The original 1920 staff of the Peptomist
Photo courtesy of the UWS Library Archives
100 years ago, in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, the Promethean, then known as the Peptomist, was born at Superior Normal School.
Devoted to the activities and expressions of opinions of the students of the school, the Promethean has changed much throughout the last 100 years. While the paper has gone through several name changes, and even more design changes, what has not changed is this original mission. Over the course of 100 years, the Promethean has been dedicated to informing the student population of the University of Wisconsin-Superior about their campus and allowing a platform for students to express their voice. The Promethean proudly touts the honor of being the campus voice since 1920.
As the campus yearbook, the Gitche Gumme, notes in its 1972 page on the Promethean, “Every week deadlines had to be met, stories written, ads sold and tempers calmed.” It was true in 1972, it was true 52 years before that, and it’s true today. The Promethean has remained a mainstay on the campus of UW-Superior, and we have operated in a relatively consistent manner for that time.
Outside of three buildings, Erlanson Hall, Crownhart Hall and Old Main, no other institution has lasted 100 years on the campus of UW-Superior. As communicating arts department chair Brent Nohtbohm noted, “[The Promethean] is not just an opportunity for students, but it is actually the one medium, consistently now for 100 years, that reflects their voice, their concerns, and their ideas. There is no other single thing on campus that has done that.”
Throughout its history, the Promethean has been recognized as an award-winning newspaper by several national organizations, including the Associated Collegiate Press, the American Scholastic Press Association, and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. These awards represent a variety of categories, including best comic, sports story, and single page layout.Several of the awards are currently on display in the Promethean newsroom.
Despite all of the challenges that any collegiate newspaper faces, the Promethean perseveres and continues to persevere. Though the form of the paper will continue to change over the next 100 years, there is no denying that the Promethean has worked to carry on its legacy.
One other way in which the Promethean has proudly carried on this history is by archiving every single article ever printed. Through the university’s library archives, the Promethean has maintained both a digital and physical presence that carries on over 100 years. “It’s a nice thing to have for historical purposes as well. The yearbook went to the wayside, so now we have a historical record of what we’ve done and accomplished and how things have changed on campus,” said Tammy Fanning, Associate Dean of Students.
It is my hope, as current editor-in-chief, that I will one day be able to return to the campus of UW-Superior and visit the staff of collegiate journalists hard at work in the Promethean newsroom.
To all of our readers, thank you for the last 100 years. I look forward to celebrating the future of the Promethean, and I cannot wait to see how our newspaper continues to grow, change, and develop as an institution. I can’t wait for what’s next!
Editor in Chief