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Reflecting on one hundred years of The Collegian

Published: February 20, 2014, 2:49 am ET
Opinions Editor

Fraternity pledging, football, a Glee Club—the news could easily run in this issue of The Collegian. But the date at across the top gives it away: November 25, 1914. It’s been nearly 100 years since nine men put together the first issue of a newspaper called The Collegian. Running only four pages long, it listed its office as a dorm room, and a yearlong subscription could be had for $1, or about $22 today.

In an editorial in that issue, the inaugural staff of The Collegian listed what they called their “flowery hopes and ambitions” for their publication. They spoke of their love for their college, but their disappointment at its lack of tradition and custom. One hundred years later, it would be hard to call UR a school without traditions. They encouraged their readers to use the “pep that gave us the football championship of 1913-14” to get subscribers and sell ads for The Collegian.

In a century, the University of Richmond’s independent student newspaper has published more than 2,500 issues, containing more than 128,000 articles. As this school has grown, so have we: More than 50 people have a hand in putting this paper together each week, including editors, assistants, managers, reporters and photographers. From covering in detail E. Claiborne Robins’ $50 million gift to UR in 1969 to digging into the Coopergate scandal that forced the resignation of our previous president, The Collegian has been there throughout this university’s history. Current students might remember our in-depth reporting into the controversies surrounding the sports cuts and the changes to Ring Dance. But we’re not coasting on our legacy at this student paper: The Collegian will start a new century with a model for this millennium. With a revamped website on the way, The Collegian will move from being there weekly, to keeping you informed 24/7.

In the final paragraph of that November 1914 editorial, The Collegian staff explained their aspirations for the future of their publication, which I think are best said in their own words:

“So let The Collegian be to us, the living, breathing, fighting expression of student ideas—their hopes and ambitions, their virile and staunch college-love. We are not confident, we can hardly hope, that this year, or the next, or the next, we may be able to compare with the publications of our contemporaries. But we do hope—we intend to give our best. And, at least, after long dormant years, we have awakened and started something.”

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to one hundred more years of keeping you informed.

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