Sam Hardgrove: As I was, as I continue to be

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

In simple terms, I’m on staff because of Chipotle: It’s not the only reason, but it was the first. Walking down G Street during admitted students day of 2013, I crossed paths with a girl holding a bag of Chipotle. I never found out who you were or what role you played on staff, but your knowledge of the closest Chipotle and a recommendation for me to join The Hatchet as a photographer changed my college experience. Thanks, mysterious Chipotle girl: I owe you a chips and guac.

After spending hours editing and filling out my Hatchet application, I joined the team and found my home for the next five years of college (even if we moved every other year). I’ll never forget after my first meeting when Delaney asked me to photograph the late Justice Antonin Scalia when he came to GW for Constitution Day. What a way to start college and a Hatchet career. Since then, it’s always been a thrill to pick up my camera and cover the news of our University and our city. From the rush of photographing President Obama and Stephen Colbert to personal moments between the senators and me during the numerous Student Association meetings in the middle of Marvin 309, being a Hatchet photographer has never been dry.

Freshman and sophomore year, I was always covering something and building lasting friendships with the incredible people who make the paper. The photo team has always been tight-knit, and I loved coming to meetings every week for the hijinks that occurred. Our walls lined with Katie’s printed snapchats are testimony the little moments that happened each week. As the end of sophomore year came, I realized my plans to study abroad were going to take me far away from my Hatchet home. The feeling of walking down the steps of the old townhouse on my last day of sophomore year, turning around and seeing Desiree hanging out the third floor window, snapchatting with one hand and waving with the other, gave me pause as I realized I was more than just walking away from a building and an organization. I was walking away from a family – my family.

At the end of my third year and as I was concluding my amazing time in Madrid, The Hatchet reached out to tell me they wanted me to become an editor for the following year. I had never wanted to be an editor. As a photographer, I had the fun job. I went to events, photographed the action, and dropped my photos off at the townhouse. That was it. I would wait to see my photos in the paper or online. As I thought about the job of the editor, I realized the role is to not only edit the photos but to lead a section. To inspire those who were in the position I used to fill and to take everyone’s strengths and build a team. I realized it meant playing a bigger part of the Hatchet family, and I was hooked from there.

Over these last two years, I have had experiences, unlike many students. To rep a GW motto, The Hatchet has given me so many “Only at GW moments.” I’ve been inside the White House to photograph President and First Lady Obama, been to CNN town halls to photograph Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz, and met every major administrator at GW thanks to portrait sessions and Faculty Senate. I will always be thankful for these college opportunities that The Hatchet provided me.

Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor

More to thank, though, are the incredible people who have made this all possible. Though I’ll try below to put my feelings to words, words will never do the justice of explaining how thankful I am to have each of you in my life. Because of you, our paper is great and because of you our time making it has been the same. It’s been such a pleasure to be part of this Hatchet Family, and I look forward to the day our paths cross again.

To my section,

Zach Slotkin | Staff Photographer


Olivia Anderson: You are the leader the photo team deserved and a great friend to have on staff. You are fun, high-energy, and incredibly competent. When Dan came to me and told me he was stepping down, we both knew you were the person to take the charge. As a leader, you demand excellence and ensure we achieve it each week. You have grown incredibly well in your role as head of the section, and I am very confident you will do great things in the year to come. Thanks for taking my 30 photos and for being there with me through these past two years. It’s been a wild ride, with so many memories I can’t even begin to list here. I’m so glad to not only call you my leader, but also my true friend.

Kevin Chen & Ethan Stoler: My bad boys of Team Photo. You both are the core of the team and bring the level of joy required to make the job fun. Each week is fun and exciting with the both of you around, and I’ll miss our time together. Thanks for really making Team Photo Fiesta Time a reality. #TPFT4Life Ethan: You are a beast at sports photography, I have you to thank for making sure I got some time to shoot it too. From basketball games that I had no clue what was happening in, to the joys and perils of squash, to going to a lacrosse game for the last six minutes of it, I’ve enjoyed it all and I’m glad to be done with sports photography for a while. Your energy and enthusiasm to lead is contagious, and it’s clear to see in the number of photographers now wanting to shoot sports. Kevin: Every time you call Panera St. Louis Bread Company, my sister is all the more pleased. Your fun-loving spirit and audible plays for snapshot keep everyone lively and on their toes. Thank you for stepping up in this position when we needed you. This true dedication to our team and The Hatchet will serve you well as next year’s business manager. Right the ship and put us on course.

Donna Armstrong & Graeme Sloan: Welcome to the team. It’s hard work, but immensely rewarding. Remember to work as a team, always communicate and never let your passion fade. It’s an exciting family to be a part of and I’m envious of the experiences you are about to have in your years to come.

Team Photo: Words can’t describe the amazing crew that is Team Photo. We’re an interesting bunch from all corners of the world, with all types of passions, and a whole manner of different skills. But no matter our differences, we have come together to form the best team on The Hatchet. I’m always proud to see your work online and in print. I proud to see how each one of you has progressed since Day One. Your images will tell stories for generations. You are the eyes for the future about what is happening today. It might feel sometimes like another org on campus, but the work you all put in will live on for generations. I can’t wait to see where each one of you goes next year.

My Previous Editors: Dan, Desiree, Katie, Nicole, Sam, Lisa, Cam, Delaney, Erica and Elise, thanks for taking a chance with me. Thanks for throwing me into hard assignments. Thanks for building me up. Thanks for setting the foundation for the future. Thanks for working with me and putting up with me. Thanks for challenging me and my ideas for the section. Thanks for being leaders in our family. I hope our great team have exceeded any expectations you set forth for our section. I’m glad to join you all as an photo editor alumnus.

To my beat,

Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor


Andrew Goudsward: I remember when you were returning to The Hatchet. Everyone was so excited for you to be here. The buzz about “Andrew’s return” set a high bar in my mind for who you would be since I had never met you before. But let me tell you, from the minute you set foot in the old townhouse, you’ve exceeded the buzz and you’ve led a team of dedicated editors to greatness. Your commitment to The Hatchet is unparalleled. Your commitment to the content is never lacking. Your short quips that make your team burst out in laughter that we can hear from downstairs make you who you are. It’s been a blast working with you. I’m so excited to see where you go from here. As a competent and hard-hitting journalist, I can’t wait to cross paths with you in the future.

Cayla Harris: There is not a single person on staff like you. To start out with, you work so hard, you pull the longest hours, you sacrifice so much to make the stories work each week. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Beyond the role you play as an editor, you’re a leader in your own right. You look after your people. You care about preparing the next generation of editors. You take on these jobs not because it’s written in the job description, but because you know it’s the right thing to do. You are someone I continually look up to as a role model, friend and mentor. You are grace under pressure and provide sustained, long-term excellence our paper. I’m so proud to have called you a colleague, and I know you are going to do great things as the senior news editor. But beyond all that, you are so much fun. Going to SA meetings would not be the same without you. Us trying to break down everything that just happened after a meeting is always a blast, and our time in the hallways of Marvin at 11 p.m. when the SA decides to call an executive session are never a bore. It’s been very fun working with you, and I truly can’t wait for our paths cross again.

Dani Grace: You are the most fun person on staff. Stepping up to the plate, you’ve consistently put in the hard work to write incredible stories. You’ve also always brought your incredible personality wherever you go. Whether it’s rocking out and lip-syncing lyrics at the SA elections or our mutual love of all things Harry Potter, you always brighten my day when you enter a room. Can’t wait for pro-I mean – Hatchet Yule Ball.

Leah Potter: I’m always wary of people with the same name as my sister. Nothing against you, it’s just an ingrained thing at this point. You are such a joy to work with. From Day One until now, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you without a smile on your face or a joke ready to launch. From our numerous administrator interviews to Faculty Senate, you’re a consummate professional who knows how to have fun. The duo of Leah and Meredith is unstoppable and has been a blast to have borne witness too.

Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor


Meredith Roaten: I will never forget the next morning after Hatchet Holiday when my roommates emerged to ask about the dancing girl from the night before. Meredith, your energy is force to reckoned with. You bring it to your work which is always top class, and to your interactions with everyone on staff. As I type this now, I’m just listening to you laugh away at something Cayla said (go figure). Keep bringing your energy to the townhouse: The Snapchats of you dancing away in the newsroom are legendary and have made the long hours working in the townhouse a joy.

Liz Konneker: Out of all the news editors, you’re the one that always has the most information on the budget. Maybe that’s because you’re the blog editor and they generally come with a date and time and location, but we’ll just support the fact that you’re the best at it. As hard worker, I can always rely on you for information for assignments quickly. I’m sorry I always got people to cover your assignments day of, and I’m proud of the work we’ve put out together.

Elise Zaidi: You are one of the first people I met when I came back to staff. You’re welcoming and a blast to hang out with. I’m glad you’re back on staff, and you will be a great managing director. I’m glad we’re friends. Take care of the staff next year.

Justine Coleman: You were the nicest editor. You constantly produced good content and made sure you and the staff were happy. You are selfless and great worker. I was so glad to see you at the SA the other day. Good luck in everything you do.

Sarah Roach: Welcome to a team of wild and crazy people. Work hard, please budget for Donna’s and Olivia’s sake, and never worry about asking them a question. I will never forget when you came downstairs and I thought from your voice that you were Cayla. You’ve been a great addition to the team, and I’m very excited to see your work in the future.

My Former Editors: Jacqueline, Avery, Robin, Victoria, Sera and Cort, thanks for bringing me onto the team and helping me achieve success. You really made me feel at home with the wild and crazy antics we went through. I’m still glad I fought for that pizza story (IT SHOULD HAVE RAN, JACQUELINE!) I can’t wait to see where you all go in the future, and I hope our paths all cross again.

To my Hatchet family,

Keegan Mullen | Staff Photographer


Liz Provencher: Thank you for bringing your leadership to the culture section. With your guidance and expertise, you turned around a section and made it a resounding success. Your passion for The Hatchet is inspiring and I can’t wait to see you bring our paper into the future. When you take on this role as EIC, don’t forget who you are at heart. While the workload will increase 10-fold, make sure the fun-loving Liz doesn’t get forgotten. It’s been such a joy to have you on the third floor 2.0. I’m glad for the amazing stories that have come out of our downtime, and the craziness that The Hatchet brings (except for that one crazy time that we’re just not going to bring up here or ever again). You’ve left major shoes for Matt to fill, but I know they’re up for the challenge. Make 115 the best volume we’ve ever made!

Matt Dynes: I might be biased given you were our photographer first, but I’m a major fan of yours. Your confidence and excitement is contagious. While you have big shoes to fill, I know you will take being the culture editor in stride. Never stop being who you truly are and making sure everyone on staff does the same. Thanks for making our floor a blast.

Melissa Holzberg: I don’t think it’s any surprise that we don’t always agree completely on a lot, but I love that and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll never stop playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, even if I’m Jewish. You always made the third floor fun with our constant back-and-forth over all manner of topics, but most importantly grilled cheese. Though I always joked about “Meet the Press,” it was always so cool seeing your Snaps every Sunday morning. I know you’re destined for success, and I can’t wait to see where you go.

Nathan Walker: People always tell us the photo team makes the photos beautiful, but let me tell you, it’s really all thanks to you. Gone are the days that we had to make online photos 500 pixels wide to fit on the page. Now, high-resolution photos have made our content pop. But you didn’t stop there, our app is gold thanks to you. I’ve always read the Hatchet online, but the app makes it so much easier. I’ll keep it on my phone in Japan, just to always carry a little bit of Hatchet with me. You’re incredibly skilled and that will take you far, but your great personality will take you even farther. You an incredibly nice and humble man, and I’m very glad you joined our family.

Matt Cullen: You may not have a Snapchat (that I still send Snaps too), but you’re still rad in my book. When I came into newsroom after coming back from abroad, it was you and Melissa who I first met, and you made me feel welcome at this paper. Since then, it hasn’t let up. Every day, I see your commitment to our paper. I see you pulling long hours, I see you getting involved in every section to achieve success, and I see you caring so much our institution and make sure that it’s great. I’m only kind of sad we didn’t dress you up and sneak you into the Naval Academy. Maybe next year. Good luck in everything you do, and I’m sure you’ll make 115 even better than the last.

Barbara Alberts: There is not a person like you on staff and maybe even GW. One of most fun people I know, your ability to produce great sports content is matched by your ability to produce a great spirit in any room you’re in. Whether it’s yelling our names at each other as we come down the staircase, to talking at lengths about life at Hatchet Halloween, to coming back from Gallery and finding an EMeRG to take a photo of on the street, it’s always fun to be around you. While you have big shoes to fill as the sports editor next year, I’m so confident that you are going to fill them and keep going. You’re a special gal, Barbs. Good luck, and I can’t wait to see where you go from here.

Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor


Tyler Loveless: You are an incredibly special person. My favorite part about you is that your job is can be summed up in one word: dedication. On staff, you are dedicated to the team. By going around and making your presence known, you have directly impacted the lives of so many people. For our paper, your constant push for greatness has brought about so many great things. The podcast will be part of your legacy, and your commitment to making it great is apparent. I’m so proud to call you my friend, colleague, and rabble-rousing partner. I can’t wait to see where you go next, but I know wherever it is will be good.

Yonah Bromberg Gaber: Thank you for creating so many great graphics for stories that Team Photo didn’t have time to go out and shoot last minute. Beyond being a great graphics editor, you bring such a fun style to the staff that meshes with Team Photo so well. Sundays in the basement would not be the same without you. Whatever you do going forward, I know it will be great.

Irene Ly: It should come as no surprise that we’ve butted heads for our jobs. Interrupting ops meetings has become the standard job for the assistant photo editor, and I take a little bit of pride in it each time. But while I may have never come to fully understand your section, I have understood who you are as a leader. You set high expectations with your team and you help each one of them develop their ideas and then get them onto the page. I proud to call you a fellow Hatcheteer, and I wish you the best for the future.

Zach Slotkin: I was very excited to get you back this year. The quieter member of our raucous Sundays in the foyer of Third Floor 2.0, your quips and ability to make fast, pop-art UPD collages have brought lots of levity to tense Sundays. But beyond that, you are an exceptionally talented designer. No two editions ever look the same, and there is always something new that makes the page pop. I’m always excited to pick up the print edition to see the outcome after so many decisions during the day. Thanks for highlighting our work!

Melissa Schapiro: A great resident of the former and now current Third Floor, I’m so glad to have been on staff with you. With a great personality and a tireless work ethic, you make our paper truly take the step from good to great. With your duo, Emma, right by your side, Wednesdays and Sundays have always had a special spark. Wherever you go, and whatever you do, I’m wholly confident you will be successful!

Emma Tyrrell: The second part of the duo! You are hands-down cool. Each Sunday having you either upstairs or downstairs in our third floor has been a blast. Thanks for engaging me in my countless discussions on the different conundrums that face our world. Thanks for always looking over my captions and making sure they’re at least somewhat coherent. I know you will be successful in anything you do, can’t wait to see where you go next!

Arianna Dunham: I’ve always enjoyed video’s role on staff. With video, you get to tell a story so much deeper than one can get out with words because you bring the viewer to the scene. You draw the viewer in and explain it to them along the way. I’ll never forget the day we were discussing the ops section in the basement. You listened from around the corner, came into to the conversation, and showed me what I needed to know to understand. It was simple and backed with confidence and commitment. I valued that conversation more than many I have had with members on staff. I hope you continue to capture great moments!

Olivia Dupree: Last, but certainly not the least when it comes to our current family. In fact, I’d call you the foundation of it all. Always there, always ready to help someone or get our input to make the paper great. All while being one of the absolute nicest people on staff. I was a little wary having another Olivia on staff, but those misgivings have all vanished and you have become an integral part of the family. Thanks for being you!

To Hatcheteers gone but not forgotten,

Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor


Former EICs: Ellie, Colleen, Brianna and Corey, you all shaped a great institution. From Day One, you led an organization that made me feel welcome and part of the team. Leadership is art, you are some of the masters. It’s been so exciting to see where you all have gone, and I hope our paths cross again.

Zach Montellaro: If we want to talk about family and The Hatchet, I must mention you. A constant presence unmatched by anyone today, you always brought the fun whenever I was around (I’ll never forget your Buzz Lightyear interactive hoodie). It’s been great to see where you’ve gone with your career so far, and I know you are going to do great things.

Eva Palmer: Your catchphrase may have been “it’s been a day,” but you were at the core of the spirit of The Hatchet. Your great stories and high energy always brought me up when I was around. Keep rocking at life and inspiring every person you meet!

Halley Rogers: To my fellow Spain study abroader, all I can say is “wasn’t it just great over there?” And while it definitely was, being on staff with you was great too. You were always positive and could turn the negative all the way around. Your ability to make people happy when you walk into a room will take you far, and I can’t wait to see where you go!

To the people who have made this experience a reality,

Professors, Administrators, and GW Media Relations: A large part of the job as the news beat photo editor is coordinating with professors, administrators and MR. Over the two years, I’ve met more administrators and professors than your average students to take their portrait or cover what they say in Faculty Senate. The access each has given to us to write about what is happening behind the scenes of the University is impressive and highly appreciated. It’s hard to be open and answer hard questions from the press about what is going on, but I will always appreciate the commitment to press. To Media Relations, thanks for working with the photo team to set up portraits and send courtesies. The working relationship we have is great and one I know it will continue.

The SA: I have been photographing the Student Association for four years and it never gets dull. While many of the faces and names change, the experience has stayed the same as a photographer. Being in the center of the room in Marvin 309 and scooting around to get the best shot of each Senator saying something while gesturing is a blast. It’s always been fun to work with you all and for our little moments during meetings. The relationships I’ve had with many of you, one more than others, has been great.

The U.S. Navy: Of course, I would have had to write this article a year ago if it hadn’t had been for the U.S. Navy. In a little over a month, I will report to my first ship in Yokosuka, Japan. The U.S. Navy has made this all possible for me, and I am very much looking forward to joining the fleet.

To my best friend on staff,

Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor

Lillianna: I don’t know what sparked our friendship, but it has been an amazing ride ever since. I have so many memories that I wish I could write down here, but that might take another 4,000 words. It’s been the little moments that I’ll remember: hanging out on the roof of the EIC office, taking your phone and creating elaborate Snapchat stories (and then hiding your phone from you), rolling around on the ground during the countless late nights at The Hatchet and of course the hundreds of times we’ve played “catch” in your office. I was nervous when you became the EIC because I didn’t want our friendship to change or go away when your workload grew 10-fold. To your credit, you’re the same gal I knew when I first started out as an editor. You don’t keep your work from getting in the way of the fun and enjoyment that we’re known to have. I said it at my hotseat, but I’ll say it again here. You’ve made my Hatchet experience the experience it’s been. It’s been a wild, hectic, hardworking, hilarious and most of all fun experience for me and for everyone. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Lillianna, you’re going to do great things, and I know our friendship will last long into the future. I’ll miss these times the most. Thanks for everything.

And finally, to my real family,

To my parents and my sister: Mom and Dad, the reason I am who I am today is because of you. Your constant support and dedication to me and my aspirations has led me on a path of success. I’m so grateful to have you as supporters and confidants. You’ve constantly supported The Hatchet, and been excited about every article I’ve had my photos in. Thank for being there. I’m glad to call myself your son. Leah: I am so proud of you and what you’ve become. You’re a true inspiration and I count myself so lucky to be your brother. When you told me you were going to join your newspaper at Wash U., I couldn’t have been prouder. Who would have thought the two non-journalism majors could call their college newspapers their home? I’ll always brag about having you as my sister and I can’t wait to see you grow over your four years of college.

If The Hatchet has taught me anything, the family is what’s most important. Without the team, the paper would be nothing. Not the paper, the articles, the website, the videos, the graphics or even our stellar photos make The Hatchet what it is, it’s the people.

So, Hatchet Family, very respectfully, as I was, as I continue to be.

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