Wed. May 18th, 2022

If you’re an average student at the University of Dallas, you’ve probably picked up a copy of The University News at least once. 

You may be a loyal subscriber, a one-time advocate for a particular commentary article or a religious crossword solver. Either way, you have likely engaged with this publication during your time at UD.

We pride ourselves on being a student-led newspaper. Developed by students, written by students, edited by students, published by students and, most importantly, read by students.

However, we are not without guidance on our endeavor. Tucked away in absolute plain sight on Monday and Sunday nights in the Braniff foyer is our Journalism Director, the constant and witty Rudy Bush. 

Bush joined UD as the director of the journalism program and advisor to the student paper in 2014. Currently, he serves as vice president and editorial page editor for the Dallas Morning News. 

Our clever advocate is an alumnus of UD, earning his BA in English in ‘97 and, returning to the circus of our university for a second round of foolishness, later securing his Masters in Humanities and his MBA. What an accomplished fellow!

Bush’s mother, Beth Alvarez Bush, was a member of UD’s third class. His sister, Margaret, BA ‘94, followed in her mother’s footsteps to the uneven Mall and dimly lit hallways of Braniff, bullying Bush into visiting with “endless cajoling and promises of beer.” I think that’s how we all end up here, isn’t it?

Upon acquiescing to his sister’s badgering, Bush shared in an email, “I couldn’t believe how interesting the people were. They talked seriously about serious things. They cared about things that I cared about but didn’t really get to talk about, like words and writing and beauty and truth. And they gave me Pearl Beer, which had little puzzles on the cap. I was in.”

And in he was. Three degrees and an eight-year-long faculty position later, we are losing Bush from the journalism program at the end of this year. 

To emphasize the gravity of this loss to our community, we decided to share some of the ways in which Bush has supported and mentored through his years of service. 

Colin Lancaster, BA ‘21, shared in a text, “In my time at the UD News, I came to know Rudy Bush as a learned mentor, a friend and a true believer in the journalistic process as well as in the mission of the University of Dallas … Rudy is a great man and a true UDer, and our University community was truly blessed to have him.”

Belynn Hollers, BA ‘21, who is currently a journalist at the Dallas Morning News, said: “Rudy Bush is in his best form a teacher, though not just for the craft of journalism, but the craft of life. Through the years he’s taught me to stand up for those who need an advocate, listen to the most vulnerable earnestly, and rebuke my own self when necessary of which he made a practice of.”

Rosa Venditti, current editor-in-chief at The University News and a senior politics major, shared in an email: “Throughout my year as editor-in-chief, Rudy has become a mentor of mine. At times, an almost indispensable one. This year as editor-in-chief has been fraught with difficulties … For anything that Rudy could help with, he was always a phone call away. Based on his willingness to put himself on the line, based on his willingness to take metaphorical bullets for me, I bet he’d take a real bullet if need be.”

These are a few of the testimonials that I collected from various former employees at The University News. While you may not know Bush or the impact that he has had on our community, I hope these words create some understanding of what has been happening behind the scenes at the newspaper: growth, mentorship, education and a whole lot of ridiculous fun. 

Bush shared why he got into journalism and why he stayed, saying: “At first, I romanticized it … Over time, I’ve come to understand how this work is integral to who we are. In one sense, it’s very old work. We are telling human stories. We are marking our place in time and space.”

“In another sense, it’s much more recent. Journalism, for all of its faults, is woven into what American democracy is. We have a serious responsibility that we don’t always fulfill as well as we could. But people need fact-finders to fulfill their own role as citizens.”

My own experience as the sports editor with Bush has been light-hearted, likely too heavy on the sarcastic jokes and surprisingly profound. 

I served as an editor for only one year, leaving very little time for the development of a closer relationship. However, I will say from an observational perspective, it is exceedingly rare to meet someone who synthesizes absurdity and groundedness so gracefully. Rudy is a funny guy and Rudy is a serious guy.

Razor-sharp wit and razor-sharp integrity lead to a journalism director who both teaches the well-rounded pursuit of truth and exercises it himself. 

I have no desire to go into journalism, but that’s not what Bush really teaches anyway, not at the root. 

Bush’s final comment to me was directed at UD; “Thanks for letting me come home to teach. Loved every minute, even the ones I didn’t.”

Me too, Rudy. Me too.

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