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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Goodbye, Lower Freeborn

Aggie editors share what the basement means to them

Kaelyn Tuermer Lee, Editor-in-Chief

Dear Lower Freeborn,

Although you’re seismically unsound, have a bagel sitting up by the ceiling that’s been there for who knows how long and have a 99% chance of containing asbestos, I’m thankful to have been a part of The California Aggie’s 105-year history (and counting). After working down in 25 Lower Freeborn for all four years of my college career, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you for all the memories I’ve made behind your brick walls, and for the friendships that will leave with me. I’m grateful for the late nights in the office putting together layout, the hours of endorsement interviews and the proud feeling of distributing our latest issue (at 6 a.m., I might add). Most of all, thank you for being my second home — your walls might be torn down, but your impact is everlasting.

With much love, Kaelyn

Hannah Holzer, Managing Editor

I was a very indecisive senior in high school and I couldn’t choose a college, so a friend of mine, a first-year at UC Davis, agreed to show me around campus. She knew I was interested in journalism, so the two of us timidly ventured into the depths of Freeborn Hall. What greeted us in The California Aggie’s office was a gaggle of friends who looked like they were having the best time ever. We hesitantly asked for a tour of the office, and the ever-charming Bryan Sykes — who would, two years later, become one of my dearest friends and most relied upon mentors — volunteered. That first impression has always stuck with me, because that’s our office: the best people, trying their absolute best to put out good, quality journalism and having the best time doing it. 25 Lower Freeborn, I’ll miss you dearly.

Kenton Goldsby, Campus News Editor

I knew we’d have to move out of our beloved Lower Freeborn Hall eventually — the university said we must. But now that the day has come and the boxes must be packed, dread has finally set in. It’s the same feeling I felt as a child every time my parents told me that we had to move. The feeling of saying “Goodbye,” with no “I’ll see you later;” especially now, since my home is going to be unceremoniously torn down. Gone forever. On some far-flung, future Picnic Day, I’ll show my kids where you once stood and tell them how you, that windowless room in the basement of a seismically-unfit building, were where I met my best friends, learned more than I ever could have learned in a class and made more memories than I could ever write down. I’ll miss you, 25 Lower Freeborn Hall. 

Stella Tran, City News Editor

A Parody of William Shakepeare’s Sonnet 130

Our Lower Freeborn Hall is nothing like the tall skyscraper of The New York Times. 

The Memorial Union has far better Wi-Fi, than Lower Freeborn has Wi-Fi. 

If Davis is safe, why then is Lower Freeborn susceptible to 5 a.m. alarm crimes. 

If rooms need windows, not a single window is found in Lower Freeborn’s supply.

And yet, I think I’ll miss this place more than ever. 

Nostalgic, Lower Freeborn will have a place in our hearts as we head on our next endeavor.

Hanadi Jordan, Opinion Editor

When I first joined The California Aggie my second year at UC Davis, I didn’t expect to fall in love with Lower Freeborn as much as I would the work I did as a columnist. But almost two years later, and now the place where I find myself almost every day of the week, it’s difficult to say goodbye to this building. It’s not just the memories I’ve made, but the memories and spirit of the work of past editors, writers, copy chiefs, photographers and so many others that fill this room that makes this goodbye so hard. I’ll forever be grateful to my fellow editors for the support and friendship formed in this room the past few quarters, my former editors — Taryn and Nick — who helped me grow within these walls as a writer and to Freeborn itself for providing me all these wonderful opportunities, the memories of which will outlast the place in which they were made.

Claire Dodd, Features Editor

Although the Wi-Fi can never be relied on when you need it most, and the alarm system has attempted to sabotage the staff time and time again and “lower” is really just a nice way to say basement, Lower Freeborn is a comforting place and there is a particular sadness in the air as its tenants begin to vacate. 25 Lower Freeborn is the heart and soul of The Aggie, a place that intrigued and intimidated me when I first interviewed. Since that fateful day in October of 2018, I have grown so much as a writer, student and person, and will always be grateful for my experiences in these seismically unsafe halls. 

Liz Jacobson, Arts & Culture Editor

I remember the first time I walked into 25 Lower Freeborn. I spent over an hour picking out the perfect interview outfit — not too dressed up, but not too casual. I’m happy to say that that interview went well, and 25 Lower Freeborn has become my second home over the past four years. It’s where I have taken many naps on couches that have never been cleaned, squeezed in 10-piece bands, made life-long friends and watched writers and editors grow as both journalists and people. But most importantly, it is where I’ve gotten to be truly the best version of myself, no matter what I was wearing. Thank you and I miss you already, 25 Lower Freeborn. 

Dominic Faria, Sports Editor

It’s not a hall, it’s a home. It’s where history literally lives out loud and in full color upon its cluttered walls; Where I could escape the bustle of UC Davis’ crowded campus without actually leaving campus; Where I ignited my passion for UC Davis sports and deepened by Aggie pride; Where I spent hours describing and reveling some of the most exciting athletic events in this school’s history; Where I learned to love not seeing the sun for hours on end; And where I discovered that CoHo bagels don’t really decompose. Cheers to you, Freeborn, thanks for being weird.

Cecilia Morales, Science Editor

25 Lower Freeborn will always hold a special place in my heart. This office has seen various iterations of me as I grew with The Aggie for four years and throughout my college life in general, always serving as a home on campus for me to stop by. Looking around at all the various jokes, memorabilia, photos, etcetera makes you feel comforted by students that have been here before and excited about how you might leave a mark on our beloved college newspaper. Despite us needing outside validation, the reactions visitors have to our office say it all: This office is worth remembering.

Written by: The Editorial Board


  1. goodbye lower freeborn
    a room without windows
    where hours turned to days
    to weeks to years
    where in time
    between youth and adulthood
    i slowly ground my pen to a tool
    that freed me to go
    from there
    to anywhere
    — aggie campus editor, 1990 something


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