Duncan Slade

A photograph provided by Duncan Slade. 

Dear Reader,

Growing up, the Washington Post was on my family's dining room table every morning. I’d flip straight to the comics and occasionally I’d wander to the KidsPost on the back of the Style section.

To this day, I religiously consume those juicy advice columns. There was always a middle-aged woman with a name like ‘Meredith’ who dragged a husband who couldn’t keep his hands to himself but she couldn’t bear to dump him. She would just make me want to rip my hair out sometimes.

As I got older, my focus turned to the news section and I learned of the trials and triumphs of places near and far. The Post was my window to the world.

Every day the paper was there, waiting on the doorstep or in the bushes or under the car or lost completely (some paper carriers have terrible aim).

In high school, I was a last-minute invite on a class field trip to our local newspaper. We met some of the reporters that day, but the moment I’ll never forget didn’t happen in the newsroom.

At the end of the tour, we walked down this long hallway with a seemingly endless window. We stepped through double doors to see the printing press.

Printing presses have come a long way from the days of Benjamin Franklin. This thing stood four stories tall and layers of machine rolled paper and ink into finished pages. The enclosing warehouse reverberated with a machine’s roar and had this awe-inspiring energy about it.

As I start as the Daily Athenaeum Editor-In-Chief on May 1, I think back to these two experiences. Not as some tribute to the beauties of print journalism but as inspiration for this newspaper.

Over the next year, I want this paper and its staff to have that same energy as the printing press did — an awe-inspiring energy with the power to shape the world.

A good paper should make you learn, make you laugh and make you cry. It should be the things you need to know and a few things you didn’t know you wanted to hear about.

My pledge to you, the reader, is to tell the story of our campus, the forces that change it, the people that live here and make sense of it all.