Reflections and Recognitions

Kelly Gallagher ‘22

Senior Advisor

My first step in writing a Features article is to always begin with questions, questions that I ask interviewees in the hopes of finding the heart of their story, or questions that will help me to understand how the event I’m covering contributes to campus life. I didn’t start this article with questions, because I thought I knew what I wanted to say. It’s all at the tip of my tongue—how I’ve met such amazing people through The Spire, how lucky I’ve been to learn how much passion my classmates have for their pursuits, how exciting it’s been to find such a wide range of creativity all over campus. I feel so fiercely how my time at The Spire has encouraged me to live my college experience deeply, attentively, purposefully. But it’s trickier than I thought to articulate how much the past four years have meant to me. 

I’ve been so nervous to pursue many of my articles over the years, especially when I was covering a topic about which I knew nothing. What if I didn’t get the story right? Once someone has put their heart and soul into a creative work, or a campus event, I want to be able to do their efforts justice, and that always feels like such a big task. 

But pushing past my nerves has always been so rewarding, because once I dig into a new story, I get a glimpse into other people’s lives and how they see the world. It’s been so uplifting to see how much people care about the things they spend their time on. It gives me the sense that the people in our community are carefully making the most of their campus experience. 

For me, being able to see the variety of experiences at Holy Cross has been such an invigorating part of my own time here. College offers so many amazing opportunities to meet new people, engage with fresh ideas, and go to events that are totally outside of your normal. I’ve sometimes lost sight of that, either because I was busy with academics or because I’d settled into a routine. My work for The Spire, though, always got me back on track. Going to artists’ lectures, performances, and exhibits, or interviewing community members about their work on campus has really helped me to feel connected to the larger community and to better appreciate the vibrancy of daily life here.   

There are so many people I would like to thank, for their help or for otherwise contributing to the great experience I’ve had at The Spire. 

Thank you, Jackie Cannon ‘20 and Billy Fitzpatrick ‘20, Editors-in-Chief during the 2019-20 year, for all your guidance while I was Chief Features Editor, and for helping me transition to E.i.C. I remember how one or both of you would hang out in the Spire office most Tuesday nights, just in case one of us Chiefs needed a hand, and our chats made me feel so at home in the club. 

Thanks to Matt Anderson ‘21 for being such a great co-Editor-in-Chief. Thanks for uploading the PDF to the printers every week because I was too chicken to figure out Cyberduck, for helping me comb through layout every week, and for even helping me move the last armfuls of my possessions out of Alumni into a storage unit at the end of the spring semester. Your sense of humor kept me smiling throughout all the stress of running the paper. We had what can optimistically be called a unique run as Editors-in-Chief, but I’m grateful I got to share the experience with you. 

Thanks to Hui Li ‘21, our Chief Visuals Editor—we could not have run The Spire so successfully in our 2020-21 year without you. You came to every Zoom meeting, and your enthusiasm to make each issue look its best contributed to our community’s sense of purpose. You were so great about adapting the Visuals section to a completely new format, and you were so proactive about making sure that everyone was set for the week. Your thoughtful consideration of others helped them feel seen and like a part of the club, so thank you for sharing your big heart with our community. 

Ethan, thank you for always being there. I’m so glad you’re the person I’ve worked with the longest at The Spire. You’re always thinking of others, whether it’s by bringing Culpepper’s to our first meeting of the year, offering a supportive word on an article, or being the first person to text me “happy birthday” last year. You meet every challenge calmly and with a great attitude, and you always figure out the most sensible way forward whenever I’m frantically overthinking a situation. My time at The Spire would have been a lot more stressful the past two years without you around, not to mention it’s been an absolute blast to share this roller-coaster of leadership with you. 

Grace, thank you for sharing all your talents and spirit with the paper over the years. It’s been absolutely amazing to see you develop as a writer and a leader—your confidence, passion, and innovativeness inspire me. You bring your zest for life to The Spire, making the club an even more fun place to be and the paper even more interesting to read. 

Nicole, thank you for being such a patient and communicative Section Chief this year! You’ve done a wonderful job with the section this year. As much of a pain as The Spire computers have been this year, I’m glad all the technical glitches gave us more time to chat in the office!

Mike, you’ve been such a great Sports Section Chief! It’s been amazing to work with you over the years—your section had some extra difficulties in adapting to the remote semester, but you did a fantastic job, and the section has been thriving ever since! It’s been so exciting to see you develop as a journalist, and I can’t wait to see what your future in the field holds. 

Thank you to all my interviewees for being so generous in sharing your stories. It’s been such a special joy to learn about what’s meaningful to you, and I appreciate that you trusted me with communicating your incredible experiences and endeavors. 

Thank you to Yonca Karakiliac, director of Arts Transcending Borders, for being so supportive and helping me to cover more ATB events. I’ve really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes looks at ATB events and hearing your insights on the role the arts play in our community. 

Thank you to the advisors I’ve had over the years—Professor Steve Vineberg, Dean Brenda Hounsell Sullivan, and Sandy Burke. You have always been there whenever we need you most, and your guidance has been invaluable. 

Thank you to our printers—you’ve been so supportive and reliable. Thanks for taking care of us!

Thank you to all our readers—seeing someone walking around with a copy of the paper or receiving a compliment on an article always makes my day. It’s such a gift when you take the time to read the stories we put so much time and heart into. 

So much thanks to all of our team members over the past four years for your hard work, vision, and passion. 

There are still plenty of things I wish I had been able to introduce into The Spire, but I know I’m leaving the paper in such capable, caring hands, and I know that the team next year is going to have a strong run. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish. 

I sincerely hope that everyone on the team this year is proud of themselves for all the work you’ve put in—you guys are all so bright and passionate. I’m very glad to have been a part of this team.

I’m so grateful for all the friendships I’ve made through The Spire. The paper is such a special community, and it’s been the pleasure of a lifetime to be a part of it. It’s always going to be one of the defining characteristics of my college experience. I’m overwhelmed by my gratitude for all the great memories I’ve made and the wonderful people I’ve met. My time on the paper is one of the many experiences on this campus that makes me feel truly alive, and thrilled to be so. So thank you, everyone, who’s been a part of my journey.

Categories: features

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