Legacy magazine wins two national writing awards


The cover story from the November 2017 issue of Legacy Magazine has won the 2018 Pinnacle Award for Best Investigative Story.
Cover design by Kat Owens with photography by Julius Damenz.

MITCHELL KRAUS Editor-in-Chief

Two articles featured in Legacy Magazine last fall took home national honors at the College Media Association’s convention in Louisville, Kentucky, last weekend. 

“Breaking the silence about mental health issues in college,” by former Legacy Editor-in-Chief Essi Auguste Virtanen, won first place in the Best Investigative Story category. The article explored factors surrounding suicide rates among college students and was the cover story for the November 2017 issue of Legacy Magazine.

Virtanen at the American Association for Suicide Prevention’s “Out of the Darkness” walk in Oct. 21 in Santa Monica, CA.
Photo provided by Essi Auguste Virtanen

“I wrote this story thinking of my little brother who I lost to suicide last year,” Virtanen said. “I wanted to write something that could help people. Something that might have helped my brother, if he could have read it. Something that could give people struggling ideas what could help and also information on how people can provide support to those struggling.”

Virtanen said the story was the most important one she’s ever written, and that anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts are too common among college students.
“We need to connect with one another more to help each other, and this applies to every human being,” she said. “We are all struggling, more or less. So let’s connect over our struggles and turn those struggles into power of togetherness.”
Virtanen, who has been freelancing in Los Angeles since graduating, said she plans to build her career around helping people battle mental health issues. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in applied positive psychology and coaching psychology at the University of East London.

The second Pinnacle Award went to “Lindenwood Case Puts Focus on Consent, HIV,” co-written by former Chief Copy Editor J.T. Buchheit and Sports Editor Matt Hampton. It won Honorable Mention in the Best General News story category. The story appeared in the very first issue of Legacy Magazine in October 2017. It was about a criminal case that garnered national attention, when a former Lindenwood wrestler was found guilty of not disclosing his HIV status to multiple partners. 

Buchheit said the article was one of the most in-depth pieces he’d ever worked on.

“I’m honored that it was considered worthy enough to receive an award at a national level,” he said.

Click here for a complete list of Pinnacle Award winners.