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One last thank you

| Thursday, March 3, 2016

I began my term as Managing Editor while studying abroad in Dublin last March. I watched from afar, entirely helpless and useless as my friends at the paper transitioned into their new roles while they covered the biggest story of their Notre Dame careers when Fr. Hesburgh died.

As much as I wanted to, I could not be there to help lay out the next day’s paper, nor conduct interviews for one of the many beautiful stories that followed Fr. Hesburgh’s death. I could only keep in touch via email, offering encouragement and letting my friends know how proud I was.

My friends here still make fun of me for those emails, which almost always ended with something like, “I’m so very proud of all of you!” But as admittedly cheesy and dad-like as those words were, I sit here at the end of my term unable to think of a better way to encapsulate how I feel about my four years at The Observer.

I remain so very proud that my colleagues and I have worked so tirelessly to serve Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s over the past year. I take pride in the work we have done and the stories we have told. Despite all this paper’s flaws and shortcomings — the misspelled headlines, the layout goofs, the stories we missed — I am still satisfied with our end result. Through late nights that became early mornings and work acquaintances who have become lifelong friends, I can rest easy knowing my colleagues and I have given every last bit of energy and effort to this paper.

In this way, the end of my term brings with it a certain sense of relief — no more late nights in the office or fretting over those layout mistakes. But more than anything, I feel an overwhelming gratitude to this paper and the people who work so hard to produce it every day. Putting together a daily newspaper is almost always a thankless task. It requires a truly miraculous amount of time, collaboration and deliberation, crammed in the midst of a student schedule. But we do it anyway, somehow.

And, as my friend and (now former) boss Greg Hadley wrote last week, it was all worth it. It is nothing short of an honor to help tell the story of a place like Notre Dame. So, to everyone who makes it possible for us to tell that story — our reporters, editors, staff members, advertisers, and most importantly, readers — thank you.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Jack Rooney

Jack is a 2016 graduate of Notre Dame, and The Observer's former managing editor. He is currently spending a year living and working for the University in Ireland, and writing columns to keep him busy. For more random thoughts and plenty of news links, follow Jack on Twitter @RooneyReports.

Contact Jack