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Letter to the Editor | Next, Alaska (or Poland)

Retiring journalism professor Hank Nuwer says goodbye to Franklin College 


By Hank Nuwer

Special to The Franklin


To Franklin College students, staff, faculty and administrators:


Each year in May for my 18 years in the Pulliam School of Journalism, I have watched various peers march off into the sunset after satisfying careers. My departure, of course, coincides with the unprecedented shift to online classes. That means no meeting with cherished alumni, students, colleagues and former colleagues at the annual banquet. No goodbyes to the general faculty over a glass of punch. No goodbye hugs at commencement.

Hence, editor Erica Irish graciously has consented to allow me to send a letter to the editor with my thanks to all.


Saying farewell means saying thank you to each and every student, advisee and Alpha Lambda Delta member past and present. It means a special thanks to former PSJ chair Bill Bridges for hiring me in 2002 and to former professor Jerry Miller for teaching me the ropes so I could succeed him. It means special thanks to Joel Cramer for sharing a million jokes and his wisdom, to retired professors Susie Fleck and Dennis Cripe for tolerating crickets in their offices back when I kept geckos and fish in my office; to John Krull and former President Jay Moseley for tolerating me when I ill-advisedly decided bullriding might make an interesting side job; to Ray Begovich for discussing what makes fine writing over thousands of Starbucks coffees; to former Provost Lori Schroeder and Julie Leeth for cheerleading my research; to Ben O'Neill for our shared love of the outdoors and letting me guest speak in his classes; to former Vice President David Brailow, for taking the precious time to write many references on my behalf for (unsuccessful) Fulbright tries and some successful grants; and to Cindy Reese and Ann Barton for (sometimes) thinking my corny jokes were funny. To Kerry Prather for tolerating his basketball team's dropped jaws when I strolled through Spurlock the day after an ESPN TV appearance.


Franklin is and was a special place. In what other school could students refer to a Ben, Hank, Casey or Alli without mentioning a last name — and have no doubt listeners will know the reference? In what other small school could there be so many fine authors such as David Carlson. I know no other school with the best of the best people when it comes to alums and students.


If I said thanks to everyone who means something to me at Franklin, I’m afraid editor Erica would need to put out a separate edition of The Franklin. So I’ll stop here and just say farewell. I’ll be working full time on my hazing prevention work and this short video may explain my passion for this near-lifetime crusade.


Finally, thanks to my wife Gosia who never balks when adventure and I call her to come — even to the remotest outposts in Alaska.


Thanks, Erica, who excelled in my journalism classes by the way, for the chance to say one more time, “Go Griz.”

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