A year ago, the 30 of us who make up the 127th Managing Board of the Yale Daily News were given the opportunity to lead this paper, offering us the chance to join a long tradition and also make it our own.

In part, that opportunity has been shaped by the events around us. Since last October, we have seen anger, in protests on financial aid and graduate student unionization — sometimes leading to change, and sometimes not. We’ve known tragedy, in the passing away of our friends and classmates, Andrew Kroon ’05 and Ramie Speight ’06. We’ve watched a city in transition and a university expanding into the rest of the world. And we’ve witnessed the fear that comes with a crime wave on campus, the joy of winning national championships and the sheer absurdity of Harvard’s tailgate policies.

But as editors, we have made it our duty to not simply watch, but to explore Yale and New Haven. We have sought to offer new angles and new depth to the stories that spring up daily on campus, and to unearth others that lie beneath the surface. Above all, we have tried to inform and entertain — and in doing so, shape the life of this campus.

But during the past year, the news has also shaped us. We arrived at Yale excited about the opportunities we could find on this campus and eager to become a part of its traditions. Since our first days here, we have had some of our illusions shattered and some of our expectations proven wrong. And as this page has often shown, we have found much about Yale and New Haven that we would change. But our sense that Yale could be made better does not change a simple fact: We leave the News convinced that Yale remains, as it has been for three centuries, a place of astounding possibility.

That feeling is all the more true at a time when many of us feel uncertain and anxious about what lies beyond Yale’s walls. We see an ongoing war in Iraq, the continuing threat of terrorism, the tragedy of Katrina, and we feel invited to withdraw from a world that often seems impervious to change. But we have seen enough of Yale in the past year to be convinced that this university — and most importantly, its students — can continue to affect the world with a force that far exceeds its size. In a time of cynicism and pessimism, we are offered the unparalleled chance to make things different ­– whether in a residential college, in the city, or across the world — but only if we seize that opportunity.

We have been privileged to find that opportunity in our own way, watching as a staff of volunteer college students put together a paper every night that, we hope, had an impact on this university. In saying goodbye to our time at the helm, we leave believing in that potential to make change — and that a campus that has been very much shaped by the news can play an even greater role in shaping the news as the years go on.