Schatzel bids farewell to print, welcomes online era

Photo Courtesy of Towson University

Dear Editor,

I’ve been an avid reader and proud supporter of student journalism throughout my career in higher education, and I’m proud to have gotten to know so many wonderful student journalists during my five-plus years at Towson University.

The Towerlight plays an important role on our campus, just like so many student publications do around the nation. Freedom of the press is important, and here at TU, we treat The Towerlight like any other professional journalism outlet, because, well, the student journalists make it one.

At the start of each academic year, I get the opportunity to speak with the editor in chief and one or two other members of The Towerlight’s editorial staff. I always enjoy getting to know them as students, hear their opinions and questions, and understand even more about the student experience at TU through their eyes. I always appreciate the work they do to tell the stories and news about our campus community. Those meetings continue through the year, and I often get to learn of the next steps in their careers during our final meetings as commencement approaches.

I’ve developed a unique relationship with many of the journalists at The Towerlight over the years. My very first interview with a local news outlet when it was announced that I would be the 14th president of Towson University was with a Towerlight journalist.

Towerlight alumni are everywhere! Local media I’ve given interviews to: Towerlight alums. National TV network anchors: Towerlight alums. Our season ticket holders and supporters of the RISE campaign: Towerlight alums. Members of my cabinet: Towerlight alums.

In this edition, you’ll hear from plenty of them reflecting on the impact The Towerlight has made on their lives. TU has been right at the center of those experiences. For that, I am proud and grateful. 

At TU, there are story-after-story waiting to be told about the opportunities here on campus and our impact as an anchor institution in the region and state. There are indeed many more Towerlight stories to be told and university milestones to be acknowledged. 

At TU, we have expert and dedicated faculty that provide real world experience through instruction and critical dialogue within our academic spaces. And while The Towerlight is an independent newspaper without faculty advisors, it isn’t lacking for faculty mentorship and guidance.

At TU, we have been evolving to provide a talent pipeline to our state for 155 years—first as the Maryland State Normal School and today creating opportunities in many areas of study, from education to kinesiology to political science. Today’s TU is a national leader in inclusive excellence, and an anchor institution for greater Baltimore, providing leadership for the public good.

In many ways, The Towerlight has not only documented those adaptations and transformations over the past century, it has also reflected TU’s mission to serve Maryland and its citizens. 

I’m proud of the legacy of this student news organization. And it is a news organization—not just a newspaper. So, while this is appearing in a commemorative print edition, I know the legacy of the many years of Towerlight publications will carry forward in a digital-only format. After all: The Towerlight will adapt.

Today, as much of the information we gather and consume unfolds not only on a screen, but on a screen in the palm of our hand, I can say I look forward to supporting our student journalists in their pursuits going forward. 

I applaud The Towerlight’s journalists for all they’ve provided to TU over the past century, and I look forward to what is to come this academic year and beyond.

As I so often say about TU, I think it also applies to The Towerlight: There is much to be proud of, and working together, there are indeed great things ahead.

Sincerely,

Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.

President, Towson University

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