Greg Graze, once a Cardinal and forever a beloved alumni, has always had a niche for journalism. “It was just kind of love at first sight” is how he described it.
His story begins in high school, where he found his interest in journalism. Graze had written an article for the Washington Post, and upon his arrival to Madison, his parents suggested that he check out the student newspaper.
Graze pursued a history major in college, and noted that “the study of history is terrific preparation for a career in journalism,” because it provided him with an extensive knowledge base around historical trends, movements and perspective. This acquired knowledge was an asset to him in his journalism journey with the Cardinal.
Throughout his time at UW, he found it exciting to be working in a collaborative effort. The Daily Cardinal gave him this opportunity where he was able to grow and work with other students. It ultimately provided him with relationships that he carries to this day. From a staff writer who progressed all the way to Editor in Chief, Graze’s time at The Daily Cardinal allowed him to expand his knowledge base, giving him both practical and creative experiences.
There is one memory that he will never forget. The Cardinal had reported on the Vietnam War protests happening at UW in a way that select state legislators did not like, and one of them called for him to be expelled. At no fault, the students at the Cardinal took a strong stand against this. He referred to this as a “shoot the messenger” type scenario. In Allison Hantschel’s book, It Doesn't End with Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal. How a College Newspaper's Fight for Freedom Changed Its University, Challenged Journalism, and Influenced Hundreds of Lives, she captures this experience, along with other chaos that erupted at The Daily Cardinal during this time.
“I didn’t fully appreciate how unusual and historic those years would be,” Graze said.
While in college, he had the opportunity to complete a summer internship as a copy editor at the Washington Post. Following that, he worked for a newspaper in Southern California, then got married and moved to Dallas, Texas.
“My timing was perfect and I got hired almost immediately”, Graze said about his time with the Dallas Times Herald. As his career progressed, he had a journalism fellowship at Stanford, worked at Parkland Memorial Hospital in PR, and changed from the path of journalism to public relations.
“It was still very much close to the news and public affairs, but I could really blossom as a public advocate.” He could fight for a good cause. He mentioned that his skills in journalism helped him to become successful. Over 7 years later, Graze started up his own business.
He now has his own firm, Graze Public Relations, which was one of the first virtual PR firms in the nation.
“I looked around and realized that technology was changing rapidly,” he said. By owning his own business, he experienced the flexibility and independence he longed for, leaving him with more time to spend with his family.
Graze shared a few key pieces of advice: First, that the Cardinal can provide great opportunity, so putting time into it will be rewarding in the long run. Next, friendships and relationships made in collaborative efforts can last a lifetime. And lastly, the exposure gained while young can help guide future career choices.
As he continues his path of success, Graze resides in Dallas, Texas. He is forever changed by those initial experiences and skills The Daily Cardinal provided him with and is now steady in his career of helping others through his work.