News editor says goodbye to a position she never thought she’d have

Claire Allbright

My time at The Daily Texan has really come full circle.

I started as a general reporter my first semester freshman year, wide-eyed and eager to learn. After a stint in the copy department, time as a news desk editor and one crazy legislative session, I said “bye, see ya later” to a place — and a news department — that had been my home for two years.

After completing the Archer Program in Washington, D.C., I assumed I’d be back at the Texan. But my plate was full — I learned Arabic and interned at The Texas Tribune. Despite my crazy schedule, I was always looking for how to fit the Texan in. I had almost given up when I heard the news department was in need of a department head.

The truth is, I was in need of the news department.

But coming back was scary. I hardly recognized any of the names on the staff applications, yet y’all quickly made me feel like I was back home. To my senior reporters and news desk editors, y’all were tasked with the enormous jobs of writing and editing stories about every corner of the campus. You did that so well this year — our campus is better informed for it. And to my general reporters, this paper values your work more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for letting me be your news editor.

Clocking in at 50 people strong, the news department is the backbone of this paper. What we do here is incredible. Every single day there’s school, we create a paper. For so many, including myself, this place is where they get their first byline. I wanted to be news editor to give back to the place that gave me so much. I hope I was able to do that.

But I couldn’t have gotten here alone.

Sam, I can only hope I was half as good a news editor as you — thank you for welcoming me. Forrest, Catherine and Ellie —  I can’t believe the three of us started together four years ago, and I don’t have the words to express how much it means to me that we were all here this semester. Y’all are going to do incredible things. Wesley, you’ve been my longest friend on this campus — finishing this semester with you by my side feels right. Chase, thank you for the countless conversations, margs and encouraging text messages — your support has meant the world. And Anna and Sami, thank you for all of your work this semester — I couldn’t have done it without you.

I don’t know what the future holds — for now, I’m looking forward to my wedding in November — but I do know that this place and these people have prepared me for whatever is next.