In 2018 the For The Record initiative has focused on highlighting stories of personal and professional growth. The initiative is ultimately concerned with how students have become better people, ensuring both stories of success and learning from failure have come to impact our lives today. We aimed to present our student body with genuine and organic feature coverage through grounded agents of personal progression and community impact. Last spring, our team opened a forum on the For The Record official website for all members of the Marist community to nominate students with compelling stories of personal growth to be featured in the 2018 project. We assembled a team of talented journalists and creatives to work alongside the nominated students. For the last 11 months, our team embarked on a journey in seeking out the best possible ways to tell their stories to our peers.
As a Marist Circle Initiative, we are committed to the journalistic integrity and mission associated with these profiles and have strived to serve our community at Marist with their release. The values of journalism are centered around ideas of public service, and we continued with For The Record because of our wholehearted beliefs in its contribution to those values. We have aimed to extend these concepts of public service to the small scale of our Marist campus, contributing to our duty as both journalists and creatives. Each Editorial Associate, many being editors and staff writers of the Marist Circle, have committed a great deal of time through their semesters to reporting and writing these profiles.
This past summer, our team spent hours in Skype calls—between our homes from New Jersey, Johannesburg, South Africa to Taipei, Taiwan—and days organizing our own inspirations into Google Drive folders. Through the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018, our team has photographed and interviewed each student—granting each team member the opportunity to hear the personal stories first hand, while granting them the creative freedom to tell the stories in their respective artform. Creative Director, Chun-Li ‘Ken’ Huang took every studio portrait, most of them in his own dorm living room in the Foy Townhouses. As his studio light setup stood above a messy kitchen table and between the busy lives of his housemates, Ken took these photos in the midst of the healthy chaos that embodies the lives of college students. The student interviews often took place in the sitting area of the Library Brew, leading to long conversations amidst the bustling student life around us. These stories left many of our Editorial Associates either emotionally moved, professionally inspired, or with lasting friendships. Through our work, we have gotten to know each other and the students that we have featured in unique ways—and that has contributed to our motivation and faith in For The Record, without fail.
Storytelling is a vital craft that continues to impact our daily lives, and our mission to create a platform to do so has been both an honor and a challenge. By sharing the intricacies of the lives of everyday students—that we may have mindlessly came in contact with through class, clubs, sports or activities—we aim to further the Marist mission of ensuring a sense of community among all. It is important to carefully examine the college experience, where everyone and everything it touches upon can somehow, even subliminally, shape your personal and professional growth. As For The Record, we aim to share our experiences in going out and finding these stories—and we hope to impact the ways in which our classmates assess the peer interactions they encounter daily. We hope these stories inspire you in the same ways that they inspired us.
For the Record is an initiative that was established in 2016 by Marist College’s student newspaper the Marist Circle. The idea of the initiative was introduced by then Editor-in-Chief, Bernadette Hogan ‘17, and Creative Director, Goodman Lepota, created to highlight inspiring stories of students from Marist College. It was presented in three different ways; through photography displayed at a gallery exhibition, a web-online version, and weekly magazines. We featured 74 student’s stories. The success of the initiative came from attracting more than 400 gallery visitors. This included having more than 40,000 unique visitors on the website. Bernadette Hogan described her mission in curating the project, in “sharing the stories of some, to inspire all.” This mission stands within our project today—as we have worked to share another 50 compelling stories that surround us every day, on campus and abroad.
Anders Warfel, the 18-year old brother of a featured student, a senior, Alex Warfel, attended the gallery opening with his family and expressed their widespread awe for the project and newfound appreciation for his brother through an online Instagram post. He provided a photo of Alex’s headshot on the gallery wall, accompanied by the caption, “My brother has done some very impressive things, and has affected a lot of people in his career over his 4 years at Marist. He was selected to share his story along with 73 more of his outstanding peers. Can't wait to see you graduate in may and move on to even greater things.”