Alumni Newsletter

Lankes: Help our student news organization grow stronger with The DOAA

Courtesy of Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes stands with the famous Shoe in front of the filing cabinet signed by former EICs located in the management office at 744 Ostrom Ave. during her tenure at The Daily Orange in the early 2000s.

The picture shows up on Facebook at the start of every summer.

Dozens of beaming young people lined up in front of 744 Ostrom Ave. Some just graduated, full of that bittersweet excitement to leave the Hill behind and start a new adventure. Others are headed off to summer internships, planning to return in a few months even more skilled and enthusiastic to help the next group of staffers.

We all remember that energy, and as much as things stay the same, so much has changed since our days at the paper.

Email and the internet were still relatively new when I first walked through the door of The Daily Orange in the fall of 1999. I got my first cellphone when I became editor in chief two years later. Some of the first calls I received on it were from my staffers calling about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, an event we now know would reshape the country’s culture and economy – and our industry.

These are challenging times for journalists. Each year brings new technology and tools, and with them new strategies for how we convey information. In the past decade, we’ve mastered everything from blogging and tweeting to branding and analytics, while at the same time troubleshooting tough economic conditions. No one really knows what the future looks like because the business is constantly reshaping.

It’s the passion I honed at The D.O. that gives me the drive to stick with it.

That and the fact that — despite the uncertainty of the business — each year dozens of vibrant, talented young people still file through the door of The D.O., spending the best hours of their college careers committed to the institution that shaped so many of us.

They need our support now more than ever.

And that’s what we’re hoping to provide with the revamped Daily Orange Alumni Association, which aims to create a more robust network of alumni who can assist with mentoring and training for staff members. Eventually, we’d like to assist the paper’s board of directors in developing a long-term strategic plan and fundraising strategy that will ensure opportunities for students in generations to come.

Here are some of the highlights of what we’ve been working on:

  • Identifying and reaching out to past alumni to develop a broad alumni network.
  • Revamping The Daily Orange mentoring program.
  • Exploring our options for establishing a 501(c)(3), something that will eventually allow us to assist with fundraising.
  • Beginning discussions with current management about developing a strategic plan.
  • Working with management to enhance the annual Daily Orange Palooza event by adding more social, professional and networking events that will serve our alumni as well as students.

And we need your help. We ask you to spread the word throughout your own social networks, encouraging fellow alumni to sign up for this newsletter.

We’d also like to see many of you at this year’s Palooza event on March 3-5, 2017, which will include a Friday night happy hour, tours of the campus and an SU men’s basketball game. Editor in Chief Justin Mattingly will deliver a state of the paper and I will lead a discussion about the alumni association’s goals moving forward.

It was those long nights of production — and early mornings at Denny’s or watching the sun rise on the front steps – that gave so many of us the start to rewarding and successful professional careers.

Now it’s time to support a new generation.

Tiffany Lankes (‘03) is president of The Daily Orange Alumni Association. She can be reached at Connect with us on Twitter at @DOAlumni.


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