Senior Farewells


Kirstin Cook – Editor-in-Chiefkirstin - senior pic

I’ll never forget the time my guidance counselor in high school told me not to go to Wilkes University. She told me the school was too expensive for a poor aspiring journalist to go to, especially because I was fully responsible for paying for my own tuition. She encouraged me to go to community college for a few years to offset the cost.

I didn’t listen to her.

Now, looking back at my time at Wilkes, the prevailing feeling is a sense of gratitude. A lot of gracious donors,  academic honors, federal grants, work study hours and The Beacon Leadership Grants made my education possible. Not to mention a few soul-crushing summers working at Wal-Mart and Dunkin Donuts. But I was able to defy the odds, and I’m inspired to help others like me go against the demotivating words of high school guidance counselors. I’m so grateful for everyone who helped me along the way.

Even more so, I’m grateful for the opportunities that Wilkes gave me. It’s impossible to put a price tag on the amazing life-changing experiences I had at this school. From filming a documentary in rural Africa, to helping repair a well in Costa Rica for Alternative Spring Break. From helping set up a live shot at Joe Pa’s viewing at Penn State as an intern at WBRE, to talking to Robin Roberts on the set of Good Morning America and getting a behind-the-scenes tour of ABC 6 in Philly with the Society of Professional Journalists. My college career has been rich with these types of memories, and I will forever be grateful to Wilkes for making them all possible.

A word of advice for current students: Don’t let these opportunities pass you by. They are an amazing commodity at Wilkes, and they are everywhere. So take them. Because, in the words of Mark Twain:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Bryan Calabro – Managing Design Editor

bryan senior picAt Wilkes University, we are a family. We are a Wilkes-Barre family. A family that may not be allowedto sit with the cool kids at the lunch table or may not be picked first for the dodgeball team, but nevertheless we are a strong family. A family with a wealth of opportunity for growth and success.

Throughout the past four years at Wilkes University I have learned what it’s like to build strong relationships with so many unique and talented people from all walks of life. People who I thought before college, would never become a part of my circle of close friends. These friends will now be a part of my life forever. Although I may never see them again, I will make my presence known in each of their lives everyday. I will stalk them on Facebook occasionally liking their statuses, tweet at them on Twitter and I will send them witty text messages and emails just so they don’t forget the great time we have shared over this small but extremely influential part of lives.

Granted there were times of strife at Wilkes for me. For example,  many times I lost my keys, wallet or student ID card which often led to trips to public safety. I had bouts of depression mainly because the weather in this city consists of rain rain and more rain. I felt what it was like to lose someone I loved which led to me crying alone in my room for weeks. I burnt some friendships and sometimes I failed on tests. But looking past my heartache and select failures, my overall experience will always be remembered as nothing but enjoyable; an experience that will shape the way I live my life everyday and provide me with a great memory in which I will always associate with my four years here at Wilkes University.

Bill Thomas- Arts & Entertainment Editor

bill senior picI’m not going to lie, when I first came to Wilkes I hated it. It’s never easy adapting to new environments, but it can be even rougher as a transfer student coming into a four-year school two years after everyone else has already been there, getting to know each other. I stuck out like a sore thumb, and felt like a ghost passing through the halls, barely a part of the world around me.

Fast forward two years later, and now I’m dreading the idea of leaving. The only thing I hate about transferring to Wilkes now is that I only got to spend two years with the people I’ve come to call my friends. I still feel like I stick out like a sore thumb sometimes (you try being over six feet tall, 300 pounds and hairy as a Sasquatch), but it’s amazing how quickly I went to feeling unwelcome to feeling like a member of a larger family.
What’s more, in these two years I feel like I’ve grown and evolved as a person more than I had previously in my entire life. My sincerest gratitude s to everyone who made it that way.

Speaking specifically as a member of the Beacon staff since my first semester, I want to say thanks to this newspaper, to the rest of its staff and to the entire campus community who reads it. Thanks for giving me this opportunity. Thanks for having patience as I made mistakes and learned from it. Thanks for appreciating all the work I’ve put into contributing my small part to the publication as a whole.

My only hope now is that the next generation of Beacon staffers will take the ball and run with it.

Run farther. Do better. Pay it forward.

Austin Loukas- Assistant Photo Editor 

austin senior picIt is the time where I am supposed to say “it flew by”, or “it seems like I was only a freshman yesterday”.  While I do feel this way, I am wrong.  Time goes incredibly slow, moments can seem to last an eternity.  Sadly we can only remember so much of it.  At the end we look back on the times that were had and we feel like it happened so fast, not because it did but because our memories do not do justice.  It is times like this I look upon my past at Wilkes University and thank myself for all the excellent, melancholy, and cathartic times that I can remember and all the times that I cannot.

Brandon Scott- Online Editor

Working for the Beacon has been a blast for the two years that I was on it. It gave me a lot of insight to just how much work goes into planning and designing a newspaper, and what it is like to work with a team dedicated to bringing our campus the news relevant to their interests and needs. I can easily say that working for the Beacon has helped prepare me for my professional life and I am grateful for the experiences it has given me.

To those reading, my biggest advice I can give to you is to never let opportunity pass you by. I decided to apply for my beacon position on a whim, and I am so glad that I took that chance. I have made many friends, experienced great times, and learned a lot about many different things. If you see an opportunity come your way, seize it! You never know what is going to change your life even in the smallest of ways. My best wishes to all future Beacon staff, and to all the students of Wilkes University.