The Reporter, the place I’ll miss the most

If anyone were to ask me if I have any regrets throughout my time at MSU it would be that I didn’t join The Reporter earlier. As I reflect about my time that I had in Mankato and on campus it is crazy at how fast my time went by.

Coming to Mankato I had no idea what my college career would entail. I had no idea what I would make of it or what if I would find a passion. Once I joined my new-found second family at the newspaper I can truly say that I have found my passion and I have grown not only in my career but as an individual. 

I started as a staff writer and am ending my journey here as a News Editor (and a front desk manager). I found the beauty in the world of Division II sports and got to cover some of our schools best athletes. I also started my own column “A Diabetic Talks” with a goal to raise awareness for the disease. 

I could talk all day about the stories I wrote and things I accomplished but that is not what made The Reporter special. 

The people here gave me my college experience. They pushed me to be who I am, they challenged me, they became some of my best friends and they are what I’ll miss as I move back home. 

So to commemorate the people I have met and grown with, I would like to say a few words. 

The first person I met here was Jake so I’ll start there.  Jake is one of the most quintessential parts of the office and hopefully will be my predecessor as a “manager”. He helps me grind everyday to get coupon books and newspapers in the students hands. He also grinds with me in Clash Royale, Wordle and Connections. He is my right hand man at the front desk and my biggest rival and competitor. It has been amazing to crack through your shell and get to know you. Go win Wordle next year now that I’m gone. 

Next the ad reps. You guys are the driving force for this place and what keeps it running. To Ellie, Ethan, Kendra and Roman I am glad you guys gave this job a chance. It always made our days more interesting when you would come out of your offices to talk and hang out. Keep this place in good hands next year. Continue to walk the road that Mia and Dom paved.

My big bro Sam Ladendorf is the Ad Rep manager. I will forever appreciate our yap sessions about anything nerdy. Whether we were talking about Game of Thrones, Quentin Tarantino, Red Dead Redemption II  or any music genre we always somehow held the same opinion. You always offer life advice and professional advice and if I were to offer you any it would be to finally watch Dune 2. 

To the editorial squad, thanks for being so awesome. We spent hours on end together and somehow never got sick of one another. Our Editor In Chief Emma has followed in the footsteps of Julia Barton and has succeeded fully and done nothing short of an exceptional job. With all the stress that comes with the position she has handled it perfectly and I know the office will strive next year. Our rivalry in Connections will be missed and I promise I was never cheating. Maybe if you’re lucky we can run back one more tournament next year. 

Mercedes is the Variety Editor and someone who has also done amazing at her role. From the chicken toss to the weekly experiments your voice shined through in our papers and I know that will continue in your career. Despite knowing you prior to my time here, you have gone from my sister’s friend to my own friend and I am glad I got to know you better this year. 

To the Sports Editor Mohamed, you have been my rock in the office. I am so grateful you came here from North Carolina and I got to learn all about your life and our differing cultures. This place has given me a lot of friends but it has also given me a brother in you. I could write so much but just know, you’re my guy. 

Lastly, Robb and Jane. 

Robb is our consultant and man, you were intimidating at first. You have taught me so much about the world of journalism and you have pushed me to be my best. I am honored to have learned from you and I can’t wait to get that pint of beer Thursday. 

Jane is the greatest of all time. The G.O.A.T.. The amount of life advice you gave me, the amount of laughs you provided and the way you took me in I will forever be grateful for. As you say, you know me better than I know myself and it is beyond appreciated how you always want the best for me and every person that walks through your door. You listen to every word I share with you and the care you have radiates off of you daily. You have been a mentor to me and I will make sure to text you my New York Times scores and keep in touch. Thank you for hiring me and being the best boss I could ever ask for. 

To my family I just want to say thanks. Your support has never gone unnoticed and I appreciate all you have done for me throughout my journey in college. I have loved all the good job texts from Mom, Dad, Sam and Dino. You guys have shown me how to be a good kid and have helped me transition into the real world. I can’t wait to be closer to home and to continue to learn from all of you. 

My sister Brooke has been there every time I’ve ever needed her in Mankato and that was always a relief. You came here first and were the reason I picked this college. Maybe if you never went here I would have never found The Reporter. You are truly the cool older sister. You introduced me to Mankato and were there with so many of the memories I made here. You even took me to the hospital on the drop of a dime notice. Being just one house away or a couple blocks away was something few get to experience and I am glad we were the siblings that did. 

To my girlfriend Heidi,  you have taught me so much about life.  You have been the biggest support system I could ask for. You have been there every single day I have been a college student whether we were together or three hours away at our different schools. Every trip home was worth it and everyday apart was too. I could write an essay but I’ll just say thank you. 

My time at MSU is up but life awaits me now. I thank everyone who has helped me upon my journey and whatever happens next I am excited to see as I am sure it will be chill.

Header photo: The undisputed World Champion Luke Jackson takes a picture next to the Wordle Wall after beating coworkers for the second month in a row and after besting Editor In Chief Emma Johnson in a Connections Showdown. He is now passing his seat on the throne to the future Front Desk Manager Jake Tostenson.

Write to Luke Jackson at

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