: Thank you for putting up with my crazy, almost non-existent social life for the last year — and let’s face it, the last four.

While I’m not graduating until December and will be around the paper art directing and designing in the fall, I’m stepping out of this organization’s upper-management to refocus on what I truly love — visual storytelling.

Even though it’s an incredibly difficult job, being the editor of this newspaper has been the highlight of my college career. Good luck to the incoming editorial board and Editor in Chief Andrew Carrera who takes over late tonight when tomorrow’s paper — my final paper as editor in chief — goes to bed.

It’s been one helluva run. Good things are in store for this paper, so stay tuned. I feel blessed to have been a part of the traditions at the Collegian and can’t wait to see what our future holds.

Editor in Chief Greg Mees can be reached at editor@collegian.com.