One more term of college passes and only two more remain at the University of Oregon—we graduating seniors find ourselves knee deep in “real life,” even before our time as undergraduates ticks to a triumphant and bittersweet end. My peers are scouring the market for jobs, securing interviews, and attempting to seize each and every opportunity that comes their way.
Opportunity is an interesting entity. Students and professionals may credit opportunity as a harbinger of success, but where does it come from? It seems that opportunity is regularly mistaken as a synonym for chance, luck, or happenstance. But this is a limiting mindset.
Evidence suggests that in order for opportunity to materialize, it must be conceptualized and planned in a highly proactive way. In 2005, a few Oregon students came together with the idea of producing a multicultural magazine. They rolled up their sleeves and produced Korean Ducks, the first incarnation of Ethos Magazine. Rather than waiting for luck or chance to miraculously land an opportunity in their laps, these students independently created one of the best journalism opportunities in higher education.
Since then, Ethos Magazine has developed into a glimmering gem in the Pacific Northwest. Journalists passing through the university as undergraduates, or even graduate students, have committed thousands of hours of uncompensated time to produce award-winning work inside this magazine’s pages. Along the way, Ethos and Ethosians have picked up the most prestigious awards in collegiate journalism, recently securing the 2013 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award for a feature magazine. This award, widely considered the “Pulitzer Prize” of collegiate journalism, is especially impressive given that Ethos is wholly student produced with no faculty involvement.
You could say that we are “making the most of our opportunities,” but this neglects that pesky concept of initiative. At Ethos, we strive to create opportunities and then we make the most of them. When Ethos writer Ben Stone learned that it had been years since a major media outlet had written a story about the Old Believers in Woodburn, Oregon, an opportunity was born to explore this highly traditional community (Way of Grace, page 14). You’ll find a similar ethic in the graduate featured in A Foreign Frontier (page 34), which details how Alex Freeman succeeds in a new life overseas.
These journalistic opportunities, born of relentless initiative, determination and sleepless nights, are what drive all of us at Ethos Magazine. We hope you enjoy the results of our work as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you.
Editor in Chief