NORCROSS -- After serving as the Chairman and President of The Red and Black Publishing Company for 33 years, Norcross native Elliott Brack has decided to retire from the position.
"It was time. I should have done so long ago," Brack said through email. "But mainly to make way for fresh board members. I will remain as an ex-officio member of the board, but stay away for a year, attending the next meeting in 2014."
On Feb. 1, The Red and Black hosted a dinner at Trumps on Milledge in Athens to honor the veteran newspaper aficionado. On the podium, there were 33 red roses in the black vase, which went home with Brack's wife Barbara. Each rose represented each year she has supported his work on the paper's behalf and the 33 years she has been the "First Lady" of The Red and Black.
In attendance for the dinner were current board members, ex-officio members, emeritus members, past members and Brack's family as well as guest speakers.
Charles Russell talked about Brack's early years in journalism, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Amy Glennon reminisced about being a student while working at the Red and Black, and Carrol Dadisman spoke about Brack's dedication as a board chairman.
"In those days to me he represented a connection to the world that we students so wanted to be a part of -- he was a newspaperman -- with a passion for both the editorial mission we shared and the business side of the industry," Glennon said to the crowd. "You could feel his enthusiasm for the business and for what we were doing."
Later, Harry Montevideo recited his "Ode to Elliott Brack: A Good and Lasting Marriage."
"It's hard to believe that Elliott Brack and I have been working together at The Red and Black for almost 30 years," he said to the audience. "When I started thinking about my remarks for this evening, I suddenly realized something mind-boggling (and somewhat disconcerting): Elliott and I have been together in our own special, unique, journalistic union for longer than the combined total of my two marriages."
After a few laughs, Brack was able to give his remarks the room of friends, family and peers.
He won't forget his years at the paper. He was able to teach his staff and watch them grow as professionals.
"In 33 years, it's been fun to watch the many accomplishments by the students, the management team and the board to work together to make The Red and Black one of the most respected of college newspapers, and one of the few college students independent of the University," he said.
Brack, who has been officially retired since 2001, will continue to publish www.gwinnettforum.com and www.georgiaclips.com.
Former Vice Chairman Melita Easters has taken over Brack's position as chairman and president at The Red and Black.