The American Collegiate Press Tweeted out the names of finalists in its 2019 Pacemaker Newspapers Award contest early this week.

(Note: This article has been corrected to say The Commonwealth Times rather than The Collegiate Times as previously reported)

The Commonwealth Times, the independent student newspaper at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, is a finalist for the American Collegiate Press 2019 Newspaper Pacemaker Award. The announcement comes as the paper celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Forty-six finalists were chosen from among 150 entries, according to The Commonwealth Times Executive Editor Georgia Geen. In the end, she said approximately 19 will be awarded the coveted Pacemaker award.

This is the first time in recent memory that The Commonwealth Times itself has been named a finalist, Geen said, but there have been a number of finalists on the staff over the years for various individual contest categories.

Geen is in her second semester as executive editor, and said she is grateful to all of the people who have worked on The Commonwealth Times over the past year. The newspaper operates with a core staff of 20, and many others who assist as contributors and in other roles.

The paper’s executive editor said she started writing for the culture and arts section of  The Commonwealth Times in her freshman year. She continued for three semesters before being named editor, then managing editor and finally executive editor.

Although she couldn’t remember precisely which items were submitted back in the late spring for the competition, Geen said that staff searched for strong stories with exceptional visuals.

The fact that the paper has made it to this point in the competition is a source of pride for Geen, who credits the countless hours and dedication invested by the “incredible” team that publishes The Commonwealth Times each week.

“We could be the first school in Virginia in recent memory,” she said.

Winners will be honored at the National College Media Convention in Washington, D. C. Oct. 31-Nov. 3.  Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, will be the Friday night keynote during the convention.