Over Fall Break, Roanoke College experienced a special anniversary-the 100th year of publication of this newspaper, The Brackety-Ack. The first issue of RC’s school newspaper was published on the evening of Oct. 19, 1915.
The Brackety-Ack was the first weekly student newspaper for Roanoke College. With a staff of eight students, the first issue of the paper had no publication name and advertised in its place a free “One year Subscription” for the best submitted name. Originally, a one year subscription for the school paper cost $1.75, and a single issue was 5 cents. Today, our Brackety-Ack is free for the student body and public, and has an online edition as well. Although archive collections jump from issue 1 to issue 3, it is presumed that by the second issue, the name “The Brackety-Ack” was born. While the actual origins of the name for the paper remains elusive, it has been rumored and passed down through newspaper staffs that the name originates from an old school cheer.
Frederick “Tad” Broad, a senior in 1915-16, acted as the first Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, as well as an editor for the college’s Collegian and The Roentgen Rays (yearbook). Similar to the current staff positions, the first paper also had an Assistant Editor, Business Manager, and News Editor. Positions that were unique to the first issues of The Brackety-Ack include Athletic Editor, Exchange Editor, and Fun Editor. Even though some things haven’t changed within the paper in the 100 years, many things have. In an editorial within the first issue, the staff explains the purpose for the weekly paper. It was written that originally the “object of [the] paper is primarily the promotion of athletics…”
Along with supporting RC’s athletic teams, the paper did explain that other “college news, fun, etc. [would] be given due prominence.” Within the first edition, there were articles on the Y.M.C.A., literary society meetings, dances and events with Elizabeth College, and other “campus fun” events.
Today, The Brackety-Ack is still a student run newspaper that focuses on reporting campus and local events to the student body. Fortunately, the paper now receives support and some funding from the college and its staff has continued to expand over the years. Copies of the weekly newspaper can be found at the Information Desk in Colket and at various other locations around campus.