Last Goodbye: Wes Sanderson – Northern Star

Ask me about the news, sports or topic of the day and I could talk to you for a good few hours. Ask me about my relationship with the North Star, and I didn’t even know where to start.

This semester has been a rollercoaster. It gave me a lot of pride, but also a lot of stress. I would never change this semester and the past school year.

The Northern Star was a second home to me. It pushed me to confront my areas of growth and gave me the freedom to explore my career aspirations. Having been here for only two years, the star will always hold a place in my heart.

I started covering the return of college athletics after COVID-19 upended everyone’s college career. I was comfortable in sports and saw myself moving into the role of sports editor last May, but the Northern Star had other plans. At risk, I put myself in danger and applied to be an editor. In doing so, I dove into the depths of management and the purpose of running a news organization.

Many times throughout this journey, I’ve doubted my abilities as a leader and editor, but I don’t regret taking that leap of faith. I have loved helping publishers hone their craft and create award-winning products and content.

The institution isn’t what makes the Northern Star home, it’s the people who make it a home and I’ve been lucky enough to meet some great ones along the way. The people who occupy Campus Life Suite 130 make it all worth it.

To my first sportswriter Jarrett Huff, thank you for taking the risk and hiring a transfer student who cared a little too much about golf. You gave me the opportunity to develop my voice and teach me the intricacies of journalism that sometimes cross my mind.

To current editors and layout staff: Brionna Belcher, Madelaine Vikse, Abby Lamoreaux, Elisa Reamer, Jordan Radloff and Kurt Bitting. You have all given me enough laughs, smiles and proud moments to last a very long time. Keep doing an amazing job. It’s been an honor to not only be your boss, but I’m more honored to call you all my friends.

To our advisors, Shelley Hendricks and Maria Krull. Thank you for always answering my calls, and listening to my concerns, whether work-related or not. You both supported my decisions and my passions 100%. You are both amazing women and I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me and the Star.

To our audience, thank you for spoiling a 24-year-old. None of this is possible without your support. I am honored to have earned your trust and readership over the past year.

The biggest thank you goes to Kierra Frazier. You were my first editor and you became my best friend. Even when you weren’t in the staff, you still took the time to listen to me and tell me “it’s going to be fine”. Some of my fondest memories are Tuesday print production nights with you. You are an amazing journalist, but an even better friend is more than I could ever ask for.

My time at the Star helped me become a journalist, an editor and a man. Not everything was perfect, but part of the university is learning, so the Northern Star helped in that department as well.

I look forward to seeing Étoile du Nord grow in the months to come and I know you will always have my support.