By Matt Durr
Where do I even begin to recap my time at Washtenaw Community College and more importantly, my time with The Washtenaw Voice? The first word that comes to mind is: unbelievable.
This college and this newspaper have allowed me to do things I only wished I could do a few short years ago.
Through this newspaper, I lived a dream by spending a season covering Michigan football. I was standing a mere 15 feet from Roy Roundtree when he made the game-winning catch against Notre Dame in the first night game ever at Michigan Stadium.
When President Barack Obama visited Ann Arbor earlier this year, I was privileged to cover the event from the time Air Force One landed through his speech on the campus of the University of Michigan.
I sat cage-side when the Ultimate Fighting Championship made its return to Detroit in 2010. And I got to interview a man I idolized as a teenager, when I had the chance to ask Nicklas Lidstrom from the Detroit Red Wings a question.
I’ve been able to travel with this newspaper to learn more about this business (and to win a few awards!) and visit cities I would’ve never thought of going to.
More importantly, while doing all of those amazing (at least to me) things, I kept my level of professionalism in check and didn’t allow the magnitude of the moment to cloud my ability to report.
I learned that ability from the phenomenal teachers we have in the journalism program at WCC. Rod Satterthwaite, Mark W. Smith and Dave Waskin were an instrumental part in my development as a journalist by teaching me the basics of this industry.
But it was the guidance and patience of Voice adviser Keith Gave that’s made the biggest impact on my work and my life. When I walked into The Voice office in 2010, I was nervous about the prospects of becoming a journalist and was quite unsure of myself. While it took time, Keith has helped shape me into an award-winning journalist who was able to find a job in the industry before finishing my schooling at WCC.
Thank you Keith, words cannot express the positive impact you’ve made on my life and the lives of my family.
My time at The Voice has been filled with laughter and good memories, in large part because of the wonderful and talented group of people I’ve worked with. I’ll forever miss “Production Fridays” (especially James Highsmith’s masterful freestyle raps). Being able to work next to the many talented people who fill the newsroom has been a pleasure.
Thank you to all my colleagues whom I’ve been privileged to work with over the last two years.
Finally I want to say thanks to the college. I didn’t always write the most flattering things about this place but I will forever look at WCC and the people around it with the utmost respect and fondness. Goodbye WCC and thank you for helping make my dreams come true.