Above: President Michelle J. Anderson with former members of the original Vanguard; (from left) Myron Kandel ’52, Rhoda Hendrick Karpatkin ’51, Giselle Cohen Stevens ’51, Connie Serouya Goldfarb ’51, President Anderson, Albert Lasher ’51, and Trudi Novina Coakley ’50.
The tale about the Vanguard, the Brooklyn College student newspaper of yore, getting its charter revoked back in 1950 is legend in journalism circles. The paper’s staff had published a story about then-President Harry D. Gideonse, who vetoed a history professor’s appointment as department chair because the professor had been openly critical of him. Gideonse notoriously changed the locks on the paper’s office doors, which prompted the students to take up a collection and publish a new paper, the Draugnav, or the Vanguard spelled backwards. Gideonse suspended the paper’s student editors. Eventually, the paper was shut down permanently and replaced by The Kingsman. Still, it turned out to have been a good way for the staff to cut their teeth, as most of them went on to storied careers in the business, working at outlets like CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. One of the former editors—William L. Taylor ’52, who became an influential civil rights attorney—was bestowed with an honorary degree from Brooklyn College in 2001. In 2006, a plaque honoring the Vanguard went up in Boylan Hall. Last spring, the editors—many of whom remained close over the years—came back to campus for a reunion, where they also met with some members of the current staff of the new Vanguard, which was reconstituted this fall when The Kingsman and another student paper, The Excelsior, merged.
Students in the Vanguard offices in 1950.
The first and only issue of the Draugnav was published by the students after the Vanguard was shut down.
The first issue of the new Vanguard.