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Tech Will Celebrate 100 Years Of Oracle Saturday

Tennessee Tech will celebrate 100 years of The Oracle student newspaper Saturday by inviting Oracle alumni to share their stories.

Crawford Alumni Center Assistant Director Kelly Chambers said The Oracle has been the leading source of campus news since April 24, 1924. She said former Oracle staffers who have gone on to become successful journalists will join the current staff for lunch and conversation about how the publication has changed over a century.

“Someone who graduated in, you know, 1970 and someone who’s enrolled today, they produce the newspaper very, very differently,” Chambers said. “And so they can kind of compare those stories, but obviously, a lot of the writing process of how they write the article is probably very similar. So I think having the students get to connect with alumni who graduated years ago is going to be really fun.”

Chambers said current staffers will hear the stories from alumni who were tasked with producing the newspaper during major historical events like the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attacks on the World Trade Center. She said students will gain valuable insight into how producing the Oracle helped alumni prepare for meaningful media careers.

“It’s a student-produced newspaper,” Chambers said. “All of the articles are written by students. The students do the layout. The students do every part of the newspaper. And so, I think students enjoy reading articles that were written by students because it’s a perspective that they understand and can share from student to student.”

She said lunch will be provided and attendees can look through a catalog of many past versions of the publication, including the first-ever color edition published in 1990. She said outside of just writing, The Oracle has offered students key experience in photography, editing, graphic design, advertisement sales, and management.

“I was a journalism major, actually, at Tennessee Tech,” Chambers said. “It’s part of why I’ve been so involved in the planning of this event. Just having that experience to write an article, to learn how to do that, to get feedback from your professors and from your peers of what could make the article stronger, seeing your name in a byline.”

Chambers said with an online version available now, the Oracle has grown. She said while it continues to be a fundamental means of informing students, Tennessee Tech staff make a point of reading the paper, and residents of Cookeville and beyond are able to read the publication online.

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