History of the Torch

The Torch’s earliest roots were in “The Literary Voice,” which was a monthly non-profit publication started by students in 1896 to cover campus news. From the “Voice” stemmed the “Ferris Institute News,” which was founded in 1920. In 1931, the newspaper evolved to become an independent, fully student-run publication for the first time accompanied by the tagline, “Published by students—for students.” 

That same ideal holds to this day. The Torch is fully staffed by students who write and assign their own stories, shoot their own photos and videos and manage the publication and its staff to bring truth, fairness and accuracy to the Ferris community. 

Trace the Torch mastheads from 1931 to the present in this slideshow, then learn more about the publication’s history below!

 

Fun Facts About the Torch

  • The first issue of the Torch was published Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1931.

    The first issue of the Torch contained only four pages and was published Sept. 14, 1931.

  • A “Special Yellow Jaundice Edition” of the Torch was published on yellow paper Wednesday, May 11, 1932, and included the first satire articles ever published in the Torch. The once-yearly satire issue would continue to run each May until 1940.
  • Employees of the Torch in the 1930s received a scholarship covering half of their tuition.
  • Dorothy Tobin served as the first female editor in chief of the Torch in 1936 and again in 1937. Comparatively, the Detroit Free Press named its first female editor in chief in 2002.
  • The publication was known as the “Ferris Weekly” until Tuesday, March 29, 1938, when it debuted as the Torch. The “Ferris Torch” moniker was a reader submission that came from a contest to rename the newspaper. The two students who submitted the name “Ferris Torch” were awarded sterling silver rings bearing the Ferris Institute logo.
  • The Torch was not printed between the summer of 1940 and the winter of 1946. The revival of the Torch was led by an impassioned group of students and faculty looking to “challenge the unorganized student body of Ferris Institute to take an active part in the building of a new and healthy school spirit.” The first issue released after the hiatus hit newsstands on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 1946.
  • The newspaper did not print in color until 1958. The first color photo to appear on the front page was of a crowd seated in the grass of Top Taggart Field at spring graduation and was printed Friday, May 31, 1958.
  • The modern version of fsutorch.com launched on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009, to replace a more primitive news webpage that had been operating since the late nineties.
  • The Torch’s modern monthly satire insert “The Tire Fire” was launched on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. The weekly “Torchcast” premiered during that same year on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

 

Archived Staff Lists

1931 – 1932 – 1933 – 1934 – 1935 – 1936 – 1937 – 1938 – 1939 – 1946 – 1947 – 1948 – 1949 – 1950 – 1951 – 1952 – 1953 – 1954 – 1955 – 1956 – 1957 – 1958 – 1959 – 1960 – 1961 – 1962 – 1963 – 1964 – 1965 – 1966 – 1967 – 1968 – 1969 – 1970 – 1971 – 1972 – 1973 – 1974 – 1975 – 1976 – 1977 – 1978 – 1979 – 1980 – 1981 – 1982 – 1983 – 1984 – 1985 – 1986 – 1987 – 1988 – 1989 – 1990 – 1991 – 1992 – 1993 – 1994 – 1995 – 1996 – 1997 – 1998 – 1999 – 2000 – 2001 – 2002 – 2003 – 2004 – 2005 – 2006 – 2007 – 2008 – 2009 – 2010 – 2011 – 2012 – 2013 – 2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017

 

Past Editors in Chief 

Past Faculty Advisers

 

John F. McNamara Award for Outstanding Contribution Recipients

Business/Technical Achievement Award for Outstanding Professionalism Recipients

Donald F. Scanneli Award for Outstanding Journalist Recipients

Business/Technical Achievement Award for Outstanding Performance Recipients

Joseph B. Tierney Award for Outstanding Freshman Journalist Recipients