o-dondlingerletter 2022-23

Starting out in my freshman year in the College of Journalism, I really wasn’t looking forward to four years of boring journalism courses when that really wasn’t what I wanted to do. For some reason, I was dead set on the idea that I was going to be a famous film director someday, and the journalism school was just going to be some offshoot that didn’t matter to me. 

However, as I grew in my journalistic abilities and started working at a coffee shop with The Daily Nebraskan’s managing editor at the time, I started to ease into journalism a bit, and my fellow barista was able to convince me to apply to the multimedia department of The Daily Nebraskan.

And let me tell you, that was the single greatest decision I’ve ever made. 

Right off the bat, my editor at the time, Dylan Widger, saw something special in me, and even though I was far from perfect – and still am – he was able to mold me into the photographer, editor and person that I am today. 

Through The Daily Nebraskan, I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had, made connections with multitudes of professionals I’ll most likely be working with in the future and lived through experiences that will stay with me forever. I was able to be at the forefront of protests that garnered national attention, be on the sidelines for a football team with one of the largest fan bases in the country – despite their record – and even got to go behind the scenes for a volleyball national championship game. 

Even though I do still have a semester left with this publication, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything The Daily Nebraskan has done for me, the opportunities it has opened up for me and the opportunities it has yet to open up for me. This publication has also opened my eyes to my true purpose in life – to be a photojournalist, in any capacity that comes in. 

Some individuals I want to thank are; Haley Elder, for pushing me to apply; Dylan Widger, for hiring me and showing me the visual wonder of photography; Zekiel Williams, for honing my skills, reeling me in when I was being too insane in the office or on assignment and being a great friend to me whenever I need it; Jolie Peal, for allowing me to start writing film reviews and to express my love for movies; Johnna Sisneros, for starting the movement of relentlessly bullying me in the office; Madelyn Ames and Alexandra Carollo, for continuing that legacy while also being a steadfast support for me always; every single copy editor, for putting up with my constant yelling across the office and horrible writing; and every single person that has come through those office doors, no matter how small you feel our interactions were, you have affected me greatly and I want to thank you for your contribution to this publication. 

The Daily Nebraskan is often a thankless job that saps me for every morsel of my being, but it’s still by far the best job I’ve ever had. 

With love,

Evan Dondlinger