Phillipian Alumni Offer Advice and Support to CXXIX

A group of nine former Phillipian board members returned to their alma mater this past Tuesday to celebrate the outgoing board of the newspaper, to reflect on their experiences at the paper, and to impart the tricks of the trade to this year’s staff. The Office of Alumni Affairs organized the event for the alumni and students. After a successful visit last year with a highly positive exchange between generations of Phillipian editors, the alumni were eager to return to meet the new board. The returning Phillipian alumni represented a span of nearly 40 years in Andover history. They provided a great diversity of viewpoints on the newspaper with wisdom they have gained since their Andover days and fond memories. These alumni represented a wide range of different professions including law, business, media, and journalism. The returning alumni were Martin Begien ’46, Bob Marshall ’64, Buzz Bissinger ’72, Gary Lee ’74, Roger Strong, Jr. ’75, Bill Kummel ’81, Tom Strong ’82, Dan Schwerin ’00, and Clem Wood ’04. Though Mr. Begien has not worked in journalism for 60 years, as a former Managing Editor, he continues to remain active in the future of the paper. Mr. Marshall, who worked as the Editor-in-Chief, is a retired counsel for Time Magazine, and a current member of the New York Times editorial board. Mr. Bissinger, a former Sports Editor, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, renowned for his book, Friday Night Lights. Mr. Lee is a Washington Post travel writer, who reported for Time Magazine from the Soviet Union during its collapse. Mr. Roger Strong is Vice-President of Sales, Strategy, and Analysis at HBO, and Director of the Strong Foundation in New York. Mr. Kummel, who served as Graphics Editor, is now Chief Operating Officer of the New York Sun. Mr. Tom Strong, whose Phillipian tenure included positions on two boards as a Sports Editor and then as Editor-in-Chief, currently serves as the national editor for the Associated Press wire service. Schwerin, a former Editor-in-Chief, continued his career in student journalism at Northwestern University before beginning campaign work for various politicians, including 2004 presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry. Wood was also an Editor-in-Chief and is the brother of current News Director Emma Wood ’07. He is a student at Harvard University, where he serves as a layout designer for the Harvard Crimson. The reunion began with a dinner in Ropes Salon on Tuesday night with the 10 Phillipian alumni and the current and departing Phillipian boards. Both boards had the opportunity to converse with alumni during the dinner. Mr. Lee said, “Working on a paper…is always a work in progress, but all of us were heartened by the hard work and dedication all of the students put into the paper…We’re never quite sure what role we can play but there was a lot of good spirit in our exchanges.” Afterwards, Phillipian Faculty Advisor Nina Scott gave a speech commending the outgoing Phillipian board. Afterwards, CXXVIII’s Upper Management gave sentimental speeches about their board, reminiscing and thanking each member for their hard work throughout the past year. Several alumni visited the newsroom after dinner to watch CXXIX at work and offer redlines of recent issues. Based on a myriad of their journalistic experiences, the former board members encouraged the new board to emulate well-respected newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. The alumni promised the board subscriptions to these publications to enable them to better model The Phillipian after their strengths. Ms. Scott said, “These are very distinguished people in this field, and we are so grateful for their advice and their making time in very busy lives for our paper.” “The alumni gave us so many ideas that we were inspired to change the paper even in this issue – the first since our meeting with them,” said Director of Productions Katharine Matsumoto ’07. The alumni gathering concluded with a luncheon on Wednesday afternoon, attended by the alumni and the CXXIX Phillipian board. “The alumni have always been very supportive of the paper. These distinguished former editors who have gone on into journalism have so much advice and so many great ideas that I hope we can put in place. As we move forward in the next year, we’ll remember the decades of tradition that have come before us,’ said Editor-in-Chief Steve Blackman ’07.