Looking back at 2013

As the semester comes to a close with the last day of classes, so does the end of 2013. In this issue, you’ll find our Year in Review feature, which highlights major events at Stevens during the past year. From notable visitors to student achievements, we take a look at the memories and milestones of 2013.
While we are reflecting on the year within our home of Stevens, I thought it would be appropriate to look outside our bubble of campus. So here’s a look at some general moments from 2013 you won’t want to forget:
A new pope – On February 11, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, citing old age and health problems as the cause. He became the first pope to step down from the position since Pope Gregory II in 1415. The cardinals later assembled and on March 13, white smoke signified that a new leader had been chosen. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was installed as Pope Francis on April 7.
Social media spreading the news – On April 15, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring over two hundred. As I wrote in an editorial in April, this event was memorable for another reason as well. It was one of the first real-time news stories that allowed people to spread information over social media and inform others almost immediately as the events unfolded. This was both good and bad, however, because a lot of misinformation and false accusations were passed around.
Whistleblower – On June 6, The Guardian published its first exclusive story illustrating how the government has access to the data of millions of people through many of the large tech companies. Three days later, it was revealed that the story came from information leaked by Edward Snowden, an employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton at the National Security Agency. Snowden later fleed the U.S. and was granted temporary asylum in Russia.
The royal baby – On July 22, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, had their son. Prince George Alexander Louis, Prince of Cambridge, is the third in line to succeed the throne currently held by Queen Elizabeth II.
Lights out for the government – From October 1 to October 17, the U.S. government shut down after Congress failed to pass legislation allocating funds for the 2014 budget due to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Passing of an influence – On December 5, Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95 after being hospitalized several times. Mandela was South Africa’s first black president and an inspiration to many for his efforts in fighting for equality and human rights.
As we remember these and all events of the past year, we can only wonder what major news stories that 2014 will bring us.