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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Patrick Steel speaks to Wofford’s Campus, talks one-on-one with editor

Photo+by+Brandi+Wylie.%0APatrick+Steel+with+OG%26B+Editor-in-Chief+Brandi+Wylie.+Steel+spoke+to+the+Wofford+community+on+Feb.+16.
Photo by Brandi Wylie. Patrick Steel with OG&B Editor-in-Chief Brandi Wylie. Steel spoke to the Wofford community on Feb. 16.

As the first months of the spring semester charge on, Wofford is bringing more guests on campus to educate students, faculty and the community on their respective fields. One of the more recent guests to speak on the campus is Patrick Steel. 

Steel is the former CEO of Politico, a political journalism company whose focus is giving the public non-partisan information. The company mainly caters to larger companies and political organizations. 

“It’s for people whose livelihood depends on knowing what is going on in Washington and other power centers around the globe,” Steel said.

In this way, Steel was fostering an organization able to appeal to a very “niche” group of people. 

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While he is very proud of this position and the work that he was able to do in his time at the company, Steel attributes much of his success to the work that he was able to do before arriving at the company. 

“What matters is that desire, that work ethic, the confidence to know you are the most valuable asset in your life,” Steel said. “I tell young people all the time that you’ve got to bet on yourself because that is essentially the asset of your life.”

Steel has also made many connections along his career path that have led him to where he is. Through working with Bill Clinton and many other important people in Washington, D.C., he felt prepared for whatever Politico had to offer. 

According to Robert Allbritton, the publisher of Politico, this is what set Steel apart from other candidates. 

Nevertheless, Steel believes that his tenacity and “reasonable intelligence” are what have carried him through the industry. 

“My gut tells me that everybody in this room can meet that bar and most people will wildly exceed it,” Steel said. “There is almost nothing that you can’t figure out with a combination of hard work, confidence, belief in yourself and reasonable intelligence.”

As of right now, Steel is taking a break from working to catch up on rest and focus on supporting his wife, who is currently serving as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs in the Biden administration. 

As for the future of his own career, he is not quite sure what his next steps will be. 

“I’ve been working basically 51 weeks a year for 30 years, I’m just exhausted now,” Steel said. “And so I needed to kind of take a break, decompress… I suspect I will probably run another media business, at some point in the not too distant future… But I may do something totally different.” 

He did comment that he is not physically exhausted – comedicly suggesting that he is not susceptible to that kind of exhaustion.

“You know, it’s like I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not afraid of change,’’ Steel said. “I’m not afraid of trying to disrupt, I’m not afraid of having to move people out and hire new people.”

Steel encourages students to work hard and follow their passions. He believes that this is the key to true success. 

It is with this belief in the future generations that he agreed to meet one-on-one with Old Gold & Black Editor-in-Chief Brandi Wylie.

Wofford College President Nayef Samhat was able to arrange for the two to meet prior to the public talk, and he had remarkable advice as far as ways to improve the Old Gold & Black on the business side as well as maintaining and enhancing the journalism side. 

Wylie and the other editors plan to implement these strategies within the upcoming issues, so be on the lookout for changes and improvements. As always, anyone is welcome to contact any of the editors at [email protected] with suggestions, comments, etc. 

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