The South Dakotan
especially the four years here on this campus, set the stage for
my future ventures and adventures.”
Hagerty said she was privy to Neuharth’s benevolent spirit,
long before the scholarship and Freedom Forum took shape.
“All of us who studied under E.J. Trotzig knew his kindness,
and skill, and saw them as true gifts, and Al was among those
who recognized what he gained from the man we all called
‘Trotter’,” she said. “I remember years later, he gathered us all
together, to honor Trotter, and that it was a private event,
only set aside for all of those who learned from this likeable,
low-key teacher.”
In the 1960s, a young news editor for
The Volante
said he
recognized the role the newspaper played on a campus where
little local radio or TV made its way to the students. “We were a
focal point for news, especially for students,” said Craig Lawrence
’69, who worked as news editor at
The Volante
during his time at
USD. “It was a tumultuous time and issues like the VietnamWar
and protests of that war were a huge part of our experience. A
campus is always an intellectually active place to be.”
Lawrence’s career began in print and broadcast journalism,
and he then joined Paul Schiller ’70 to found Lawrence &
Schiller, a Sioux Falls, S.D. based advertising and market research
business. He said his years at
The Volante
were the greatest part of
his USD career. “
The Volante
was a marvelous experience where
we took the theoretical lessons of the classroom and brought
them to life in real-time,” he said. “It super-charged me and it’s
where I learned the awesome responsibility of standing behind
what I wrote. If you want to be a writer, then write. And there’s
no better way to learn to write than at a student paper. Covering
a story and being able to relay what you saw to others, to make
them feel as if they were witness, there’s no other lesson that
is more directly applicable than that one in all of the college
experience.” Lawrence and his comrades at
The Volante
their typewriters and notebooks in the South Dakota Union,
long before computer labs and networks could combine the work
of writers and editors in a uniform fashion. Later, the student
newspaper was housed at the Coyote Student Center and began
to incorporate technology in the industry.
As technology changed, so too did the newspaper, but
Karen (Jones) Palm ’84 said that she remembered building
The Volante
and how its role as the students’ voice connected to
its rich history. “For me, and for all of us, we were aware of the
history we had in
The Volante
, and how it connected back to the
earliest days of the university,” she said. “During the 1980s, when
I was editor-in-chief, we were still using typewriters. We did all
the typesetting and layout at the offices of the
Vermillion Plain
onsite. Our long Monday nights were spent there, laying out
the week’s issue.”
The paper under Palm faced challenges as well. Budget issues
across campus in the 1980s, along with the editorial voice, had
angered some representatives in the USD student government,
and the paper was among the programs and ideas considered for
cuts. “When I took over as editor-in-chief, it was during a tough
time, and we worked diligently to improve the image of the paper,
which had always been independent, but had fallen down some,”
she said. “We were extremely relieved when the decision was
made to keep
The Volante
open, and to keep it going. It was near
that time we began reaching out to Al (Neuharth) and of course
when he started his program, it really allowed the paper to shine.”
Allen Newman ’93 said that graphic design skills he learned
in his tenure at
The Volante
are still among the things he does as
office manager at Mac Pros in Sioux Falls, S.D. Newman felt a
personal connection with the paper’s long history when he began
work there in the late 1980s. “I was curious enough about
The Volante
’s history to want to see copies of the first issues,”
he said. “I was a big proponent of updating the paper visually
and conceptually, but change should acknowledge the past.
We need to be reminded that there were others before us.
When I started, the top of the page said ‘Student Publications
Board Newspaper’ and I thought it should say ‘The Students’
Voice Since 1887.’ That seems to have stuck as a viable identity
and mission statement.”
Newman guided a complete overhaul of the paper’s design
before his graduation and said his time at
The Volante
was one
that straddled an emerging change, since it was during the last
years before the Internet became relevant. “I think we could sense
Left, Craig Lawrence ’69, found
in-state success as a writer.
Right, Karen Palm and her 1980s
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