The Birth of a Student Newspaper: Varsity News

In 1918, while the country was focused on the misery of WWI and the devastation of the Spanish influenza epidemic (said to be the worst in U.S. history) there was a desperate need for a reliable distribution of information.  With so much upheaval and uncertainty, newspapers around the country offered a way to connect individuals with vital details concerning the seemingly fast moving changes taking place in the world.  The value of this form of communication was also recognized by the University of Detroit, and in that year (on January 30), the Varsity News was born.

It wasn’t only that the need was there to connect U of D’s growing student and faculty population, however.  There’s something of the essence of community included with being part of a university that can’t be expressed in any way other than a newspaper.

With all the digital advancements taking place these days, it’s really interesting to note that the Varsity News in its original form endures.  This is more than just entertainment or even communication … this is about representing in tangible form the whole of the university’s existence.  A newspaper unites, includes, expresses and helps provide an identity to who we are.

There’s a difference between providing information and communicating with readers.  The News offers that connection, that communication, and that relationship feels more like a handshake than a memo.  Behind every one of the articles is a student who has stood in the shoes of each and every reader, who knows those eyes that peruse the page.

Sydney J. Harris, American journalist, once said, “Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”  The Varsity News, from its beginning until now, offers great communication.

See more issues of the Varsity News in our digital archive.

Contribution by Linda Papa, Digital Technician