Student Media

The Atlantis Rebirth Baby

 baby doll at student media

Photo: Bill DiNome


This baby doll was a thank-you gift to Bill DiNome, Student Media’s adviser since 1998, given him by the staff of Atlantis in April 2012, to recognize Bill’s help in restructuring of the organization following its near dissolution the previous semester.

In the fall of 2011, Atlantis’s executive staff were embroiled in so much internal conflict that the future of the organization came into question. Atlantis had been publishing continuously since its founding in 1971, so its preservation was a high priority to everyone who cared for it. But despite Bill’s mediation throughout the fall semester, the conflict could not be resolved. The last resort was for the warring staff to bring their grievances before the Student Media Board, the governing body for UNCW Student Media. But rather than face the board, all the executive staff summarily resigned.

Fortunately, the younger staff of the magazine determined not to let Atlantis slip away. In January 2012, they came to Bill for assistance, and together they spent the entire spring semester reorganizing their staff, their workflow, and their publication schedule. The students canceled all the events they had planned for that semester and the Spring 2012 issue, as well. They recruited new members and held elections to appoint new officers. By the close of the spring semester, Atlantis was again fully staffed and armed with a concrete plan for how to proceed into the future.

One Monday morning late in April 2012, Bill came to work to find attached to his office door a large sheet of paper with a hand-drawn caricature of himself bearing the caption, “We (heart) Bill.” When he removed the drawing from the door, he discovered the doll behind it, snugly cradled in the door handle as if in a baby carrier.

Bill dubbed the doll the Atlantis Rebirth Baby. He soon added a tattoo, sideburns, a goatee, and earrings reflecting his own appearance at that time.

Some people think a baby doll with sideburns and tattoos, hanging in a door handle, is creepy. But the Rebirth Baby stands as a reminder of the precarious and precious nature of student organizations, the work it may take to maintain and nurture them, and the importance of tradition.