This wrap was originally supposed to be only a few pages long. After reaching out to over 700 journalism and Signal alumni, it was surprising that, at the beginning, the write-ups barely trickled in. For a week or so, I worried that the alumni and students were too busy with their own lives – that I was going to have to coax some extra content out of the already-swamped Signal staff.
I should have known better.
Once we hit the cutoff date for submissions, in the true fashion of journalists on deadline, the contributions flooded in faster than I ever thought I could accommodate.
If a professor who receives half of these accolades can be considered a success, Dr. Cole is a phenomenon. I extended the wrap to eight pages. Then to 12. If I had the time, and The Signal had the money, I don’t think I would have stopped there.
Yet at this point I realized, if I had not already known from the beginning, that no number of pages could do Dr. Cole justice.
Though these pages may be good for a laugh, for a recollection, for a moment to reminisce, they are not enough. The content of these pages are not Dr. Cole’s legacy. His legacy is not what we do, what we remember, or even what we know. It is who we are.
If the world of journalism is any better because we are in it, it is only because Dr. Cole was a part of our worlds.
Happy retirement Dr. Cole. I can’t imagine anyone who deserves it more.