Spring 2024 Staff Goodbyes

Emeri Glen – Web and social media manager

When I applied for a position at the Champion last year, it was with full hopes of becoming a copy editor. The position I was hired to fill, however, turned out to be much more outside my comfort zone and more challenging than I would have anticipated.

My role as social media and website manager has taught me to become pliable, to learn to work well with others, to die on fewer hills and, most importantly, to seek the small ways through which to share my faith in love and honesty.

I am so incredibly thankful for the hard work and diligence I’ve witnessed from my coworkers, for the direction, integrity and care of Mrs. Huff and Dr. Young and for the opportunity to grow, however stretching it may have been at times. If you’re thinking of applying to the Champion, and you dislike stellar community, living memes, Christ-like love for others and a pursuit of the truth, then this is definitely not the place for you.

Thank you, Champion staff, for challenging me to be better. New staff, know you’re well looked after!


Annie Cory – Sports editor

For the past two years, the Liberty Champion has been a source of friendship, growth, creativity and fun. I never would have guessed a couple of Aprils ago that I would be so sad to leave the doors of this office.

In a work sense, the Champion has provided me with countless opportunities that have stretched me as a writer and professional. Getting to cover everything from the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona to a 10-day national hockey tournament in St. Louis is something I never thought I would get to do in my college years.

But when it comes down to it, the people that I worked with and spent endless hours editing pages and covering events with made the job as amazing as it is. Special shout-out to Noah SDSLR and my girl Anna for being the best photographers and friends I could hope for. To the design queen Avery—I’m going to miss our Monday nights spent going crazy together trying to get our pages done! And special thanks to Aaron for putting up with me this long and being the best assistant sports editor out there.

To Mrs. Huff, Dr. Young, Logan Smith and so many others, thank you for your tireless work to help not only me but everyone have the best experience possible! I’ll miss this place incredibly, but I know that the future is in amazing hands.


Ava Bear – Editor in Chief

For the past two years, I have worked at the Liberty Champion. If you count my time as a CSER writer freshman year, then there hasn’t been a semester during my time at Liberty where I haven’t written for the Champion. This paper and this office will always hold a special place in my heart — it’ll be impossible to separate the Champion from my college memories — but it is time to say goodbye and move on to new pursuits.

I’ve learned so much about writing and journalism over these past few years, but I’ve also gotten to know the people around me. I greatly appreciate every professor and student that let me interview them, listen to their stories and see a piece of the world I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. That was the second-best part of this job — second only to the friendships I made with the other staff members here. 

To current and old Champion staff alike, I will miss you all. This job has given me enough mementos to last a lifetime, from bingo cards to screenshots of funny group chat messages to my media pass from CPAC. I still have my old Scrabble scores, and I’ll never throw away my photo of Pope Gru. Of course, none of these material things can rival the memories we’ve made. Alas, it is only fitting to end this goodbye with how I’d awkwardly end every budget meeting: “Uh … that’s it. Have a good day.”


Avery Veenstra – B-section designer

I recall filling out the Champion application — as I was just barely finishing my publication design course — severely questioning if I was qualified. When I started a year and a half ago, I can’t say I really saw myself as a designer. However, on my first day here, I was given a desk, a bulletin board and a pile of well-loved pantone swatches — which I recognize are odd things to get excited about — but it meant that despite my personal feelings, I was objectively a designer at The Champion. And even if I was just a beginner, my coworkers never made me feel that way. From day one, they gave me room to grow and were quick to celebrate my successes. Without the Champion, I would not be the designer I am today.

The Champion is much more than a career exploration or resume builder: It is a community full of like-minded, fruit-bearing, creatives. Through this experience, I have learned that jobs can be equal parts work as they are fellowship and that you are missing out on so much if you don’t engage in that way. To all the people who have taken the time to encourage me, support me, mentor me or connect with me — you have made a genuine impact on my life. Thank you for constantly building me up! Without the Champion, I would not be the person I am today.


Hannah Gilmer – A-section designer

I have been blessed with an eventful two years here at the Champion, but it’s finally time to say goodbye. 

Everyone with whom I’ve worked over the past two years has changed my life for the better. I came to the Champion ready to ride out my last two years of school in semi-seclusion as I cranked through projects and finished up my credits. God kept me from isolation through the community I found here, and I made some of the best memories of my life at this office.

I’m also so thankful for Mrs. Huff, Dr. Young, Logan and Raegan, the office directors and staff I’ve had the honor of serving under. They have all been there for me at moments when I’ve needed them and their wisdom, and they have nurtured me incredibly as a designer.

Now, to everyone I’m leaving to keep the paper alive and well: Thank you for all you will do, and keep doing all unto the Lord, the only reason to keep going strong. I know you will flourish, and I’m so excited to see what you come up with. And to everyone that has touched me through the Liberty Champion, I give a big, big thank you. You will never know how much I needed you and how much you’ve helped me grow. I will look back on you and on this place long into the future with warmth and gratitude.
Goodbye for now, sweet friends!


Micah Gilmer – A-section copy editor

You know, they say it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. I think that’s dumb. Sometimes, you just want the journey to end, and you’re ready for the destination to begin.

Leaving the journey of the Champion, I’ve arrived at my graduation destination. A gradu-destin-ation, if you will.

(You won’t? That’s fine; I didn’t like it either.)

I was a copy editor my first semester here. Then I worked my way to opinion editing, where I wrote some columns and learned the delicate art of waiting until production day for my column’s muse to slap me across the face and say, “Hey, dude. You have like an hour before you have to send this to the dean. Write your column.”
I did copy editing again the next semester.

Working at the Champion has taught me a lot — mostly that I don’t want to work at a newspaper for the rest of my life. But I have learned some practical skills, some social and some spiritual. I have learned patience and understanding and perseverance and to not bring cinnamon into the office. I have learned a great deal. And I am happy to say that I got to work with the most intelligent, skilled and funny folks that this fine institution has to offer.

Billy Joel wrote a few songs about leaving. One particular song comes to mind, and I’d say the idea sums up my time at the Champion pretty well. So, journey and all, I echo the words of my boy Billy Joel: “I’ve loved these days.”

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