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The Griffin Editorial 03/03/23

After 90 Years, The Griffin Reflects

The Griffin was founded in September 1933. Three months later, prohibition was repealed. We like to think the two facts are related. Alas, while this correlation is unlikely to be causation, other causes and effects of The Griffin’s existence were recently made clear.

It is with happiness that, 90 years after its founding, we announce that The Griffin finally has a biography. Though it covers all 90 years — and the four years of its predecessor student newspaper — “The View from The Griffin’s Nest” promises only to be *a* history, not *the* history, of the paper.


With this consideration in mind, we are still proud to present the paper’s interesting and lengthy history. From causing the college to make the formerly mandatory ROTC program optional to publishing a nearly nude depiction of former Canisius President James Demske, Griffin editors have often made a real impact on their educational institution.


The work divides The Griffin’s 90 years into 10 chronological eras based on their varying attitudes toward the college and how they viewed their role as journalists. The earliest years were, as the project puts it, “Alma Mater and Almighty Father,” but since “The Secular Sixties” the paper has been much more neutral or even antagonistic toward Canisius and Catholicism. Some eras emphasized objectivity, while others were much more activist.


Also, as an addendum, included in the project is an explanation of how Canisius came to be called the “griffins.” For years, it has been thought that Dr. Charles Brady was responsible for our mascot — both this newspaper and our sports teams — being the griffin. That theory is incorrect. This project provides an alternative explanation of when and why the griffin actually became our brand.


The history is on our website and can be accessed using this link: www.griffinnewspaper.com/history. —PH


After 30 Years, The Griffin Reunites

In 1992, former Griffin editor Scott Sroka hosted the first reunion of former Griffin editors. Featuring an address by Robert Yuhnke and being honored by the presence of the very first Griffin editor-in-chief John Long, the reunion was a hit. However, such an event has not occurred since then… until this year.


On April 29, 2023, The Griffin is hosting a reunion of current and former Griffin editors (and contributors). With a continental breakfast served at 9 a.m. at the Regis Room on the second floor of the Student Center, the formal program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and include remarks from Canisius President Steve Stoute, Griffin Managing Editor Patrick Healy presenting his research on the paper’s history and a keynote address by Adam Zyglis, former Griffin art director and current Pulitzer Prize–winning editorial cartoonist for The Buffalo News.


After the program ends around 10:30 a.m., all attendees are welcomed to visit the Griffin office to see the many (legally obtained!) pieces of Canisius memorabilia and reminisce about which carpet stains, ceiling screwdrivers and couch rips were placed by which editors and for what reason.


If you are an alumni loyally reading this rag, please attend and bring your fellow Griffin friends. We regret that the oldest editors are no longer with us, but we can confirm the attendance of editors from graduating classes as far back as 1958. Other friendly faces — and a continental breakfast — will greet you as we celebrate what The Griffin has achieved and also provide advice for the future Griffin as it approaches a century of existence.


Indeed, institutional knowledge will be key in blunting what is sure to be a difficult next decade. With newspaper readership in general decreasing, fewer students are coming to campus having read a newspaper growing up. We hope to discuss with you suggestions on how to stave off a slow death akin to those of other local college newspapers. We have little desire to limp to our 100th anniversary, and with particularly young leadership likely taking office for the next academic year, there is an opportunity to mold this paper into a more modern operation.


Please RSVP by April 1 to healyp@canisius.edu. Any questions can also be directed to that hopefully busy email address. We wish we had a motto to cheesily conclude this message — maybe that’s something that could come out of the reunion. Instead, we will end with a plea to consider gracing us with your presence and spreading the word to those you know among our far-flung network of alumni. —PH


After 4 Years, The Griffin Recesses

The reunion should be a great opportunity to reconnect with former editors and improve the paper by looking at our past. Before that happens, though, we will connect with contemporary college newspapers.


For the first time since 2019, The Griffin will be attending the Associated Collegiate Press’s college journalism conference. Held this year in San Francisco from March 9 to 11, the conference is an opportunity to listen to those industry experts, participate in breakout sessions with college journalists from across the country and receive feedback on the current format of our print edition and website.


Unfortunately, because we cannot actually fly like our namesake mythical creature, we must travel by traditional airline and will miss most of next week. Therefore, most of us will not be on campus to cover stories or publish the paper on Thursday night: we hope you can excuse this temporary lapse in coverage. Our hope is that editors will return renewed with energy, inspired by the example of other college newspapers around the nation and the words of journalism industry experts.


We don’t know how our paper stacks up to others. Because of COVID-19, none of our current staff, including the editor who planned the flights, lodging and logistics, have been to this conference. Is a crack-of-dawn cross-country flight wise? Did he buy the right metro pass? Whatever the answers to those admittedly important inquiries, it should be an adventure that makes both the staff and our product more cohesive. Such is the joy of a fully student-run operation.


In our ninetieth anniversary year, this conference could help us solidify our strengths while freshening up those parts of the paper that are flagging. Thanks for understanding our break from publishing. We hope to provide an even better product upon our return! —PH


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