“Did you know they’re selling smoothies at Java Junction?!”
Even after my interview with them is over, Sue Burkholder, a Greencroft resident, along with her husband, J.R. Burkholder, continue to pore over the contents of The Record with a level of engagement I rarely see from students. Sitting on a wooden shelf near the doorway of Sue and J.R.’s home are a multitude of editions of The Record going back several weeks.
Each of the four Greencroft residents interviewed have connections to the college that go back decades.
“I was very involved for 15 years in serving on a planning committee for [what was] the annual Ethnic Fair held each year at Goshen College,” said Sue.
Both Sue and J.R. graduated from Goshen upwards of 50 years ago and have grandchildren who attend, or have attended, Goshen.
Willard Ross, a friend of Sue and J.R., and a fellow Greencroft resident, also claims a unique relationship with the college.
“I taught the very first journalism course at Goshen College…I think it was Introduction to Journalism, and that was 1955,” Willard said.
Willard’s wife, Alice Ross, also present, graduated from Goshen and later served as an administrator for 10 years.
A common thread among the four Greencroft residents is their powerful engagement with Goshen College’s student-run newspaper, The Record. Early in Feb. , Sue had sent an email to Duane Stoltzfus, professor of communication at Goshen College.
“I don’t think the students have any idea how much interest there is right now among former students, community people and especially among our peers (the 80+ year olds) in what is going on at Goshen College,” she said in the email.
“For me, The Record is a fascinating window into [the Goshen College] world,” Sue said.
The others are quick to contribute their reasons for readership.
“Since I worked there for 10 years, I think it’s so interesting to see how it’s changing,” Alice said. “There are a lot of people [that have connections to the college], and they still care about what is going on.”
Conversation then shifts to recent editions of The Record. Sue and J.R. first comment on Christi Sessa’s article “I’m Nonbinary. Here is What That Means.”
“The one about the nonbinary [student]—I mean, I had heard of that, but this was the first time that I had read an article about what it means,” said Sue. “And it feels good to be more educated about it.”
“And you know last week there was the article on SST, because that’s something that really matters to us. And to be honest, [what I read] really concerned me. And then I saw this ‘McKay – Epp’ article, and so I read that, and that was a fun read…‘Red Cents open to all.’ I was fascinated to read about this publication,” Sue said.
“I like the review. In fact, recently, if I’ve gone to a lecture or a performance, I won’t take notes myself. I’ll just look in The Record for what the reporter said. And sometimes I’m disappointed. But usually the journalists will capture the key,” Willard said. “I’m also particularly interested in stories that reveal behind the scenes. I was really intrigued by the recent story about the [soccer coaches] who [were] fired. You could even do more to push for more information.”
The four Greencroft residents continue to comment on various funnies articles, news articles and a handful of editorials. Before long, conversation rolls around to discussing the availability of The Record for Greencroft residents.
“We would love to get a couple of copies every week in [Greencroft’s] Juniper Place,” Alice said. “If there were [publicized] locations on Greencroft campus where there would be copies, many would be picked up and read every week.”
“I think that the best place to put copies would be the Welcome Center,” said Willard.
“Why should they be in the Welcome Center when I’ll just be moving them to Juniper Place?” Alice said.
Semi-contentious conversation continues, along with a myriad of laughs.
“You know what? I give in,” Willard said.
The conversation winds down with the group concluding that they will be looking in upcoming additions of The Record for articles on Goshen’s new president, Rebecca Stoltzfus. It is clear that the four sitting here continue to be passionate about Goshen College. The Record will continue to be a part of their ability to stay attuned and is a crucial piece in bridging the Goshen College and Greencroft communities.