By Brendan Monahan
For Stonehill’s recent Alumni Day on Jan. 31, the Alumni Affairs Office assembled events across campus for graduates from all class years. One such event marked the 65th anniversary of The Summit, bringing former editors and staff members from each decade together at Donahue Hall. Those present for the celebration included The Summit’s first editor-in-chief in 1952, Bill Sullivan, who also helped found the paper in Stonehill’s infancy. Another former editor, who served in 1957, flew from Dallas to attend. Couples who met while working on The Summit, and later married were there as well as groups of old friends who had not seen each other in years.
Beyond all this, the event was significant for those there for two reasons: the feelings it evoked, and what it represented.
For alumni from yesteryear it was a harkening back to the good old days, and for recent graduates and current staff it provided a sense of history of both The Summit and Stonehill College. These feelings were present as soon as you entered Donahue Hall.
Every person I spoke with expressed the sentiment that their work on The Summit had a significant impact on their lives: for some it meant loving relationships or lasting friendships, for others it was a chance to get a fresh start, be heard, or even find a career path they never would have pursued otherwise. This impact was not limited to these individuals. It translated into the work The Summit did yearly and the impact that had on the College community. This impact was most measurable when the paper served as a sounding board for students on controversial issues of the time, both on campus and nationally, such as civil rights, the Vietnam War, quality of campus food and housing, binge drinking, sexual assault. Over these past 65 years, The Summit has worked to inform and provide a voice to the Stonehill community for nearly as long as the College has existed. And a new staff of students has been charged with this task each year, making this accomplishment even more remarkable.
This leads me to consider what we as a staff accepted as our mission when we set out The Summit, and I found it stated simply in my very first Letter from the Editor in Chief:
“The Summit is a vital part of the Stonehill Community because it provides students with need to know campus news. With Stonehill’s many administrators, departments, and organizations, it can be tedious for a student to keep track of everything that is going on. The Summit is an easily accessible media source that provides all student and College news in a condensed, and easy to read form.”
What I wrote in the beginning of the year seems to be exactly what the mission of the Summit has been since its founding. I didn’t know this when I wrote that first letter, and only learned of it after speaking with the many great former Summit staffers that came before me.
That being the case, I hope The Summit’s 65th staff is successfully carrying on the mission and legacy the first staff, headed by Bill Sullivan and many others, established so many years ago.