My time at the University has proven that life is about peopleBy Rich Robinson | 12/01/2014 9:08pm
I have greatly enjoyed my time at The University of Alabama. The past three and a half years have opened my world wide and allowed me to experience some truly incredible things. None of this would have been possible if not for the support of a great deal of people from many parts of life and campus. First off, I’d be nothing without the love and guidance offered from my family, so the highest praise must go to them.
I had the pleasure to write my first story for the Crimson White before I attended my first class at the University. Since literally day one at the Capstone, the CW taught me about journalism and how to conduct myself in the public sphere. It’s been one of the best educators I’ve had, and I’m forever proud to have been part of this paper for my entire college career. Special thanks to Stephen Dethrage, Melissa Brown, Mazie Bryant, Victor Luckerson, John Brinkerhoff, Patrick Crowley, Deanne Winslett, Jordan Cissell, Mackenzie Brown, Tray Smith, Lauren Ferguson, Marc Torrence, Marq Burnett, Katherine Owen, Matt Mecoli and my freshman year editors Taylor Holland and Katherine Martin.
Some of the best opportunities are the ones that blindside you. That was certainty true with my work as the play-by-play radio broadcaster for the Alabama gymnastics program. For three seasons, I had the pleasure of covering the team all around the country and bringing the action to our passionate fan base. Thanks to the living legends, Coach Sarah and David Patterson, for giving me the opportunity to be part of the team. Also thanks to Dana Duckworth, Bryan Raschilla, Stephen Buckner, Robin Kelley, Rita Martin, Ben Smith and all the team trainers and student managers who work so hard. Thanks to the gymnasts, who are some of the most driven and talented human beings I’ve ever met. To Chad Haynie and Mick Gillispie, I thank you for the faith you had in a freshman who had never watched a full gymnastics meet before getting the job. As far as our broadcast team, all the credit should go to my partners Leesa and Jan Davis who are pillars of the UA sports community. And a special shout out to Roots Woodruff who helped me learn the sport and is a fierce advocate for college gymnastics.
One of my proudest achievements at the University was the founding of a daily radio news program on WVUA-FM called “Capstone News Now.” I learned so much in this endeavor and believe that we have built a foundation for a sustainable news outlet that can both serve the students and people of Tuscaloosa. I’d like to thank Cliff Kyle for believing in me enough to try out this crazy idea three years ago. Deep thanks are owed to the people who sacrificed great amounts of their time to make our program successful: Chris Beacham, Melanie Viering, Taylor Wray, Sonny Dill, Kristen Feyt, Maggie Brown, Seth Juneac, Spinks Megginson, Patrick Brickman, Marcus Flewellen, Collin Burwinkel, Alexis Winborne, Alex Thomas, Danielle Burney, Will Wendel, Evan Reier, Heath Howard, John Burleson and Alabama Public Radio news director Pat Duggins for his guidance. Thanks to the professional staff at the Office of Student Media for their commitment to an independent student press and constant support: Paul Wright, Terry Siggers and Mark Mayfield to name a few. And to Jordan LaPorta, we have great faith in your ability to lead this experiment forward.
Academically, I’d like to thank Chandra Clark, Pam Tran, Chris Roberts, Robert Halli, Josh Rothman, Barbara Chotiner and so many other professors who have left an impact on my life.
And in the end, life is about people. That’s what the University will always be to me: a time when amazing people came together to do incredible things. Thanks for allowing me to be along for the ride.
R ich Robinson is a senior study ing telecommunication and film graduating in December. This is his final column.