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Beshert | Six Degrees of Aunt Beck

As editor of my college newspaper, the Oberlin Review, part of my job was to ensure that capable underclassmen were in place to lead it in the future. I began this process in the spring of 1960 by having a conversation with Bill Schechner, a freshman two years behind me. His writing was energetic. It was easy to edit his copy. I thought he had what it took to be an editor. I met with Bill in my office to sound him out about his interest in the paper and eventually becoming an editor. At 20, I was an experienced interviewer—I’d covered the campus visits of such prominent figures as Julius Nyerere, the founding president of Tanzania, and the singer Marian Anderson. But I had no experience recruiting staff for an organization. First, I had to get...

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