The Outlook Student-Run Newspaper held their first alumni event in honor of their 80th anniversary in the Eyas Lounge of the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) during the St. Peter’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Over 40 Outlook alumni guests from as early as 1965 attended the event with family and friends. During the event, alumni were joined by current Outlook staff members, professors and other faculty to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cake while discussing the many memories and changes the newspaper has seen over the decades.
John Morano, Outlook advisor for the past 25 years and communication professor, said, “[The paper] changed in some of its design, the use of color, the web presence, the new facility in the Plangere Center. But really, it’s what hasn’t changed that’s striking to me.”
Morano added, though many features of the newspaper have changed, the dedication that the Outlook staff members put forth each year has not, and continues years after year.
Many alumni returned to the University campus for the first time in several years. Jeffrey Newman, 1976 alumnus and previous Outlook staff photographer, and his wife saw the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) and the Jules Plangere Jr. Center for Communication for the first time. “It was great to come back to the school and see all of the changes. Everything is so beautiful,” Newman said.
Newman was most impressed about the new Outlook office. “The Outlook used to be in the second floor of an old house,” said Newman. He explained the old house was surrounded by a chicken farm and provided a limited amount of equipment.
Gale Peaceman Lackner, 1975 alumnus and 1974 editor-in-chief of the Outlook, also remembers the old Outlook office building. She discussed the changes to the building and how the format of the paper has evolved over the years.
“The varityper made the headlines,” Peaceman Lackner said. “Each letter was chosen from a round wheel. Once you chose the letters for the headline it was printed, similar to a label maker, and then cut out and pasted.”
Peaceman Lackner said during the 70s the entire paper was pasted together, there were no fancy computers or gadgets around like there are today. “Somebody would write an article, they would have to sit down and type it out on the type writer. [The secretary] would sit down at the giant computer, a type setter, and type up anything anybody gave her. Then it would print out in the columns and we would have to glue it all down,” Peaceman Lackner said.
Advertisements often included hand written messages and the borders were made from tape, Peaceman Lackner explained. The function of laying out the newspaper was very different years ago.
A majority of Newman’s memories from the Outlook newspaper were spent photographing the many protests on campus. “It was a delicate time on campus,” Newman said.
During the 1970s the biggest campus news often involved a protest in Wilson Hall or on the Great Lawn, Newman explained.
Newman said while working for the Outlook, the Kent State University shooting in Ohio had recently occurred and Vietnam War was underway, thus causing many students to hold protests. “During those years there were sit-ins on the Great Lawn overnight … They also took over Wilson Hall for a day.” Newman photographed each of these events and the Outlook newspaper reported on them.
Peaceman Lackner, added that during her years working for the Outlook, the protests also occurred in reaction to Richard Nixon’s resignation and the University’s decision to switch from campus security to campus police officers.
The Outlook reported on the decision because many students were not happy about police officers walking the campus with guns, Peaceman Lackner said. She explained that the day the paper came out with the story, every issue disappeared. “We don’t know where they went, but we reprinted it,” said Lackner.
The alumni each expressed the amount of dedication the put forth during their years on campus and how it impacted their careers. Newman said his position as a staff photographer at the Outlook directly impacted his choice in career. Prior to joining the Outlook, Newman had no photography experience. Newman was a social work major in college and foresaw himself in a completely different line of work.
Post-graduation, Newman recognized his new passion and pursued a Master’s Degree in photography. He eventually became a photography college professor for a number of years.
Ed Morlock, 2013 alumnus, also attributes his current job to the skills he learned at the Outlook. “The work that I did while at the Outlook is exactly what I do at my current job,” said Morlock. “The only difference is that the Outlook was once a week and this is every day.”
Morlock, currently the Paginator at the Trentonian Newspaper, said he is using the same skills and programs the Outlook staff uses and it “couldn’t have prepared [him] any more than it did.”
Arthur Lackner, 1974 alumnus, and editor-in-chief of the Outlook during 1972 – 1973, started his own business type setting business using his experience at the Outlook newspaper.
“My husband had a business for 23 years doing [newspaper work] after the Outlook,” Peaceman Lackner, wife of Arthur Lackner, said. “He did writing and editing for all of the papers in the area, he had his own typesetting equipment.”
Not all Outlook staff members graduate with jobs in journalism or use their experience learned, although many receive a related job.
Jenna Intersimone, Advertise for the Asbury Park Press, studied to be a journalist although is currently working in advertising.
Overall the alumni enjoyed the event and the opportunity to meet previous and present Outlook staff. “It was wonderful, a bit moving, to see generations of Outlook members all gathered together in the same room,” said Morano. “Many of these people are like family to me. In a sense, it was almost a family reunion.”
Jacklyn Kouefati, Outlook Editor-in-Chief, said, “I think the event went really well. We never did anything before so I didn’t know what to expect, but we had a great turnout.”
Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Communication Department, said the Outlook alumni event was nothing short of terrific. “It was wonderful to see members of the Outlook from across the generations sharing their experiences, rekindling friendships and making new ones. It was a great turnout to a great event.”
The success of the event is attributed to Sandy Brown, the Outlook office coordinator. Brown planned the event and organized each aspect. Morano said she deserves a “newsroom of credit,” and was very happy with the result of the evening. “She planned an event fitting of an 80th anniversary,” Morano added.
“Everyone in this room is directly responsible in some way for the success of this newspaper and the fact that it’s been here for 80 years and I don’t see why it’s not going to be here for 80 years more,” said Morano.
PHOTO COURTESY of Jim Reme
Two weeks ago, in a story headlined “The Outlook Celebrates 80 Years” The Outlook reported the wrong spelling of a name. Jeffrey Newenhouse should have been Jeffrey Newman. Also, in the same story, Newman was quoted saying “stake-outs” but the correct information is “sit-ins.” If, for any reason, these two inaccuracies have caused misunderstandings or problems, The Outlook regrets that.