Well, this is it. It's the end of the road for me as MSUToday editor. I'm moving into a new role and next week someone new will take the helm. This job has been such a part of my life for so long that I have to say it will be a little weird to get used to at first. And while there are new opportunities around the next corner, I will truly miss writing these notes every week. (I'm not crying, you're crying.)
I started composing them almost nine years ago, typing up my first column on my laptop while I sat near Beaumont Tower. I had no idea that day how many amazing stories I would tell, how many Spartan accomplishments I would promote, or how many tough days we would face. Now when I look back at the almost 400 columns, I'm humbled I was allowed to share my thoughts with Spartans for so long.
It has been an honor and a privilege to have a voice and to wrap such important MSU work into my personal reflections. There were days when huge accomplishments or fascinating stories made the columns easy to write. Other days were harder as I tried to connect very different things in a way that not only made sense but didn't drive readers into boredom.
There were also dark days that were incredibly challenging personally and emotionally, as I had to find a way to speak to, or maybe for, all Spartans as we collectively dealt with tragedy and crises. When I look back, those are the notes I'm most proud of. I hope that I was able to offer even a small amount of perspective, hope and maybe even some healing when it was so hard to find words to say.
Whether my readers wanted to hear it or not, my life was an open book through my writings. I shared embarrassing, amusing, confusing and happy points of my life. I mean, why not tell thousands of people about how you fell out of your chair in a meeting?
I also shared very personal feelings of fear about my heart condition and sorrow over losing my dad. Thank you, readers, for allowing me to heal so publicly. You gave me as much or more than I ever could have given you.
No matter how hard the day was, or how many random things I had to connect, like a tiny fish, a photosynthesis pilot light, Detroit, a nutritional sciences student, a high school teacher turned entomology doctoral student and how to support Spartans, telling a story every week (I rarely missed one) was something I cherished.
When I saw the above photo taken last week, sunset in that same setting at Beaumont Tower where I wrote my first column, it seemed almost too poetic not to use today. But, as every sun sets, another rises the following day.
When you're a Spartan, you never stop being a storyteller. The method might change, but I'll never stop — because Spartans will never stop changing our world for the better. Heck, maybe I'll even stop by every once in a while with a guest column.
It's been an incredible ride. If I ever made just one person smile, laugh, cry, think or feel, then I consider my job complete. I have so appreciated all the emails and notes I've received throughout the years. It was always gratifying to know when my work connected with someone and I appreciated every kind word.
Keep being kind to yourselves and each other, Spartans. Never forget how incredible you are and the power we have together. As I sit here with tears running down my face, I won't say goodbye but simply, see ya later. Spartans Will.
Editor (for the last time), MSUToday
Photo by Derrick L. Turner