HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi School of Communication celebrated its 100th anniversary for its student newspaper, the Student Printz, with a luncheon, panel discussion and a grand opening of a new exhibit on the Hattiesburg campus.
Three alumni were inducted into the Southern Miss MCJ Hall of Fame and they all remember their writing days for the Student Printz like it was yesterday.
“Being in the journalism program completely changed my life,” said David McCraney, an inductee into the Southern Miss MCJ Hall of Fame.
McCraney remembers the day like it was yesterday. He was on campus and noticed a sign that said “ Opinionated” with a big question mark and underneath the word it said, ”come write for the Student Printz.”
He was a news editor for one year and then became the executive director. This was during the time of Hurricane Katrina,where he helped write for several newspapers across the coast about the storm and the effect it had on the area.
Rachel Quinlivan West also was inducted into the hall of fame.
“It was a total shock,” West said.
She described her undergrad experience at USM and said that she knew of the hall of fame but never expected to be in it.
“I certainly heard of the hall of fame, it was something I knew well as an undergraduate, but just to be one of the people honored was not something I ever anticipated, so its just a huge honor,” said West.
West said that if she had to tell a current student one thing about journalism, she would say talk about the many stories that are waiting to be written.
“Just love to tell all stories, and journalism is a great career for you too because in journalism there are so many stories to tell,” West said.
Inductee Rick Cleveland said that he grew up as a Golden Eagle and his family did the same.
“When you're from one place and you've spent so much time here, to be honored here means more than anything,” said Cleveland.
Chuck Cook, an advisor for the Student Printz, said that journalists are the ones that write the first draft of history. At the end of the day long event, Student Printz and Cook presented a new exhibit on campus that highlights the success of the publication throughout the 100 years.
“The first copy of it came out in 1918 and that's why we are celebrating the 100 year anniversary of student journalism here at USM,” said Cook.
The exhibit can be viewed in the USM Library art gallery by appointment or on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
On Fridays the exhibit will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.