Graduation day at St. Bonaventure University is quickly approaching. In fewer than three weeks, I’ll be walking the stage and getting my diploma.
The deadline for my senior journalism capstone- like a thesis project- is also quickly approaching. I have a week and a half to make final edits.
I call my capstone “Leading Ladies of The Bona Venture,” a title which, I’m sure, will need just a little bit of background info.
The Bona Venture refers to St. Bonaventure’s weekly, student-run newspaper, where I’ve worked as a writer and editor for the past four years.
Leading Ladies refers to the long legacy of strong women who have served as editor-in-chief of this proud journalism tradition.
I’ve spent the past semester interviewing a number of these leading ladies, hoping to find out what their experiences were like.
But what I found was so much more than catchy quotes and colorful anecdotes.
I found role models.
All of these women put immense skills- writing, editing, management- to work as editors-in-chief of The Bona Venture. They worked long hours, made tough calls and fixed mistakes. And they learned first-hand just how rewarding it is to pick up a copy—your copy—of The BV on a Friday morning.
They all impress me. But Sylvia Burke, my new friend who served as editor-in-chief in 1959, told me something that will stay with me forever.
“I never felt that I was the woman E.I.C. I was the E.I.C. just like the guys who had been E.I.C. before me,” Sylvia said.
For these leading ladies, being editor-in-chief is not about being a woman in power. It’s about being a powerful enough woman to set gender aside and focus on being the best leader you can be.
I am so proud to be a past editor-in-chief among these tough-as-nails women.