Winter 2000
Vol. 17 No. 4
Publication Number:
USPS 244-800


National Model of Excellence

Soldier and Soldat

Studying Guide-by-Your-Side

Love Those Statistics!

These Were Close, Too

Other Stories
Willingness to Change Made Education School Most Effective

Faculty Compendium

Watching for Patent Expiration Dates Can Save Consumers on prescription Drug Costs

Bennett Cites Influence of a Great Teacher, Dean Percy Burns

A Cappella Choir CD Available

Floyd, Marler Receive $56,000 Lilly Fellows Program Grant

Debow, Sansom Get $32,000 Award from Atlas, Templeton

Samford Honors Alabama Ministers
Scofields Rate a Homecoming Cheer
for Loyal Support of Their Alma Mater

Crimson Editors Half a Century Apart
Find Differences, Similarities in the Job

Having a ball at Homecoming

Men's Cross-Country Team Wins Second TAAC Title; Kolb Named All-TAAC Freshman After Nine-Goal Season


Winter 2000

Crimson Editors Half a Century Apart
Find Differences, Similarities in the Job

Kelly Brown, left, and Lance Anderson '50 look over a
1949 Howard Crimson during Homecoming 2000.
One was elected, the other appointed. One was married, the other single. One was a World War II veteran, the other barely out of her teens. One is male, the other female, Yet, they have one thing in common-editorship of the Samford Crimson, separated by a half century.

The two-Lance Anderson, Class of 1950, and Kelly Brown, a 20-year old junior-met during a reunion of former Crimson editors at Homecoming 2000. The contrasts of process, marital standing, experience, age, place and time converged as they shared their editing experiences.

"There was a defining gap between my class of 1939 at Pensacola [Fla.] High School and entering Howard College in 1947, " said Anderson. The gap would have been even wider had not Anderson graduated from high school at age 16. What caused the gap? Service in World War II.

Anderson earned his pilot's wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1942, finishing first in his class at Craig Army Airbase, Selma. In July 1944, after being married, he was assigned to the European Theater as a staff pilot in France. He was injured in a V-2 bomb attack on London the following December and spent more than a year in a Miami hospital before returning to active duty after the war ended.

Finally, in 1947, he enrolled at then-Howard College as a 24-year old freshman, bringing with him a wife, Joyce, and three-month-old daughter, Sheila (who would later attend Samford).

Through the encouragement of a math professor who was his junior, Anderson became immersed in college life. He won several roles in Masquers and began doing an occasional piece for Crimson editor Boyce Albright, now a Samford trustee.

"Theater and writing was a compelling combination," Anderson recalled. He was elected editor by the student body without opposition in the spring quarter of 1949. "I needed the $25 they paid [per issue] as my family was about to increase," he recalled.

By contrast, current editor Brown took a more traditional route, enrolling at Samford out of high school in Germantown, Tenn., in 1998. She was already interested in journalism and had served as a reporter, assistant editor and editor her senior year of her school paper at Evangelical Christian School.
The journalism major applied for editor as a sophomore last spring, went through the interview process and got the job, which now pays $80 an issue.

Fifty years ago, the editor was a political target for the "panhellenics, preachers and independents," according to Anderson. The greek organizations and religion majors kept an eagle eye on content, but he balanced coverage with party news, a "Circuit Rider" column and occasional letters to the editor.

Journalism professor William Baxter, who had edited Louisiana State University's prize-winning student daily, offered "quality control," but Anderson remembers answering only to Major Harwell Davis, the president.

"Though I spent a lot of time in his office, I was never instructed as to what I could or could not print," he said.

Finances were seemingly not a problem, Anderson recalled. All costs for publishing the Crimson were paid by the school chief financial officer.

The cost of printing was basically underwritten by large back page ads for either Camel, Chesterfield or Lucky Strike cigarettes and the U.S. Army. (The tobacco companies even hired students to distribute samples of their products.)

"Alumni groused to the Major about the cigarette ads," Anderson recalled. "He would have liked to have dispensed with them, but only smiled when I said that it would be easy if he replaced the revenue."

It's different today for Brown, who says "advertising is hard to come by."

The Crimson is student-run but is a publication of the Journalism Department. Editor Brown reports to two journalism professors, Drs. Dennis Jones and Jon Clemmensen.
"Quality control" rests with the entire student body, said Brown. "I have tried to give equal coverage to equal groups.

Whoever is left out will bring it to our attention."

The paper has almost tripled in circulation, from 1,250 to 3,500, but the number of staff remains about the same. The masthead in the 1949 Crimson listed 15 people and the 2000 Crimson 16.

Producing the Crimson in 1950 was a group effort, according to Anderson. "We had a very sharp group of journalism students and all were participants," he said. "I expect my friends on the Crimson staff who went to work for daily newspapers found the same situation as I did; there were no surprises and all were fully equipped to fit right in."

Anderson went on to earn a master's degree in journalism at LSU before beginning his newspaper career with the Pensacola News-Journal.

Today, says Brown, some students shy away from giving the time necessary for Crimson work. Even so, she says she has "an incredible staff," and is hoping some changes in design and appeal will help it grow even more.