Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 2, 2022

Magazine



COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES — SHERIDAN LIBRARIES 
The Gatehouse was designed in an Italianate style.

The Gatehouse: From 1875 to today

Bluish-gray stone walls. Yellow accents around arched windows. A slippery, rundown wooden bridge leads to a front door with white paint peeling off it. And mounted over the door, a plaque which reads “News Letter Office.”



BERNARD GAGNON/CC BY-SA 3.0
Goodman attended and covered the Lacrosse final four and national championship games at Gillette Stadium in 2008.

Sports, spilled cereal and Jim Valvano: A reflection on my three years at The News-Letter

Hello. I’m Eric Goodman — Hopkins Class of 2011. I worked on The News-Letter from 2007-2010, the first year as a Sports section staff writer and the last two years as a Sports Editor. Since graduating from Hopkins, I have worked in consulting in D.C. and New York, got an MBA at New York University and now work and live in Seattle with my wife who also went to Hopkins (Class of 2013). 



ULRICH LANGE / CC BY 2.0
When Hocherman worked at The News-Letter, the paper was set in “hot type” on a Linotype machine.

Etaoin shrdlu: learning to proofread on Baltimore Street

I joined The News-Letter as a freshman in 1964. One of my assigned tasks, in addition to turning out profound, satirical, highly principled journalistic gems, involved going to our printing plant on Thursday evenings to proofread, an odious task reserved for rookies.


A psychologist sits down with her 1999 self

I still walk past the Gatehouse sometimes, 20 years later. Its arched windows and vestigial chimney still stand sentinel over the students who pass through its gently creaking doors, clicking their words onto screens late into the night. The sameness is somehow comforting. 


FILE PHOTO
As a Managing Editor, Hawk often worked shifts that were 20 hours or longer.

Re: The News-Letter 125th anniversary project

The News-Letter emailed over 800 alumni to ask if they would be interested in contributing to this magazine issue. Many responded to simply say yes, they would, but David Hawk went above and beyond and replied with a 1350-word reflection about his time at the paper — before we even asked him to write anything! What follows is his email to us, edited only for length and clarity, to preserve its enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and beautifully impromptu nature.


FILE PHOTO
In 2015, The News-Letter reported on the Baltimore Uprising and received a prestigious Pacemaker award for its coverage.

Going through The News-Letter’s archives (from the 21st century)

As we celebrate The News-Letter’s 125th birthday, it seems crazy to think that we have been up and running since 1896 and that we have covered everything from the everyday shenanigans of Hopkins students to earth-shattering global events and movements that have impacted the present day. I went through the archives of The News-Letter’s website, which go back to 2001, to find some of the weirdest, most interesting and most important headlines covered by our predecessors. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and read what the Hopkins community has been up to over the past couple decades:


COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES — SHERIDAN LIBRARIES
Students play volleyball on Freshman Quad in 1980, when Kun began his humor column.

Ham on Wry: How to become an obscure novelist

From 1980 to 1984, when I was very young and very thin and absolutely adorable if your vision was blurry, I wrote a silly humor column for The News-Letter. It was called Ham on Wry. I still don’t know why it was called Ham on Wry. That’s the name the paper’s scruffy editor came up with (hello, Andrew Hurley), and it stuck for four years through a couple more editors (hello, Steve Eisenberg). I probably should have asked one of them what the name of the column meant. They probably would have explained it to me if I’d asked.


COURTESY OF DAVID PORTER (A&S ’76)
A photo of Warren captured in 1976, during his time on the paper.

Dotto goes blotto while recalling times floating in News-Letter bravado

I’ve always fancied myself a writer. That’s why I responded when The News-Letter called for more voices, urging, “If you want to say something, write it down, and bring it in” (Friday, Oct. 4, 1974). Congenitally unable to pay careful attention to directions and details, I anonymously sent my article by campus mail and included my campus box address. Russ Smith (A&S ’78), one of the Features Editors, soon paid a visit to Hollander House.


COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES — SHERIDAN LIBRARIES
Students protest against apartheid in South Africa in 1986, when Iosso wrote for The News-Letter.

Risky business between The News-Letter’s sheets in the ‘80s

The dream is always the same. I’m writing a screenplay about a teenager fantasizing about his babysitter when my wife flings open the bedroom door. Writing is risky business. Or is it dreaming? I do more than my share of both, and The News-Letter, where I first let my imagination run wild on the printed page, must bear some of the blame.


COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES — SHERIDAN LIBRARIES 
Pictured above is the front page of the December 13, 1968 issue, back when Heagney began writing for The News-Letter.

Good luck early on: Working with a talented team at The News-Letter

When I began college in the fall of 1966, I wanted to do well in some extracurricular activities. I tried out for the football team and lasted two practices. Then I ran cross country during my first two years. I worked on the speech team for a year. I was involved in a campus community service program for three years. 


COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES — SHERIDAN LIBRARIES 
Yatchisin covered then-student president Michael Steele, pictured with former University President Steven Muller and Robert Friedman in 1981.

Growing up in public

It’s 1981, a few months after U2 released their debut album Boy. Perhaps the editors at The News-Letter knew a good joke when they saw one, so they assigned a boy to review it. That’s how I, a freshman and not even 18 yet, got to pen a review that’s not quite as embarrassing as I feared it would be upon re-reading it 40 years later. “Since all members of this group are under 21, musical history could be rewritten if this act gets itself together,” I offered in a bet-hedging opening graph. 


COURTESY OF EMILY SCHUSTER
Schuster (left) and Jha (right) pictured in the Gatehouse in 1997 when they were both Features Editors.

Eat This!: G is for Gatehouse

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly 25 years since the two of us were spending every Wednesday night in the Gatehouse basement, churning out the Features section late into the night and developing valuable skills and a lifelong friendship. After polishing stories from our writers, putting the finishing touches on our own features and laying out pages, we would use our last bit of sleep-deprived, slap-happy creativity to put together the “Cartoons, Etc.” page. This included constructing a quirky Word Find — with themes such as “Parsnip (And Other Words We Like)” and “After This, I Get to Go to Sleep (And Other Things to Be Happy About)” — and of course, writing “Eat This!,” the recipe column.


One of Gum's most memorable stories was covering the address to freshmen by then-University President Steven Muller, pictured in 1987 with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Alfred Carl Toepfer.

A look into The News-Letter in the late 1980s

Walking into the Gatehouse, to the right sat a long table with mismatched chairs. On a good day, pizza had just been delivered. On a bad day, half-empty boxes sat with grease congealing on cold slices. The paper had an arrangement with local pizza places: free pizza in exchange for ads. For hungry News-Letter staff, it was mutually beneficial unless you were a discerning eater. Cokes and Pepsis, regular and diet, were the fuel of choice.


COURTESY OF CALEB DESCHANEL
“Henry James Korn and a plastered friend on a recent visit to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.”

Telling truth to power in the '60s

As a precocious kid growing up in the ‘50s, I was a daily New York Times reader and avidly followed the ups and downs of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In the early ‘60s, I chaired a student World Affairs Council in high school and dreamed about becoming secretary of state. 





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