If you are a Greek mythology nerd, there is a certain association between the title of the Promethean and the myth of Prometheus. In September of 1974 Sarah Klesman, a senior working towards her BFA, stole fire from heaven and gave it to the student-run newspaper of the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
The paper, which had been called the Peptomist since its inception 54 years prior, decided to host a renaming contest in the fall of 1974. Klesman’s entry caught the eyes of the judges ahead of 87 other ideas. For her efforts, Klesman received a $25 savings bond, an L.P. record, and the satisfaction of knowing her name has stuck for nearly half a century.
The original name of the paper was derived from the teachings of economics professor A.D.S Gillette. Gillette defined students who passively waited around for something unlucky to happen as pessimists. But he recognized those who expected the best to happen as peptomists. Gillette’s hope was that students would “attempt to bring about the best possible results and become peptomists in the school.”
After the newspaper served as a supplement for students to serve as peptomists, it decided to shift its role. Taking after the myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to ancient man, the newspaper rebranded itself as carriers of light and knowledge.
Prometheus was not rewarded for his efforts, however, and was punished by the gods for his theft with thousands of years of punishment. Students likened the scholastic challenges they faced to the punishment faced by Prometheus. However, as the ancient myth finishes, it acknowledges that Prometheus was set free with a healed heart. Students too are enabled to overcome any hardship and live successful lives. Bearing this message in mind, the Promethean has been building trust and hope throughout the campus community.
For a brief period of time, the staff of the Promethean elected to put out the fire. For an eight year period, from 2008-2016, the Promethean rebranded itself as the Stinger. The paper also temporarily shifted from newspaper publication to magazines, and underwent several design changes. In the Feb. 10, 2016 issue of the Promethean, then Editor-in-Chief Marcus White saw the period from 1974-2008 as a “golden age of journalism in Superior.”
Maintaining a strong sense of vocation, the Promethean has been and will continue to be dedicated as a carrier of light and knowledge in our community. The first of hope that the Promethean set 46 years ago will continue to burn ceaselessly.