An Editor’s Perspective

On April 26, six Honors students sat down with Honors College alum Margaret Holt for a luncheon at the International Café. Holt graduated from MU in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and is the current Standards Editor for the Chicago Tribune. An active alumna, Holt was in town for a meeting for the Board of Trustees of the Jefferson Club, which is an organization that encourages philanthropic donations to the MU.

The students, joined by Honors College adviser Kristina Bradley, shared stories as well as a meal with Holt, who spoke about her time in the Journalism School and Honors College, her Native American heritage, and her experience as an editor at the Chicago Tribune. Holt said that she enjoys getting to know students more than lecturing to them and asked the students about themselves and their interests.

“I ask about how you like to spend your free time because I want to see what makes you unique,” Holt said. “Great things happen when people are willing to be different.”

Holt also gave the students advice that she had acquired in her lifetime. She spoke of her life after graduation and how she took what she described as an “unconventional route.” Instead of accepting the highest paying job offer like many students do, Holt went to a small paper in Southern Illinois where she learned, explored and gained independence. She then took jobs in a number of different cities until before landing at the Chicago Tribune in 1993.

Holt used her personal story to illustrate the fantastic opportunities that a person can stumble across. She encouraged the students not to rush to their futures, but rather to enjoy the journey of life.

“There is no one way of doing things,” Holt said. “Be in the moment.”