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Leading Ladies of The Bona Venture: a proud tradition

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.

Filed under St. Bonaventure University The Bona Venture women student journalism