For my last issue as editor in chief of Ethos I asked my fellow graduating department heads to join me in what we decided should be an awkward family photo. We made this styling choice for two reasons. First, our shared love of sweater vests. Second, because deep down we know we’re family.

When I wrote my first editor’s note last summer I barely knew Lana, Ariane, and Anna. We were all longtime members of Ethos but had rarely worked together. Then, here we were, thrown together and asked to create a magazine. We didn’t know what we were doing (a confession I can only make now with four issues successfully published), but we, together, decided to revel in that uncertainty, to laugh at our mistakes, to grow from our experiences, to put our heads down and work together. I told you we were family.

Now we’re leaving, each for her own path. I wish Lana, Ariane, Anna, and all my other fellow graduates the best of luck. If you’ve worked with Ethos, I hope the experience has shaped you as much as it has shaped me. I hope you can look back in a month, in a year, in a decade and appreciate the stepping-stone this magazine was not only for you, but for the hundreds of dedicated journalists who have been put through their paces on our pages.

When I reached this moment, I thought I’d be nervous about handing the reins, now so familiar in my hands, off to a new editor in chief. But I’m not. If her ability to successfully manage my hundreds of phone calls and e-mails is any indication of her ability to be editor in chief (which, believe me, it is), Lacey Jarrell is more than ready.

There is something special about this magazine, the same intangible qualities of trust and hope and faith that make a tight-knit family. I am honored to have been an editor of this publication. I am honored to have served alongside the likes of a Lana O’Brien, an Ariane Kunze, an Anna Helland, a Lacey Jarrell. I am honored to have been a part of this family.