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The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Illuminating the Past: Landreth family leads a legacy of lantern carriers

Charles B. “Chas” Landreth and Griffy Whitman ’25 review the most recent print edition of The Lantern. Photo courtesy of Melissa Brown ’87

Even though this is the “inaugural year” of the student newspaper at SCH, The Campus Lantern is a revived student newspaper, and we’ve actually existed since being founded in 1927. 

Charles Landreth, CHA class of 1929 (Landreth Field), was the second ever editor-in-chief of The Campus Lantern. On March 5, 2024, his son, Charles B. “Chas” Landreth, CHA class of 1966, returned to the Wissahickon Inn to tell me all about how the newspaper used to work. 

Sitting in the Exchange in the Inn, Chas motioned to the table on the left side of the room: “That table used to be where this [middle] sofa is, and everybody walked by to pick up the newspaper. That was the distribution center. You’d go to the Exchange, get the newspaper.” 

When Chas went to CHA, The Campus Lantern came out every other month, one long page each time, and at the end of the year, each issue would make up the larger, hardcover books that remain in the archives. This year, a few of our writers have used old editions of The Campus Lantern to write stories in our ‘Illuminating the Past’ column, shining our lantern on the campus of the past. 

The newspaper, Chas said, “worked pretty well.” There was a faculty advisor from the English department, and the 1965 edition featured a staff of more than thirty. “People wanted to be part of The Campus Lantern,” he emphasized. Chas is right, people definitely want to be involved in The Campus Lantern; upwards of forty writers have joined this year! 

Chas arrived in high school already having heard stories of his father’s experience with the newspaper. By the end of his four years, Chas was familiar with what his father, and I, know to be the constant challenge of “getting [the paper] published, getting the writers to write on time, getting it all edited, and getting it printed.” 

Once Chas got to high school, his father encouraged him to join the newspaper, but ultimately it was his own decision. To join the newspaper, people were told to, “write a story, make it in 150 words, and come back next week. So if those spelling mistakes were not too many, the punctuation was reasonable, they said, ‘Yeah, sure. We’re gonna add you to the writing staff’… It was not exactly a science.” 

The Campus Lantern staff came together frequently for layout meetings. “It was a group effort to publish a newspaper,” Chas reflected. “Somebody had to sit there and sort of say, ‘Okay, well, we have 100 words here and 300 words here, and a picture, and where do we put this?’ … Kids learn about working together.” 

While our writers record their interviews this year with voice memos and Otter.AI software, Chas said that during his time on the newspaper, interviews were “a conversation and handwritten notes.” While we meet in Ms. Gellhorn’s room, in 1966, The Campus Lantern had an office “somewhere in the Inn” with “a couple of typewriters. We had to get it typed so that the company who was gonna print it could read it. Some peoples’ handwriting wasn’t so clear! … Most of us didn’t know how to type either!” He noted that only the Springside School had typewriting classes at the time. 

A lot has changed for The Campus Lantern over the years, but one thing has stayed the same. In Chas’ words, “these kinds of activities bring folks together who, under their normal school year, probably wouldn’t even meet each other.”

Photo courtesy of Melissa Brown ’87
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About the Contributor
Griffy Whitman '25
Griffy Whitman '25, Inaugural Editor-in-Chief
Griffy is a junior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and he revived The Campus Lantern last year. He loves lacrosse and writing, so you can usually find him either on the field or interviewing someone for a story. Outside of school, he loves to play with his dog, Wesley.
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    Jim TalbotMar 18, 2024 at 7:51 am

    As a former advisor to the Campus Lantern, I have enjoyed this revival immensely!
    Jim Talbot