UA paper marks 110th year
The Associated Press
TUSCALOOSA - The Crimson White marked its 110th anniversary
Thursday with the newspaper's alumni planning a reunion, sparking a
year's worth of celebrations around the state.
The University of Alabama's student newspaper has seen the
beginnings of young journalists fulfilling careers as editors, writers
Horror novelist Rick McCammon said one of his earliest experiences
as a Crimson White reporter was when he covered a series of tornadoes
that devastated nearby towns in the early 1970s.
"I don't think I ever understood the power of a tornado until I saw
that," said McCammon, who lives in Vestavia Hills. "And people came to
us like we were `real reporters,' and they began to tell us their
Ed Mullins, chairman of the university's journalism department,
said he sees the newspaper as a state institution, with former staffers
now working at news organizations nationwide.
"If you want to underscore the importance of the CW, you do so not
just as a news vehicle for the campus - and it takes that role
seriously and always has - but as a stepping stone," said Mullins, a
Crimson White reporter from 1956 to 1958.
Some notable Crimson White alumni include author and journalist Gay
Talese, former Birmingham News editor Jim Jacobson, "Crazy in Alabama"
author Mark Childress and former U.S. Sen. John Sparkman.
McCammon, who served as the newspaper's editor from the 1973-74
academic year, said the responsibility taught him lessons he still
"It helped me learn to think on my feet because it's a stressful
position," he said. McCammon has authored books including "Swan Song,"
"Mine," "Boys Life" and "Speaks the Nightbird."
Thursday's reunion at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium was the first
of several Crimson White anniversary events planned in Montgomery,
Mobile, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.