The Communications Center is seen in July 1953. The center, which previously housed The Daily Iowan, is set to be torn down.

Home away from home

September 19, 2019

While the newsroom was a place to work, it was also a place to relax and spend time with friends — those other folks on campus who thrive on the spontaneity journalism entails.

Cheryl Arvidson remembered being in the newsroom constantly, soaking up every moment she could there to set herself up to be the best reporter she could be after graduating from college.

“We’d go into the DI midafternoon and be there until midnight,” she said. “It was my home away from home, and I seriously would bet you that I spent easily 12 hours a day there.”

Former Arts Editor Shayla Thiel Stern, who worked at the DI in the 1990s, said her friends who attended the DI 150th reunion in July 2018 walked through the building and described it as a ghost town — set up in just about the same way as it was decades earlier, as if few things had changed.

She said the best memories were hanging out with her friends who were also “deep into wanting to be old-school journalists.”

“I spent all my time in the newsroom,” she said.

When he wasn’t shuffling to and from Kinnick Stadium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena covering Hawkeye sports in the 1980s, former DI Sports Editor Marc Bona said the newsroom was one of the places he spent the most time on campus.

DI staffers are seen in the Daily Iowan newsroom on Sept. 11, 2003. Photo from UI Digital Library.

“I was always late to class,” Bona said. “I was always hustling in and out of that building.”

Bona said nothing lasts forever, but he’ll always have the memories he made in the Communications Center.

“You form friendships, too, because of a place,” he said. “And I think about how many people I’m still in touch with because of that place.”

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