To look back at how I started at Elon University, it almost seems like an accident.

I had always hated the news growing up, because it seemed as if there was nothing good ever going on in the world. I came to associate Brian Williams’ face and perfectly coiffed hair with death, conflict and all manners of natural disasters. 

So it was with trepidation I chose to sign up junior year for the newspaper class my high school offered because I needed another class. 

I remember my first story being about Jaycee Dugard, the woman who had been kidnapped for 11 years. It was, more than likely, a poorly written piece but the thrill of seeing my name in the paper was an ego boost, which still drives me today.

I did not realize it at the time, but this would be a turning point in my life, one that would eventually take me on a path leading to Elon and The Pendulum. 

The Pendulum’s 60 plus staff members and I have had the pleasure of delivering the most important news not only to the university, but to the surrounding community as well. There have been incredible highs and equal dips in the last nine months. From the low sanitation ratings for on-campus dining establishments to the scheduled opening of downtown’s newest business, The Oak House, we have striven to keep the community constantly informed. 

It is safe to assume, like the more than a thousand of you crossing the stage on commencement, Elon has changed. It has been an honor reporting on the issues as they have unraveled across the campus, town, state and even the nation. 

Whether or not you had always planned on receiving your diploma Under the Oaks or it turned out be a complete accident, you should be proud of your accomplishments. If nothing else, you’ll always have the memory of President Leo Lambert telling you not to make a bologna sandwich.  

Best of luck to you, seniors. Based on any indication from past graduating classes, you won’t have any trouble finding success.