By: Tatum Hunter ~Editor-in-Chief~
The Newswire mourns the loss of Patrick Larkin, who died on Dec. 15. Patrick served as our advisor for 12 years, and he cared deeply about this campus and its student-run newspaper.
Patrick loved to tell us about the editor from his past who would stamp “So what?” in red ink onto any boring news story that found its way onto his desk. Patrick was fundamentally opposed to boring, and if there’s one thing he seemed to want for the Newswire, it was boldness.
Although Patrick was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, he insisted that his critiques were merely suggestions and that we should never be afraid to think outside the box. When I’d beat myself up over spelling errors or design mistakes, he’d encouraged me to stay focused on the “big picture.”
Patrick fought to keep the Newswire funded during tough times. He oversaw student coverage of every single change, triumph and scandal that Xavier has gone through during the past 12 years. He continued attending the Newswire’s weekly meetings even while receiving chemotherapy. He became friends with 12 different editorial teams, and I guarantee he will be remembered by each one.
Patrick had the unique challenge of taking a group of clueless students and teaching them how to be journalists, only to lose this group every four years and have to start over. In spite of this, he treated every issue as an important part of campus life and stressed that the Newswire has a duty to the Xavier community to provide honest news coverage and analysis.
As the Newswire moves on without our friend and mentor, I hope we will retain his enthusiasm, his eye for bullshit and his immense love of journalism. The news media could use more people like Patrick, and I hope that we at the Newswire can carry on his work as a true journalist.
So thank you for everything, Patrick. I know that no one can ever look back at your life and think, “So what?”
The Stanley Walker quote above is one of Patrick’s favorites. Donations in Patrick’s memory can be made to Washington UCC, 2950 Sidney Ave 45225, Shattuck-St. Marys School, Faribault MN 55021 (s-sm.org) or Women Helping Women, 215 E. 9th St. 45202 (womenhelpingwomen.org).