If I were Millor Orator

April 11th, 2013

Today, in some ways, marks the end of an era.

With this new edition of The (award-winning) Carroll News, you hold in your hands the last installment of “Cooney Meets World.” This edition is also my last as editor in chief of The Carroll News.

The past four years at The Carroll News provided some of the best learning experiences I could have ever asked for. Those experiences will gain even more meaning and practicality once I enter “the real world.”

Exiting the newsroom for the last time as a Carroll News staffer is bittersweet. John Carroll University has been my second home, but it is time to move on to the bigger and better things that lie ahead.

Plenty of blood and sweat went into each of the issues I helped to put out each week. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights were spent meticulously laying out pages, researching my next story or crafting an article or commentary. I always hoped that you, the readers, felt what I had to say was important.

That brings me to the title of this, my final column. I offer my deepest apologies to my millions of adoring fans, but I won’t be giving the commencement address as Millor Orator. I didn’t even apply. But if I had, the theme of my speech would have gone something like this …

I found my niche at JCU through my work at The Carroll News. Countless late nights were spent, horrible slices of pizza were digested, friends were made, and jokes were cracked in our newsroom. In the end, our goal was to put out a quality product every Thursday.

Many traveled to areas of Cleveland where others don’t frequent. They were called more to service, whether that was through mentoring, teaching kids about civics, delivering food or simply by being there for someone who just needed a person to talk to. Their goal was to enrich the lives they touched – to brighten someone’s day by giving them something (food or a friend) they didn’t have before.

Others took to the court, field, pool, track or diamond. They built camaraderie with their teammates through tough practices or time spent together on the bus before a game. They spent grueling hours in the weight room or running drills just for the chance to play. Their will to win pushed them towards their ultimate goal – a championship.

The point is that whatever paths we chose or goals we pursued, we did our work with great passion. We toiled with an incredible amount of enthusiasm. We did what we did because we cared.

The fierce zeal everyone shared was evident from the moment I stepped on campus as a freshman. That quality in the people I’ve met along the journey, thankfully, has not changed. I’ve seen it in my friends, professors, colleagues and alumni I have met.

JCU is a place that embodies that spirit of “ad Majorem dei gloriam.” Now, it’s our turn to go forth and set the world on fire, as St. Ignatius of Loyola said. We are ready to make the world our own and share that passion we have with others.

This time might signal the end of an era. But it’s time to also see this period as a new beginning. Right now, we have an opportunity to carpe diem and passionately change the world for good. Will we seize the day?

A new staff, led by Editor in Chief Zach Mentz and Managing Editor Ryllie Danylko, takes over the reins of The (award-winning) Carroll News today. They are talented and ready to do a magnificent job.

And now, in my new role, I’m excited to see them seize their opportunity.