Bridget Reilly, sociology senior and editor in chief of The Wichitan, and her dog Jack, Jan. 30 (Abigail Jones)
Bridget Reilly, sociology senior and editor in chief of The Wichitan, and her dog Jack, Jan. 30

Abigail Jones

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” Winne the Pooh said

April 18, 2021

Bridget Reilly and The Wichitan team at a track meet at Texas Tech University. (Photo courtesy of The Wichitan)
Bridget Reilly poses with her graduation cap, April 9 (Niko McWilliams)

In August of 2015, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Australian walked onto the campus of Midwestern State University. I came to MSU on a scholarship to run track. It wasn’t, by any means, my first choice university, but the Spirit of the Universe put me on the path to this little town I have made my home.

Unfortunately, I fell out of love with track and field — a breakup that haunts me to this day. However, with the end of one relationship, came another that I couldn’t have dreamed of. In the fall of 2016, I was chatting with a photographer from The Wichitan sharing photos we have taken. He convinced me to meet the editor in chief, Kara McIntyre. I walked into that little storage closet they called an office and the space had an aura like nothing I had ever felt. I joined the organization that day and haven’t looked back.

My journey at The Wichitan goes like this: photographer, photojournalist, chief photographer, photography editor, editor in chief. Never, in a million years, did I think I had any potential to be a writer, let alone lead the organization. Firstly, I am a sociology major and criminal justice minor, I didn’t think other majors could be a part of the newspaper. More than half of our team are not mass communication majors; we have English, education, political science and kinesiology to name a few. Secondly, I was an athlete. Since when are athletes allowed to do anything but work out and go to class? Whatever you do, no matter who you are, you have a place at The Wichitan.

Bridget Reilly, co-hosting on Mustangs On Air Live, April 14.

While professionally I grew to insurmountable heights, personally I grew like the Big Friendly Giant in his pre-adolescent stage. I’ve had my highest highs and my lowest lows while being a member of The Wichitan and not once did the team let me slip away. We are not just an organization or friends who meet on Mondays at 5 p.m. to go over story ideas; we are otters who hold hands when they sleep to prevent themselves from drifting away from the group.

I’ve had the pleasure to see our little ol’ newspaper grow and thrive. From the storage closet to our very own office, upstairs in the Fain Fine Arts building (D201), we now have a view of the campus and state-of-the-art software to go with it. This wouldn’t have been possible without the tenacity and drive of the mass communication department. Not to name names, but if you’re ever in the building and run into the Dean of Fain Fine Arts Martin Comacho, Chair of the Mass Communication department, Jim Sernoe, Professor of Mass Communication, Jonathon Quam, or Studio Director Lisa Thames, you have come across MSU royalty and should bow at their feet. These human beings are the backbone of our organization, and we could not be who we are or run without them.

Bridget Reilly and Amos Perkins, education junior and managing editor, at a recruitment event for The Wichitan. (Emma Perkins)

All of this is a testament to just how much time, effort and love the students and advisors at  The Wichitan put in to making you one of their own and help you build and learn along the way. I have made connections here, I have met my (hold on, my eyes are leaking) best friends here and I have become the woman I am today, here. I am ready to spread my wings they helped mend and grow, and fly to my next destination. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I do know that every little thing I have learned (besides the oxford comma rule) will guide me to the right place.

It has been an honor serving as the Midwestern State University newspaper editor in chief, and I wish the new team all the breaking news stories and TIPA awards they can get.

With love,

Bridget Reilly

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  • S

    Suzanne ShipleyApr 26, 2021 at 4:36 PM

    You’ve been a wonderful editor, Bridget. We’ll miss you like crazy and enjoyed sharing these years with you. Love your pooch! Dr. S

  • J

    Jordan BreedloveApr 20, 2021 at 10:48 PM

    Congrats Bridget!

  • M

    Meg GardinerApr 20, 2021 at 12:49 AM

    So proud of your achievements Bridget. I knew you could do it, all those years ago doing your true crime presentation. Good luck!