Ask a journalism student wandering the curved halls of the Communications Building who his adviser is and he will probably give you two names. First, he will tell you who he has been assigned by the university. Second, he will tell you Bonnie Hufford.
Although not technically every student's adviser, Bonnie is every student's adviser. She is not mine and I have never taken one of her classes, yet without her I would be lost.
On the days when I am frustrated with class, people, my work or my major, I seem to magically run in to Bonnie in the hall, and she always brightens my day. It is as if, through some supernatural power, she knows I need a hug. She will say that she's simply on her way to class, but I know better.
Bonnie is full of sincere encouragement, and she spouts sincerity like Old Faithful: regularly and with force.
- Trevor Higgins
It's the small stuff that gets us every time. And it's stuff that anyone who's not a journalist - or maybe anyone who's not a copy editor - would hear and roll their eyes. Bonnie and I can sit in her office for hours and crack up over the stupid headlines or unfortunate mistakes of a misguided writer.
People that like to copy edit - people that really care about where a comma goes or whether that or which should be used - have a special bond. We're a sort of obsessive-compulsive, anal-retentive lot, and we have to stick together when we can. And Bonnie is the best mentor there is.
She's tough on her students, no doubt about that. The first time she taught one of my classes, I freaked out as I realized how incompetent I was. But when I really began to know Bonnie, I realized what a caring, helpful, funny and kind woman she is. I carry her bright smile and infectious giggle with me at all times to help remind me that I can get through the tough days. And whenever I see a stupid headline or an unfortunate mistake, I can't wait to tell her so we can giggle in her office or crack jokes through e-mail.
Bonnie excites a love for journalism in people. After meeting her, I discovered how much I love editing. But most importantly, I discovered how much I love her.
- Christy Banks
Bonnie Hufford is one of nicest, most helpful people I have met on my journey toward graduation.
Always willing to lend a hand ... Always smiling and making everyone's days a little bit brighter ... Always within reach of a blasted blue pen ... Bonnie has been a wonderful adviser and friend that I will remember forever.
From our dog talks to the 2002 SPJ Atlanta trip, my "Bonnie" memories are ever growing and taking over a large part of my brain.
I credit Bonnie with cementing my decision to become a copy editor. She was the first to make a career in editing seem fun, exciting, sexy.
Now if only I could find a job.
Thanks, Bonnie, for all your wisdom and the kind words you bestow upon us.
- Cherish Matthews
Bonnie has had a larger impact on my life than she could imagine. When I started writing, I was overwhelmed with a fear. A fear that she would read this tribute and, being the Bonnie that she is, edit it to pieces with her infamous blue pen.
And I know she will, but I will press on.
Although this semester I gained first-hand knowledge of Bonnie's editing expertise, I knew about her long before this year. Journalism students praise Bonnie for her talent, wisdom and guidance. Everyone who knows her, loves her.
For me, she is not only a great teacher but also a mentor and a mother-figure away from home.
I would like to thank her for all that she does and for her ever-present sense of humor. Bonnie, I'm waiting for the day that we can go enjoy a sweet tea together.
- Julie Howle
It's a pretty tall task, sitting down to write about anybody you love and respect. But when that person is an editor, the task becomes even more formidable.
Words can't do anyone justice, or at least my words can't do justice to Bonnie Hufford. She has many names to many people: "teacher" to her students, "friend" to her colleagues, "devil woman" to a few PR majors who just don't get AP style. To me - and countless others - she's just "mom."
For the trips to Atlanta and Indianapolis, I'm glad she went. For the times spent in her office, just talking, I'm happy I took a detour on the second floor. For the hours spent on the phone, I'm glad I picked up the receiver. For the glasses of "iced tea," at Charlie Peppers and everywhere else, I'm not thirsty. For knowing such a wonderful, caring, thoughtful, loving, funny, courageous person (see, I paid attention to the part about adjectives) as my friend, I'm thankful.
- Drew Edwards
Thank you for showing me that just because I'm majoring in journalism, doesn't mean Ihave to be a reporter. Thank you for pushing me to rejoin the ranks of the Beacon to learn page layout and software. Thank you for cultivating my interests and encouraging me to embrace the OCD aspect of my personality and channel it into a livelihood. Thank you for listening, even when I wasn't talking. Thank you for your faith in me, which allowed me to have faith in myself. Bonnie, just when Ithought I had made a huge mistake in choosing a major, you helped me open doors for myself. Thank you for inspiring me and for sharing with me the most profound lesson of my four years at UT ... news writing isn't for everyone and neither is copy editing.
Students speak out about editing goddess
Published: Wed Apr 30, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:09 p.m.