Saying goodbye to something special

Editor in Chief Sam Malone says farewell, passing the torch

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Sam Malone

Editor in Chief Sam Malone lies over copies of the Northern Star while wearing a mask.

Sam Malone, Editor in Chief

As a little girl I dreamed of walking across a stage to receive my college degree, and nothing could have prepared me for this reality. The reality of a graduation without a ceremony — an accomplishment without smothering hugs from my family. 

But then again, nothing could have prepared me for the countless memories, irreplaceable friends and invaluable lessons I’ve learned either. 

My first few days on campus were filled with nervous nausea. My mom said, “look around; someday you’ll look at this, and it’ll hit you. You’ll say ‘This is mine. I earned this.”

The Spring 2020 Editorial Board enjoys a meal during the Illinois Collegiate Press Association conference.

And I did. And it was mine, and I earned it. 

My time at NIU and Northern Star has taught me about myself more than anything. It’s taught me about my love for journalism during a time when journalists are scoffed at. It’s taught me about my love for management. It’s taught me to forgive and seek forgiveness, to work hard but  play harder, and it’s taught me to love and be loved.

There was a time in my life when I fell. I fell hard. But the Northern Star picked me up. 

To our adviser Shelley Hendricks: thank you for being the support you have been. Spending my last few months of undergrad without you feels like a huge loss. I will forever look back on the days I perched on your desk sipping tea with a gratitude you cannot fathom. You have been a role model in journalism and in life, and I am blessed to call you a friend. 

Editor in Chief Sam Malone (left) and Managing Editor Noah Thornburgh spend some time hanging out.

To the Star’s hidden treasure Maria Krull: thank you for taking care of me. Thank you for the hugs and the advice, and all of the nudges in the right direction that you thought I might not notice. Thank you for the chocolates and cards that appeared on bad days and for loving me like only you can. My dad once asked me what made you so special, and I said “She’s the kind of woman I want to grow up to be.”

To my managing editor Noah Thornburgh: you’ve been so much more than that. You’ve been a rock when I needed a rock and a slap in the face when I needed a reality check. You keep me in line and true to myself. Thank you for showing me what friendship can be.

To my successors, Kurt Bitting and Haley Galvin: I leave the Star in good hands. I’ve watched you grow abundantly and am blessed to have had the chance to be part of your journeys. I hope to have inspired you as much as you’ve inspired me. 

To my family: Thank you for enduring my endless ramblings about the Star. Dad, if it weren’t for you I never would have talked to the ‘newspaper lady,’ and mom, if it weren’t for you I would have quit out of stubborn pride. 

And finally, to the Northern Star: Thank you for the memories and the growth. Thank you for the friends who will remain even though my time as Editor in Chief has come to an end. Thank you for Jessie Kern and Brandon Giesey, whose names deserve to be said in full — for giving me the world’s most amazing human in Jessie Kern and for every cosmic possibility happening just as it did so that the newspaper girl could fall in love with the TV boy.