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Mission 100 days: It’s a little weird

Joly at the 2022 March Madness tournament in Buffalo.

By Aidan Joly, Editor-in-Chief

How do you sum up four years at Canisius in one 750-word piece?

I guess it’s my turn to give it a shot.

I think my story is a little different than what a lot of the other editors have said in their pieces, with these dreams of big schools such as Syracuse and the like. My senior year of high school, I only applied to two schools — Canisius and Iona College, on the outskirts of New York City. I got into both but had my heart set on Iona. The Canisius accepted student’s day was the first of the two. My family and I drove out here the night before, and I remember walking around downtown thinking that this was where I wanted to be. That didn’t change the next day.

I went to the accepted student’s day at Iona a couple weeks later, and I was ready to go home by noon, my decision having been made. (My parents made me stick it out a little longer.) That was on a Saturday I believe, and I put in my first payment to Canisius that following Monday.

Since then, the major constant in my life has been this little paper. I spent three years in the Sports corner, the best decision I have made in my college career. Through it, I both learned from and made great friendships with people such as Marshall Haim, Nolan Hopkins, Jay Ashdown, Adam Gorski, Connor Pohlman and so many others. Too many to name, honestly. I spent four seasons covering the men’s basketball team. There were some wins, some losses, thrilling games, heartbreaking games, a weird COVID season of Zoom press conferences and no in-person availability, but fun was always had. Three trips to the MAAC tournament, too; always a good time. That encapsulated in covering the NCAA tournament downtown in March, the thrill of my young career.

I can’t say how grateful I am for the 2020-21 editor-in-chief and managing editor, Mike Pesarchick and Steph Wetzel, for entrusting me with the position as editor-in-chief for this school year. I walked into it having written all of one 250-word brief for a section outside of Sports. This year, my byline has been in all four sections. (Including Opinion, finally!) That’s what you do with this unique position: helping out everyone where they need it. I truly hope that I made a difference this year within the campus community and all of you, be it our staff (I know you guys are reading this) as well as you readers, can look back on my tenure fondly and will continue to trust this paper for information, entertainment and education on campus and in the community. This year, we covered a lot, both good and bad. Because of that, I can’t say enough about how proud I am of every single person in this office. It’s been an honor to serve as their editor-in-chief. My successor, Julia Barth, will do a fantastic job next year.

Of course, some gratitude needs to be given out. First, I want to thank the wonderful professors that I have had over the years. Dan Higgins is the best advisor and mentor, both personally and to this paper, that I could ask for, and I’m thankful to call him a friend, too. More “thank-you”s go out to Dr. Wanzer, Dr. Irwin and all of the other journalism and communication professors that I have had over the years.

Many thanks go out to the folks at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where I had a great summer of 2021. I was able to learn so much from Jerry Micco, Ryan Winn, Lydia Craver, Mackenzie Rodrigues and more, who helped me with anything I could ask for and gave great advice and even walked me through an appearance on ESPN radio. That was an experience that I had wanted to have since I first learned about it when I was an 18-year-old freshman, and I did it in the summer of being 20 and 21 years old.

It's a little weird for me to say I’m leaving Canisius, because I’m really not. I’ll be spending the summer traveling around the state working for the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League in a communications position, but after that I’ll be coming back to Canisius in August to pursue a master’s degree in sport administration. This is something that I have wanted to do for the better part of two years, and I’m excited to be taking a chance on myself and doing it. No matter what happens for me in the future, journalism — and specifically this paper — will always hold a special place inside me.

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