February 26, 2008
ASU’s student newspaper celebrates 50 years
Augusta, Ga. – Back when Augusta State University was known as the Junior College of Augusta, a few students got together and decided the school needed its own student publication. From those first discussions in 1957, The Bell Ringer was born. Now in its 50th year, ASU’s student newspaper is celebrating its golden anniversary with a series of events on March 20.
“The significance of this is rather mind-boggling, I think,” says Matthew Bosisio, assistant professor of communications at ASU and current Bell Ringer faculty advisor. “Anytime a publication or an organization turns 50, you can look back along a string of continuous motion where one person handed off to another, who handed off to another, and from that motion arose powerful, interesting history. So it is with The Bell Ringer. These former editors formed the newspaper and laid its foundation. And it is that foundation, that common link, upon which today’s editors and reporters labor in learning their craft as journalists.”
The celebration begins at 9 a.m., when former editors and staffers—many of whom remain involved with the media—are invited to gather in the Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom for a welcome, breakfast, and a chance to catch up with old friends. At 9:30, a panel of former editors will discuss life after their student newspaper experience and the state of the media today.
“Each of these editors came from a distinct moment in the institution’s past, has memories of crises, classes, landmarks, professors, campus and city issues that were central to their Bell Ringer. And some of them have been away for a long time,” says Communications and Professional Writing Chair James Garvey. “It will be interesting to see what they make of what we’ve become and what The Bell Ringer has become. That kind of perspective is one of the things that history provides.”
After the panel discussion, the group will join Sand Hills Writer’s Conference participants for the keynote address from Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Rick Bragg. Afterward, they will enjoy lunch on the grounds and a tour of the campus facilities that have been added in recent years.
“I am really excited about the event. I still regard my time at The Bell Ringer as one of my favorite experiences,” says Jason B. Smith, publisher of The McDuffie Mirror and Bell Ringer editor from 1993 to 1996. “That newspaper laid the groundwork for my career, and the lessons I learned in that office still hold true today. It was a wonderful opportunity for me, and I look forward to getting reacquainted with some of the folks I’ve lost contact with over the years.”
Former Bell Ringer staff members who are interested in attending should call ASU’s office of Public Relations and Publications at 706-737-1444.
Schedule of events
9 a.m. – Welcome (Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom)
9:30 a.m. – Panel discussion
11 a.m. – Keynote address from Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Rick Bragg (101 Galloway Hall)
Noon – Lunch on the grounds
1 p.m. – Campus Tour
* Jack Padgett, Jr. (editor, 1959) – Retired as a sales and marketing senior account executive for Lever Brothers Co., and served on the Richmond County Board of Education and the Richmond County Commission.
* William Harper (editor, 1968-69) – Pastoral assistant at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, and former graphic designer at The North Augusta Star.
* Elizabeth Adams (features editor, 1986-87) – Managing editor of The Augusta Chronicle.
* Jason B. Smith (editor, 1993-96) – Publisher of The McDuffie Mirror.
* Stacey Hudson (editor, 2000) – Arts editor of The Metro Spirit.
* Panel Moderator Rick Davis (editor, 1965-66) – Associate professor of communications, Augusta State University.