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The list of notable persons who joined in the festivities included President Sheldon Hackney, DP alumnus and New York Times writer Dick Stevenson, and of course, the editors, staffers and alumni of the DP. Hackney kicked off the evening with a five-minute speech satirizing an executive editor's introduction to life at the DP. "Welcome freshpersons," began Hackney, using what he termed as the "politically correct" language. "I thank you for making the great trek past McDeath and the DMZ [Demilitarized Zone] to the Pink Palace [the DP]." Hackney added that every freshman should understand that all news can have a negative slant and it is the responsibility of a DP writer to find it. "You'll have to learn to work through the night and sleep through class," Hackney added. Outgoing Sports Editors Tiffany Sparks and Scott Waynebern, who were disappointed by the sparse meal of a green salad, pasta and chicken breast, and chocolate swirls, ordered four Domino's pizzas -- whose deliverer briefly interrupted Hackney's speech. Stevenson, the keynote speaker and DP Executive Editor in 1980, said he quickly ascended through the ranks at the DP. "I started at the very bottom -- as a sports writer," Stevenson said. Now as a professional writer with the Times, he still has ties to the University. "I've interviewed Michael Milken, Donald Trump, and a lot of other Wharton graduates who are currently in jail," Stevenson added. But for some, the highlight of the evening was the awards ceremony focusing on some of the DP's best over the past year. In the News department, new Executive Editor Helen Jung was the prestigious winner of the Most Valuable Reporter award. The 'Bo Jackson' Award for greatest overall contribution to the newspaper--"she knows graphics and she knows writing"--went to beat reporter Emily Culbertson. But the big-money winner of the evening was beat reporter Christine Lutton, coming home with two awards -- one for her outstanding coverage of the Castle kidnapping last spring as well as the DP Alumni Writing Award. The Sports department's award for best beat reporting coverage went to new Sports Editor Noam Harel, while most valuable reporter for the Sports Department was sports reporter John Di Paolo. Matthew Schwartz was named most improved sports writer. Wayneburn assured them that the news staff that they are all still "a bunch of weenies." In the Photography department, new Weekly Pennsylvanian Editor Brian Newberry was named the most valuable photographer of the year while Debra Lima won the most improved photographer award. The Business department delivered five Distinguished Service Awards. Their recipients were Barry Freeman, Fred Gluckman, Adam Levin, Tara Friend, and Lin Shearer. 34th Street Magazine named Ann Luerssen as the most valuable staffer and commended David Boyer as the one who served as the savior for the magazine. Despite the free alcohol and the good spirit that prevaded the evening, not everyone was pleased. New 34th Street Magazine Editor Andrew Libby was disappointed that he would walk home empty handed. "I don't understand why I didn't win all the awards," Libby said. Others took time to comment on the attire of both the new editors and attendees. University Police Department spokesperson Sylvia Canada commented on the new Managing Editor Peter Spiegel. "He is a real smooth talker and dresser," Canada said. "If I were into journalism and 'x' amount of years younger I would give him a ring and it wouldn't be about reporting either." Spiegel was not the only smooth dresser at the banquet. In an informal poll conducted throughout the evening, Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Duchess Harris was overwhelmingly selected as best dressed.

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