Brendan Doherty: When I was a young child kept away in my parents’ attic hidden away from the world, all I had during that stressful time was my pad and quill. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a college newspaper writer, and so began my journey through grade school to reach my ultimate goal. Now, after achieving my goal I look to retire as a semi-professional newspaper editor and spend the rest of my years as a goat herder, tending to my flock and collecting goat cheese and milk. I would like to thank everyone for reading the paper and contributing if you have in the past. I encourage everyone to follow your dreams because you too could make it out of your parent’s attic and into the job of your dreams. Lastly, accomplish your life goals while you’re in college so you have nothing left afterwards.
Elizabeth Fitzgerald: The laughs, moments and memories I have gained from being part of The Beacon is something I am truly going to miss, but will never forget. Like other seniors, the time at Merrimack has come and gone too quickly, but not all get to say that they were part of such an amazing group of people. As a junior, I became a staff writer, and was unclear of where this experience would take me. Over a year later, I have The Beacon to thank for so many things. Whether it be helping to pursue a career in journalism or being part of a group of editors and staff that put out an unbelievable paper, I am forever grateful for my time spent here.
I thank The Beacon for colliding our worlds and bringing the editors together. I have made great friends here, and will forever be a member of our GroupMe chat. This year’s success wouldn’t have been possible without them, but also to our advisor, Gretchen Grosky; the mastermind behind it all. I wish the best of luck to the remaining editors, Brooke, Mateo and Jackie. I know with the guidance of Gretchen, this paper will continue to grow. Goodbye Beacon. Any one of you can take me home.
Karamarie Joyce: I do not even know where to begin, or how to express my gratitude in this letter. I first became a staff writer for The Beacon my sophomore year, not knowing at the time how much it would change my life. After being a staff writer for a year I became a columnist, creating and writing the reoccurring feature “Merrimack’s Most Interesting Person”. At the end of my sophomore the Editor-in-Chief at the time Pat Lawlor, asked me to take his spot after he graduated. Shocked at his presentation I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle being Editor-in-Chief, but I took on the responsibility and hoped for the best.
Now here I am three years later overjoyed at the success I have had as Editor-in-Chief, and unbelievably thankful for the staff writers and editors I have been blessed to share this experience with. Not only have we turned the paper into something the Merrimack Community reads, but also something they look forward to reading each week. We have developed a fantastic relationship with the student body and faculty at the college, and in return they have helped us an immense amount of times by getting us the information we need to publish stories.
So many memories have been made inside of the office, but some of my favorites were made outside of the office. I had the privilege of traveling to California two years in a row with the editors to attend the Associated Collegiate Press National College Journalism Convention, this convention taught us all so much about leadership and journalism ethics. It also brought us closer together as a group and we made so incredible memories along the way. Some of my favorites were our night exploring Hollywood and roaming around Santa Monica Pier.
I have nothing but confidence that Brooke will continue to improve the paper, and do not believe I could have picked a better person to replace me as Editor-in-Chief. Brooke is a hardworking, driven, and independent young woman and I am excited to watch her achieve all of her journalistic goals.
A special thanks goes to both Gretchen Grosky and Jim Chiavelli who have been not only the advisors for the paper during my time here, but also my personal mentors. Both Gretchen and Jim are extremely established in the journalism world and I look up to them in more ways than one, they have been my supporters, my teachers, and my friends and I will forever cherish the relationships I have developed with the two of them.
In closing, being a part of The Beacon is what pushed me to work harder, and challenge myself to do more. I will take the life lessons of teamwork, leadership, and commitment with me wherever my journey takes me next.
T Conley: My junior year I didn’t even know what “The Beacon” was, and at the time I probably didn’t want to. Little did I know, it was going to be one of the most memorable parts of my Merrimack life. I do owe a special thanks to senior Editor-in-Chief, Karamarie Joyce, for personally dragging me into the Beacon office that day and basically forcing me to join as sports editor. I came into the Beacon just for a résumé builder, but I left with a better knowledge of journalism and relationships I never thought I would have. I want to shout out to all of the seniors graduating with me; Kara, Elizabeth, Jess, Brendan, and Lance. I know the sky is the limit for all of you and I cant wait to see you guys at the top. As for the underclassman; Brooke, Jackie and my boy Mateo, I’m sure you guys will keep up the good work. I also want to make an even bigger shout out to our advisor, role model, or mom for a better term, Gretchen Grosky. You truly don’t know the impact you have had on all of us and you probably never will. From, all us seniors, we thank you for everything and love ya!
Lance Hill: Coming from a rough city, I definitely know what it is like to be content with failure. I used to sit in my room back in Lawrence and think about which way my life would go, and if I would ever make it to be someone, or even something worth talking about. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by great people who gave me the opportunity to attend Merrimack College, where many doors of opportunity were opened for me. I have made lasting friendships, made mistakes along the way and learned from my own and others. I have also met some great people, from both the United States, and the world, here at Merrimack. However, there is one group in particular that I had the opportunity to learn and grow. They were the editors of The Beacon. I have never been surrounded by such a charismatic, energetic, and dedicated group of people here at Merrimack. They gave me the chance to become their Media Editor and Photographer, and I couldn’t have been happier. I put my soul into taking the best pictures I could. The work they put in to make The Beacon the best it can be is awe-inspiring. Our advisor, Gretchen Grosky, is probably the greatest person on earth. She has done so many amazing things that I can’t even wrap my head around. I mean, she won a Pulitzer Prize for goodness sake! Our trip to California will always be in my memory. I got to know more about each and every one of them there, and it made it even better to be in Hollywood for the first time.
I can definitely go on forever about how great this staff group is, and what they have done for me in the past year. We don’t have that much space in our layout, so I will leave them with this: In some way, shape, or form, all of you have made a difference in my life and made my experience here at Merrimack untouchable. To, Kara, Brooke, Jess, Jackie, Brendan, Mateo, Tom, Elizabeth, and Gretchen, I bid you all adieu and wish you all the greatest of blessings thereafter. And to everyone else who shall read this and take our places as seniors; move on and be remarkable. No goal is too high for you to achieve. Take my word for it, I am a living example.
Jess Raver: In the spring of my freshman year, I joined a class called Newspaper and New Media. Being a painfully shy individual when it comes to meeting new people, when my professor offered a chance to stay in the newsroom and contribute to the layout design, I jumped. Despite the long hours sitting in front of a computer, I found I really enjoyed the newsroom atmosphere and putting the paper together. Eventually the class ended, but my interest in the Beacon stuck around.
Despite being a senior, I don’t know too many people around campus. I am not a member of student government nor do I play a sport. I have a small group of friends I love and trust, but I don’t generally step out of that comfort zone. It’s for these reasons that The Beacon has become so important to me. Working on this paper has allowed me to feel as though I can contribute to something on this campus. It has given me a place that I can feel valued. Being in the office on those long Wednesday nights has enabled me to become a part of Merrimack in a way that never could have happened otherwise. From struggling to finalize the paper, to bonding in California, being a part of this newspaper has been a life changing part of my Merrimack experience.
In my time here, I’ve worked with some pretty amazing people. From Jim Chiavelli to Gretchen Grosky and all the editors I’ve had the fortune of working alongside, I’d like to say thank you. To my fellow seniors Brendan, Karamarie, T, Lance, and Elizabeth, it’s been an incredible ride. I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know you all and I wish you nothing but luck moving into the next phase of your lives. I have nothing but confidence in every one of you. As for Brooke, Jackie, and Matt, I know the paper is in good hands with you. The paper has grown exponentially in the time we’ve all been together and I have no doubt it will only continue. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of something truly special.