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Senior Letters from the Class of 2021

Ashley Wall:

I wrote my college admissions essay on the importance of remembering – and appreciating – the small moments in life. Brief moments that seem so insignificant at the time, but end up being monumental memories guiding me toward the graduate I am today. My memory of pizza is no longer that of food, but of the time spent every Thursday night in The Gatepost office surrounded by some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Red Barn Coffee now reminds me of my first roommate and best friends, of our study sessions, and quick coffee runs before class. Now that my undergraduate time at FSU has come to an end, my “small” college moments now exist as memories, though I wish I could experience

them one last time.

To my parents: Thank you for believing in me, supporting me through my many major changes, and for helping me follow my dreams and passions. Without you, I would have been lost.

To Sarah: My first college roommate turned best friend. Thank you for all of our Grey’s Anatomy binge sessions, rearranging of dorm furniture, and for providing me with the greatest gift: your friendship.

To Liz Banks: Thank you for your unparalleled guidance and wisdom. Your passion for journalism has inspired me to pursue this profession.

To Desmond McCarthy: Thank you for your continued mentorship and friendship. I am honored to have been able to work with you in both the classroom and newsroom.

To Cara: My right-hand lady. You are a force to be reckoned with and I am so thankful for our time together. I couldn’t have done it without you.

To Don: Without you, I would be lost. Thank you for guiding me, supporting me, and loving me.

To The Gatepost: Thank you for taking a chance on me. I will forever be thankful for my time as Editor-in-Chief.

Thanks for the memories, FSU.

Ashley Wall

Cara McCarthy:

The time has Finally come for me to move on from Framingham State, but before I go, let me be a little bit sappy one last time.

Thank you to my family: Words cannot convey how lucky I am to be your daughter, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, and granddaughter. I would not be who I am without all of you.

Thank you Kristen Abbott Bennett: If there was anyone I would want to take four early English literature courses with, it would 1000% be you. Thank you for sharing your love of literature with me and showing me just how fun reading old, dead white guys can be.

Thank you Desmond McCarthy and Liz Banks: I truly don’t think I would have made it through college if it weren’t for you. I don’t say it nearly enough, but thank you for everything you have ever done for me. You are both my forever mentors and lifelong friends.

Thank you Ashley Wall: I could not have done this without you by my side. You are one of my best friends and you have shown me what true leadership is. I think I speak for our whole staff when I say: You are the only person who could have gotten us through this year.

Thank you Sarah Parker: You are the best friend I have ever had and quite possibly don’t deserve. You are my voice of reason, my partner-in-crime, and a thorn in my side. I can’t wait to conquer the world with you.

Thank you Kenzie Ward: To the woman I wish I met a long, long time ago. Thank you for showing me that Libra women aren’t that bad. You have the whole world in front of you and I can’t wait to watch you take it by storm.

Thank you Brennan Atkins and Jared Graf: To the two men who drive me absolutely crazy but never fail to make me laugh. I am extremely lucky to have both of you in my life. Also, stream J.G. on Spotify and Apple Music.

And finally, to The Gatepost staff, both past and present: Thank you for giving me a home when I needed shelter. Thank you for being my family. Thank you for helping me find my path. And most importantly, thank you for the pizza.

Always and forever,

Cara Michelle McCarthy

Jared Graf:

During my time at FSU, I’ve made a lot of memories and had some of the most important and

transformative experiences of my life – both on and off campus.

I want to start by thanking anyone who’s supported or helped me in any way these past :ve years. Even if I don’t mention you here by name, that doesn’t mean you aren’t appreciated.

To Liz Banks and Desmond McCarthy – thank you two for everything. You both have inspired and guided me to be the journalist I am today, and for that, I’ll always be grateful. If it weren’t for Liz’s Intro to Journalism class and Desmond’s undying persistence recruiting me to join The Gatepost, I may not have found my passion in college.

To all the friends I met through Gatepost – thank you for making long Thursday nights enjoyable.

Thank you to LP and Lizzy for finding me funny and serving me raw bagels at Georgetown. The last year wasn’t the same without you guys.

Thank you to Mr. Brennan for holding down A&F and locating the Fidelis Files with me. Your dedication to your skully/ski-mask combo has impacted me in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Also, thank you to Cara for always helping me and Mr. Brennan when we had no clue what to do in InDesign.

To my guys Scott, David, Mixy, Dolan, T.J., Ronnie, and Jon – thank you for all the good times. You guys have kept me sane over the course of five years.

To my sister – thank you for being someone I can always count on no matter how much I annoy or make fun of you.

And last but certainly not least, to my mother – I cannot thank you enough. The last five years weren’t easy, but you had my back and supported me throughout them all. Every day you inspire me to work hard and become a better man. You deserve endless credit for playing the role of both the mom and dad in my life. You’re the reason I’m the person I am today, and I can’t put into words how grateful I am for you and everything you do for me.


Jared Graf

Brennan Atkins:

Four years ago, I hardly knew where I wanted to go in life. If I were to look at myself now, I’m not sure I would believe my eyes.

The English department at Framingham State made me who I am today. It was because of two of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met – Liz Banks and Desmond McCarthy – that I was able to see the potential within myself I could not see before.

I used to read. I’ve always had a fascination with storytelling in some way or another, but Kristen Abbott Bennett, Sandy Hartwiger, and Carolyn Maibor taught me how to interpret and delve deeper into texts in ways I never could have imagined.

To say that The Gatepost shaped my college experience would be a massive understatement – I attended the first meeting I could, and have now wrapped up four fantastic years with some amazing people.

Thank you to Cesereo Contreras, Bailey Morrison, and Ashley Wall for always leading the team toward journalistic success. Thank you to Cara, Jared, Don, Leighah, and Kenzie for being there for the countless late nights at copy edit, cracking terrible jokes to make the night a little less tiresome.

I can surely say that I feel as if my memories at The Gatepost will be ones I treasure dearly, and won’t forget anytime soon.

I’ve been given some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities – from interviewing famous actress Olivia Wilde to speaking with Mohamedou Ould Slahi, I will definitely remember college as an amazing, exciting part of my life.

Finally, thank you to my family – Mom, Dad, Will, and Ryan for their constant support throughout my academic career. These four years certainly weren’t easy, and without my family, I am not sure I would be where I am today.


Brennan Atkins

Robert Johnson Jr.

When I say that the past four-and-a-half years at Framingham State University were some of the best years of my life, I legitimately mean that. Sure, there were many bumps along that road, but in encountering those bumps, I have learned to become a better, more disciplined person.

OK, well, not that more disciplined. I still guffaw at the concept of “having discipline,” anyway.

As with most senior letters that make it into this student-run newspaper, I have to give my thanks to some key people, con:ned within such a limited word count (in no particular order, I promise):

Kelly, for being one of the coolest and sweetest people on the planet and also for putting enough faith in me to help out at the American Conference for Irish Studies in 2019. That will be an experience I will never forget.

Liz, for inspiring me to finally take that plunge that, somehow, made me end up here at The Gatepost. It was the last thing that I wanted to do, but, goodness me, I’m so glad I did it.

Desmond, who is essentially my biggest coach on campus. There are not enough words to describe this man’s impact on my life, and I don’t think there is a way I can repay him.

Needless to say, all the criticism and copyediting helped me grow, not only as a writer, but as a person, too.

I would also like to thank anyone who has bene:ted my life in any way: given me a shoulder to cry on, a hug, a kind smile in passing, or a new outlook on life. I’m thankful to all of you!

Especially you, Rosswell! Thanks for telling me about this magical place.

It is impossible to simply sum up this time in my life briefly in words, so I guess this is all you’re getting for now.

I love you, FSU. Always will.


Caroline Lanni:

I am forever grateful to Framingham State University and the education I got here. I have learned so much from the communication arts department for my major, and from the English department for my minor in journalism.

I would like to thank my advisor, Professor Jennifer Dowling, for the countless meetings and assistance throughout my four years at FSU.

I would also like to thank Professor Audrey Kali, Professor Kate Caffrey, and Professor Christopher Bowen for teaching me so much, along with my other amazing professors in the communication arts department.

In the Journalism department, I would like to thank Professor Liz Banks and Professor Desmond McCarthy for showing me how amazing it is to be a journalist.

These two departments and all my other classes at FSU have prepared me for the workforce


I am excited to go out into the world and use what I learned from here and apply it to my jobs and my life.

I would also like to thank my amazing friends I met throughout my four years here: Taylor Anderson, Mariah Yoder, Rinara Sa, Gabrielle Laurenzano, Kiyana Chataigne, Rose Piz, Melissa Simas, Nicole Sposito, Courtney Pasquel, Brenna Fehann, Christine Kiernan, Michaela Cronin, and so many more wonderful individuals at FSU.

I am going to miss being a part of the FSU Dance Team, working at the FSU Bookstore, and being a part of The Gatepost newspaper as well. I am very grateful for the community at FSU and how included I felt at this University.

I would like to thank my family and friends for all the support and love I received from them to achieve my goals.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my four-year journey, thank you FSU, and congrats to all graduates!


Caroline Lanni

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