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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

December 01, 2003

State Hornet alums abuzz over coming reunion

For more than 50 years, the staff of the State Hornet has been pounding out the news. Year after year the newspaper has given generations of students hands-on experience in journalism while keeping the campus community informed. Along the way many of those students made memories–and friends–to last a lifetime.

“It’s more than a club,” says Sylvia Fox, the paper’s faculty adviser. “These students bond with their group for life.”

Now those generations of staffers are set to get together and celebrate. The newly formed State Hornet Alumni Chapter will be hosting a reunion for all staffers, past and present, from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 12 in the University Union. Speakers will include government professor Bill Dorman and other State Hornet personalities.
The reunion is the chapter’s first event.

“We’re trying to get anyone who’s ever been involved in the State Hornet,” says Fox. For her and chapter president Timi Ross Poeppelman it’s an opportunity to give the current crop of staffers a sense of their heritage and peek into their future possibilities as well as to reacquaint alums to the program.

“This first one is a ‘friend raiser’–you need to find out who is interested,” Ross Poeppelman says. Those interested will be encouraged to reconnect to the campus by joining the chapter and supporting programs benefiting student staffers.

“Reconnecting means speakers who can come to the campus, mentors, or internships,” Ross Poeppelman says. Plans also call for the chapter to establish a travel fund so that staffers can attend student and professional conferences.

Ross Poeppelman knows first hand how a student’s time at the Hornet can affect their lives. From 1983 to 1985 she was a Hornet reporter, then the paper’s first female sports editor and, finally, its managing editor. Now she’s a CSUS communications and journalism professor.

Looking out over the newspaper’s University Union offices with its rows of shiny Macintosh computers and wall-to-wall carpeting, Fox doesn’t want the staff to forget it hasn’t always been this way.

She and Ross Poeppelman recall the days when the paper was housed in creaky portable buildings adjacent to Union.

“When it would rain, they would have to throw plastic over the computers because the roof would leak,” recalled Fox, whose husband and fellow communications studies professor Michael Fitzgerald advised the paper form 1986-1995.

Fox thinks many of the alums will be surprised by the roomy and comfortable newsroom, but she’s also looking forward to hearing their stories.

“There is a lot of history,” she says. Some of that has started to be recorded on the chapter’s webpage–there is a link available from the State Hornet homepage at–as alums check in with their favorite recollections of days gone by.

“Some of the stuff is just hilarious,” she says.

RSVPs for the reunion are required and there is a $10 donation required at the door. For more information on the event, visit the State Hornet Alumni Chapter website by clicking the alumni link on the State Hornet homepage at


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •