The ’60s was all about change, both big and small. With society in such great turmoil, it just seemed like the right time to change the image of the campus paper.
Part of the ’60s was about “relevance”. Publishing a daily paper was appealing because we wanted to provide the campus with the most current, relevant information we could.
The energy level on campus was so high (and that could be said of some students too, I suppose) that it seemed the right time to take that leap of faith. And we did.
When I took over as editor-in-chief, it was ultimately my decision to rename the paper “Mustang Daily.” Until that point, it had been called “El Mustang.” The previous editor and I discussed the concept and decided since there was to be a change of editors, it was a good time to change the masthead to Mustang Daily.
I discussed the proposed change with John Healey, journalism department head. John was a personal inspiration and the faculty member who made the biggest impression on me in my academic career.
John, whose nickname was “Rock,” had the face of a lovable bulldog, and could be intimidating. He immediately put you at ease, however, once you got to know him. I took his nickname to mean he was someone you could lean on, trust and depend upon.
John quizzically questioned the proposal, but never told me it couldn’t or shouldn’t be done. He posed his concerns in the form of questions, then let me make the decision after contemplating the implications he intended me to face.
John loved challenges and I think he saw this as a big one. He supported our efforts and tried to help us make it happen. The Rock came through. It’s all about learning by doing – right?
No, we didn’t expect to be able to publish daily, at least at first. We thought that if we didn’t try, then it may never happen. At the very least we wanted the challenge put upon those who followed us to make happen what we knew we may not accomplish.
We were putting out three papers a week and once in a while four. With the small staff we had at the time, including the graphic arts guys and gals who had to turn words into lead slugs using the Linotype and actually print the paper, we were really pressing our luck.
When I turned over the reins of the paper to my successor, we still hadn’t managed to publish a paper on a daily basis – our initial attempts failed. But we tried and that makes all the difference. Let’s hear it for change, for learning by doing, and for trying to make things happen. Isn’t that what college is all about?