We at The Hatchet are sad to announce that rising junior Luke Wienecke — The Hatchet’s beloved sports editor — died Friday in Oklahoma City. He was 20.
Luke was a gentle and kind presence who brought a smile into every room he entered, and we’re proud to call him a friend.
Luke would regularly check in on each individual member of staff when he entered The Hatchet’s 21st Street townhouse. In those many caring interactions, he would always be the first to crack a joke, offer witty insight or check in with his peers and friends. There is not a single staff member whom his warmth did not touch.
A political science major, Luke joined The Hatchet his freshman year and immediately excelled as one of the most talented journalists at GW. He deployed wit, tenacity and compassion in everything he did, from interviews and writing to fact-checking and editing.
Luke began his time at The Hatchet covering sports, bringing the vital stories of athletes, coaches and teams to the GW community. With every story, he showed his versatility as a reporter, covering anything and everything GW sports, including games, community initiatives and athletics department programs. He has said over the past year and a half, basketball and volleyball grew to be his favorites.
Luke’s prowess wasn’t limited to sports — he helped cover essential news about the operations of student government over the course of the past year, adding to his more than 40 sports bylines.
Luke was scrupulous and tireless fact checker, taking the time to make sure the stories The Hatchet published were not only accurate, but fair.
As a budding editor, Luke took every opportunity to teach others. He was relentless in his pursuit to improve sports coverage at The Hatchet and patient with every reporter, staff writer and editor who had the pleasure of working with him.
Outside of The Hatchet, Luke interned with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and U.S. Rep. Tom Cole.
His family has encouraged donations to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Oklahoma. The Hatchet has started a GoFundMe for the alliance and started it with a $300 donation to the cause, and we hope to continue to honor the legacy of Luke, our dear friend.
The Hatchet is working on an obituary for Luke, which will be published in the coming days. If you would like to share any memories or photos of Luke, please email us at email@example.com.
This article appeared in the May 15, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.