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Manifestation to dreams realized, The Bruin built forever memories and friends -30-

Benjamin Royer stands for a portrait in front of Kerckhoff Hall. (Michael Gallagher/Assistant Photo editor)

By Benjamin Royer

June 10, 2024 9:09 p.m.

I’m not one for manifestation, but I predicted my time in Kerckhoff 118 long ago.

Before journalism – and before making my dreams become reality at the Rose Bowl, Pauley Pavilion and Jackie Robinson Stadium – I placed the Daily Bruin logo on a vision board in 2019.

It was likely an afterthought in an assignment I didn’t take seriously anyway. I wanted to go to UCLA – my dream school – and probably wanted to represent the school somehow, some way.

Little did I know that this newspaper would become one of the most impactful aspects of sculpting my two years in Westwood. Or that it would lead to me writing in the national paper of record – The New York Times.

It’s no secret my name had been thrown around internally before I entered UCLA as a transfer student from Los Angeles Valley College. I interacted with the paper’s sports coverage on Twitter, as I was always particularly fond of learning more about the baseball team beyond watching and listening to the games.

I was that one reader for someone, an unknown individual we all hope to reach through our coverage. And through my time writing and editing for Daily Bruin Sports, I hope I was able to reach one if not many, new voices discovering our coverage for the first time.

From applying for and writing about gymnastics – a sport I had zero experience with – to learning more and becoming introduced to a rambunctious group of college gymnastics fans on social media known as the “gymternet,” I undertook a journey I never expected myself to embark on.

Taking the gymnastics beat’s reins from Sam Settleman, a great editor, supporter and friend, was an honor and something I will look back fondly on – just one of many who had a profound impact on me.

I met Joseph Crosby at Jackie Robinson Stadium in 2022, waiting to interview UCLA baseball coach John Savage, while we were reporting on a game for opposing publications covering UCLA sports. Two years later, Joseph is one of my closest friends, as well as someone I was grateful to work alongside as a peer and sports editor.

Through a love of baseball, movies and good laughs, Jon Christon became one of my closest friends at UCLA. Although Jon and I only overlapped for just under a year, the bonds that Jon, Joseph, my brother Matthew Royer and I built together will certainly last a lifetime.

Bonds blossomed in my senior year as well. Both Sharla Steinman and Ira Gorawara hold glowing futures in the journalism industry and make the people around them – including me – harder workers and better people.

Friends are hard to come by, and in the Daily Bruin there are just so many. Olivia Simons, Bryan Palmero, Jeremy Chen, Gabi Siegel, Jack Nelson, Gavin Carlson, Nicole Augusta, Neeti Badve and many, many more – all of whom constantly “dab on ‘em” on a day-to-day basis.

The last year has been challenging and stressful, but in the end, all so important. Over the past two months, the Daily Bruin proved why our campus is a breeding ground for the next generation of journalists – even though UCLA does not have a journalism school.

We set the standard for how to cover our community, the students of UCLA, the people of Westwood and the teams donning the blue and gold.

Although it may be corny to write, I am proud to have majored in the Daily Bruin.

The memories are more than worth the late nights, as I’m sure the next group of seniors, and the ones after and so on, will say the same when it’s their time to say goodbye.

And maybe they’ll even say, “chills.”

Royer was a Sports contributor, reporter and staff 2022-2023 and an assistant Sports editor 2023-2024.

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Benjamin Royer | Assistant Sports editor
Royer is the 2023-2024 Assistant Sports editor on the baseball, gymnastics and men's water polo beats and a reporter on the football beat. He was previously a staff writer on the baseball, football and gymnastics beats. He is also a fourth-year communication student.
Royer is the 2023-2024 Assistant Sports editor on the baseball, gymnastics and men's water polo beats and a reporter on the football beat. He was previously a staff writer on the baseball, football and gymnastics beats. He is also a fourth-year communication student.
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