More than 20 Fordham alumni who worked on The Observer, the award-winning student newspaper on the University’s Lincoln Center campus, gathered in the Lowenstein Center on June 9 to catch up and honor two influential advisors.

Molly Bedford and Anthony Hazell, FCLC ’06, stepped down last year as the paper’s visual and editorial advisors, respectively, after seven years. During the annual Block Party reunion, former staff members were presented them with cards, flowers, and framed mock Observer covers featuring group photos and messages from their advisees.

“We had such a special relationship with Molly and Anthony,” said Sophie Partridge-Hicks, FCLC ’21, a former editor-in-chief who helped organize the tribute. “We were there during the pandemic, so we did a lot of Zoom calls, and they were so incredible and supportive of us that we really wanted to celebrate them and all the work they did.”

Courtney Brogle, FCLC ’20, a former managing editor, echoed Partridge-Hicks’s gratitude for the advisors and the rest of the staff.

The Observer was a real light in a dark tunnel at that time,” said Brogle, who is now an assignment editor at NBC News. “It was a saving grace in a sense, where I got to collaborate with like-minded people. I got to publish student journalism that really mattered as we were navigating an uncertain time. It granted an outlet for people who otherwise would have been very isolated.”

Brogle also credited The Observer not only with setting her on her career path but also providing an opportunity to build personal relationships.

“I met so many people from different walks of life that I consider lifelong friends,” she said. “It brought a lot of joy into my life.”

Hazell, who was the paper’s editor-in-chief during his senior year and is now the director of communications for Bay Ridge Prep in Brooklyn, said that the paper has grown in the past two decades, from 20 to 30 students when he was an undergraduate to about 100 students today.

“I never thought that I would come back almost 10 years later and be involved again, but it was so much fun,” he said. “It was really nice to see the students control the paper and figure things out on their own and help guide them and problem-solve things.”