The Collegian wins six awards from SC Press Association


Arianna Rayder

Pictured left to right: Zachary Smith, Jordyn Britton, Nathaniel Hendry, Arianna Rayder

Bob Jones University’s student-led newspaper, The Collegian, received six awards from the South Carolina Press Association, recognizing the paper’s writing, photography and design quality. The S.C. Press Association awards honor the best collegiate journalism of colleges with 5,000 students or less in the state of South Carolina.  

The Collegian’s winners were current editor-in-chief Nathaniel Hendry, staff writer Zachary Smith, graphic designer Arianna Rayder and photo editor Jordyn Britton. Although the awards honor issues from 2022, the winners are active staff members of The Collegian and can recognize the impact these awards have on their current roles and future careers, as well as the value of the courses they have taken at BJU. 

Nathaniel Hendry won first place in the arts and entertainment story category with his article titled “Concert features Holocaust violins” and first and third place in the photograph category for the photos in an article about flag display for 9/11 victims. He said his writing classes were key in helping him build an efficient writing style. Hendry’s training at The Collegian has also improved his writing capacities. “My experience with The Collegian has also helped me learn how to write about any topic and try to make it interesting,” Hendry said.  

Writing for the first time for the newspaper, Zachary Smith won the award for the news story category with his article titled “Greenville opens Unity Park, fulfilling 83-year-old promise.” Through the experience, he understood what satisfies his audience and how to best deliver it. One of the aspects that the audience seeks is relevance since the story’s focus on topics that people care about, such as racial reconciliation, contributed to its success. By developing that theme and researching the history behind Unity Park, he learned that “topic choice and the amount of time you spend researching makes a really big difference,” Smith said.  

From a graphic design perspective, Arianna Rayder, first place winner of the page one design award of the print issue of March 7, 2022, featuring Samson et Dalila, appreciates her training at BJU as it helped her present the necessary information without overwhelming the reader. As a second-time winner of this award, she has already seen the positive effects it brings to her professional career. “The last time I won this award, it really helped me get my internship, so I feel like employers really take it seriously,” Rayder said. 

Britton, the photo editor of The Collegian, won second place in the photograph category for her photos in an article about BJU’s serpentarium naming baby crocodiles. 

Although these awards positively affect the winners’ lives, they also impact The Collegian itself and the school’s reputation; the newspaper staff recognizes the opportunity to represent BJU honorably. “I’m happy that my team at The Collegian could do something that would impress the judges and glorify God and make our school look like it’s a great school to go to,” Rayder said.  

Ultimately, the staff’s mission as Christian writers is to serve others through what they produce. As Nathaniel Hendry said, “In future work, I want to continue that same spirit of honoring other people for the work they’ve done and recognizing their efforts and their sacrifices.”