May 2, 2016
From politicians to journalists, Pulitzer Prize winning poets to professors, the UCCS student newspaper had the privilege of housing a wide variety of local and global professionals over the years.
The rich history of the paper has produced a diverse group of professionals, but they were all editors of UCCS’ student newspaper first.
A Colorado Springs household name, Steve Bach became the first strong-mayor of Colorado Springs, and all eyes were on him during the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires.
But before he became mayor, Bach was also the first editor for The Scribe, then called the Cragmor News-Dispatch.
After working as editor from spring 1967 to spring 1968, Bach eventually moved to the political sphere, where he was elected mayor of Colorado Springs in June 2011, but eventually stepped down in 2014 after he decided not to run for a second term.
Born in Louisiana, Yusef Komunyakaa served in the Vietnam War before attending UCCS in 1973.
While here, he developed a passion for poetry, regularly contributing to “riverrun,” the campus arts and literature publication.
He became editor-in-chief from spring 1974 to spring 1975, when the paper was called Montage.
Later on, Komunyakaa established himself as a world-class poet, earning a Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1994 for his poem “Neon Vernacular.”
He now teaches at New York University, and also taught poetry at Indiana University and Princeton.
Michael Hackman was a tried and true Mountain Lion, as after receiving a bachelor’s degree from UCCS in 1982, he went back to campus as a professor, teaching in the Communication Department and directing both the Leadership and Honors Programs.
Hackman was editor-in-chief for UCCS News from spring 1980 until fall 1980. Hackman, who taught at UCCS for 31 years, recently passed away after a long a battle with cancer.
The Scribe was able to contact Ray Abeyta, who was the editor-in-chief of The Scribe (then called UCCS News) from 1975-1977.
Abeyta, who worked for The Gazette mostly as a sports journalist for almost 30 years while also teaching elementary and middle school in Colorado Springs for 31 years, said things were a lot different back when he was in charge.
“We had four people on staff, and we still used ink,” he said.
With 3,000-4,000 people on campus, once a month, Abeyta and his assistant editor would head over to O’Brien’s Printing on the west side of town. Once there, they would drop off a draft of their monthly edition to be printed, edited and published.
“It was really hard to get timely articles,” he said.
Although he kept with journalism, mostly part-time, Abeyta said his heart was always drawn toward teaching.
Abeyta said his time working at the UCCS News was a lot of fun.
“It’s a noble career, and it’s needed,” he said.
Abeyta said he is retired, but enjoys refereeing local sports, including UCCS basketball games.