State Press alumni remember print: Marty Sauerzopf
I was starting my stint as State Press editor in the fall of 1988 when great friend and amazing reporter Darrin Hostetler learned that ASU President J.R. Nelson planned to announce his retirement at the annual Faculty Senate breakfast the Friday before the semester began. It was a blockbuster story for us, but unfortunate because the State Press wasn’t scheduled to begin publication until the following week. Unwilling to let the scoop pass us by (and being in the pre-Internet era), we worked with adviser-extraordinaire Bruce Itule and scrambled to pull together a four-page special edition. Since none of our support staff were working yet, Darrin and I and Managing Editor Joan McKenna laid out the paper, pasted it on the boards and got the entire thing ready for print. Darrin and I drove the proofs to the printer, stayed awake while it was prepared, then delivered the paper ourselves to racks all over campus before dawn. When the faculty began gathering at the Memorial Union for the breakfast, every single person in line had a State Press in hand, devouring every word. Nelson began his speech saying it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as that morning’s State Press, drawing laughs from the crowd, and he went on to announce his plans to step down.
It was one of the few special editions the State Press had done over the years, and we did a second one at the end of my term in spring 1989, when reporter Mike Burgess’ reporting about racial tensions on fraternity row led to a massive civil rights march on campus — the day after the State Press’ final edition of the semester. So we did one more special edition. Burgess won a national College Journalist of the Year award for his work on the story.
They were great times with some of the most amazing, hard-working people I’ve ever been associated with.
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