Jane Burns

Jane Burns1983
Jane Burns2006

Download Interview

The Pope and Diverse Campus Activities

Most students did not have cars and computers were nonexistent, aspects of campus life that likely enhanced the collegial campus atmosphere.
You always knew somebody who had a car. A lot of people had crappy cars [and] would loan them to you in a second; they didn't care, you always knew who you could borrow one from.
She had a good reason to begin finagling her way into a borrowed car during her the first week at college when she found out Pope John Paul II would visit Des Moines that fall.
At that time, the pope never went anywhere. It was a unique thing to have a world leader like that in the area.
But she also found out that there were plenty of diverse activities on campus, including an annual pornographic film festival. Burns said she attended the festival, which she described as a sign of the times. She said there was a societal attitude that supported exposing young people to different ideas and events, even to somewhat taboo topics that piqued their curiosity. Burns also spent much of her college years working at Godfather's Pizza on University Avenue.

Interning at the Des Moines Register

During her four years at Drake, Burns was also a stringer for The Associated Press and an intern for The Des Moines Register. Her jobs allowed her to make friends outside of the Drake community and experience more of what Des Moines had to offer. Burns' internship led to her first job after college as a copy editor in the sports department at The Register. She said that while she will never forget her roommates, it has been her friendships with other Drake journalism school graduates that have thrived over the years because of the nature of the profession. She said that technology has changed the way she keeps in touch with friends from college and former colleagues.
I'm using the Internet and computers in ways that I never thought I would, socially and in my career.

Choosing Drake

"I was lucky to be able to actually pick a school based on what I wanted to do ... Not only was I sure I wanted to be a journalist, but I was also sure that I want to go 'away' to school . The allure of a small, private school drew me to Drake University. The journalism program was icing on the cake. I liked how the private school was its own little community and wasn't spread out."

Campus Life

"In the early 1980s, there were more bars close to campus and the drinking age was 19, which made a "huge" difference. We could have kegs in our room. There really was no reason to go downtown. We had a lot of dorm parties, because the drinking age was such and it really kept a lot of the stuff on campus and it was perfectly legal for everybody there to be drinking."

Life After Drake

"I'm pursuing things professionally and personally that I never gave a thought to when I was in college, and that's a good thing. Learning is not over by any stretch of the imagination; it keeps going and going and going."