Editor in Chief Theresa Brown, celebrates her accomplishments working for the Cigar. Photo by Nate Plusquellsic.

Every time I pick up a new book to read, I can never stop myself from flipping all the way to the last page and reading it. Sometimes it completely spoils the whole book, but in most cases, it makes no sense whatsoever. This is one of those cases.

If I flipped to the last page of the book that is my University of Rhode Island undergraduate years I would be so confused, and probably concerned too. But it’s the pages that lead me here that matter the most. So, I’ll spare you the listing of everything I have accomplished, or how important I think the news is or even what legacy I think I left on the Cigar. Because, in reality, it will be completely different next year, and the year after that and all the years after that too.

The Good Five-Cent Cigar has a long history of amazing editors and reporters, each with their own story, and their own goodbye column that is enough to put me in tears thinking about all of the friends they made, skills they improved and laughs they had in Memorial Union Room 125. Because that’s the point.

I’ve found myself needing a reminder in the most stressful of times that when it all comes down to it, we’re a university newspaper. That’s it. The world doesn’t rely on us to find things out, we don’t break news that nobody else knows (except for a few times which was exciting). We are students who have formed a family that value being informed, experiential learning opportunities and the occasional goose-chase for the truth. And those reasons were enough for me to dedicate the last four years to doing what I do best, being part of that family.

Throughout the last four years, I have met my best friends, girls that will be bridesmaids in my wedding, people that I will hold on to for the rest of my life. I have learned from the most amazing role models, lived with five people on the editorial staff, spent countless hours talking about life with our amazing compositor and even had a few meltdowns with our always-helpful academic advisor.

So, when I think back on my time at the Cigar, I won’t think about the days that I was worried that we had too much or too little to put on a page, or the mistakes we’ve made or the countless hyphens I’ve had to add to compound adjectives. I will remember late-night advice talks with the former editors I still look up to, trips to buy 48 Olive Garden breadsticks with my “Freshman Newspaper Takeover” group and walks to the beach at 3 a.m. with my best friends.

Anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the Cigar’s former editor-in-chief Emma Gauthier, who pushed me to join the paper and former managing editor Nick Bush, who taught me just about everything I know. Thank you for all the encouragement even now. And thank you to all of the amazing editors that came before me.

And to my forever people, Ian Weiner, Evan McAlice, Kayla Michaud, Andy Main, James McIntosh, Joe Lachance, Laura Weick, Tona Campbell, Siobhan Richards, thank you for memories that I will always hold on to.

Finally, to the amazing reporters and editors that will come after me: Watching all of you grow and being able to celebrate your successes with you throughout the last few years has been my favorite part of all of this. In the tough times, remember that when all of this is over it’s the positives that you will remember. No negative is worth holding on to, even on the days when you’re swamped with interviews, on a tight deadline, trying to figure out what quotes are most important. To Kate LeBlanc, Nicole Wagner, Kayla Laguerre-Lewis, Will Pipicelli, Leah Crowley, Mary Lind, Jason Phillips, Adam Zangari, Imani Fleming and Aniekan Okon, just have fun with it.

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Theresa Brown
I believe that journalism is one of the most important fields in the world. It is incredible to have the responsibility of informing the public, and while I didn't know I wanted to pursue this interest at first I am so incredibly excited to take on this role. News, whether it be big or small impacts so many and I think that giving the students of URI a look into everything that is going on around them is extremely necessary to the overall functionality of the University. On another more personal note, I'm doing this because I have a passion for writing and because I care so much about the reporters and editors involved with the paper already and can't wait to work with them and lead them going forward.