Spring 2016 Quarterly Report

Time for another quarterly report. Here are some of my favorite things from magazines that landed in my mailbox between January 1 and April 1.

Favorite stories

lopateIn part it’s because I was drawn to a favorite subject, but I liked “Phillip Lopate Celebrates the Personal Essay” by Lorraine Glennon, in Columbia Magazine. I particularly liked the sidebars on six of Lopate’s recommended essayists and the art that went with them (illustrations by Dimitrios Psillos. Since the sidebars took up five pages and the story only three, the story/sidebar relationship was inverted.

“Clear Solution” by Chris Carroll (link is to a PDF; best I could do), in Terp from the University of Maryland. Carroll’s story is a rare sort of piece to find in a university magazine — the story of a public health invention that has demonstrated its effectiveness, yet been largely ignored by the public health community. Our magazines usually find a way to avoid writing about things that are not big successes. This piece performs a valuable service in getting word out about something that might save lives.

Favorite covers


Harvard Medicine goes pulp. I am especially enamored of the 5 cent cover price. Good job, illustrator Lou Brooks and design director Paul DiMattia. (You really need to check out Brooks’ website.) This was the magazine’s “adventure issue,” and that cartoon figure of the medical researcher racing out the door, beaker in hand, recurs throughout the magazine.


GW Magazine, pitching socks designed by an alum. It’s hard to see in the scan, but there’s a tiny arrow pointing to the feet that says “alumni feet,” and another that says “alumni socks, pg. 34. Clever. Art directors are Dominic Abbate and John McGlasson.


George R.R. Martin, photographed for the cover of Northwestern by Anoush Abrar.

Favorite photo


I love this picture of Jenny Brown, who runs the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. Says it all. Photo uncredited, from the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of DEMO, from Columbia College Chicago.

Favorite TOC


From Harvard Business School’s HBS Alumni Bulletin. Design by EmDash.

Favorite headline and deck cliches that need to be abolished

Alumni who “seek the truth.” Popular movie titles used as headlines. Stories about astronauts headed “The Right Stuff.” Yes, the last two are redundant.

And, slightly off topic…can we please stop writing about school colors? It’s just not that interesting. Never was, never will be.

Favorite trends

Beer stories. First the beer columnist in New Trail (University of Alberta), then “The Craft” in College of Charleston Magazine, and coming soon a craft brewer profile in Johns Hopkins Magazine. Yeah, that last one’s self-aggrandizing cheating for a Spring quarterly report. Sue me.

Dog covers. Further down you’ll see I take a shot at a dog cover. That was pretty much so I could use an image of a dog cover.

Favorite campaign donation envelope


That’s the back side of the envelope bound into Cummings Veterinary Medicine from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts. Who’s a pretty boy? You are! You are!

Favorite reason to curse Brian Doyle, again

The last two issues of Portland have included pieces by Ian Frazier and Tim Egan. Jerk.

And finally…


Cheating, Williams! Babies are cheating! I’ll let you off with a warning this time, Amy Lovett, because of this great spread on the Sol LeWitt wall drawing in the schools museum of art:



Oh, and Caroline Alumni Review? Shameless. Just shameless.



  1. kelly mcmurray

    The quarterly reports are always one of my favorites. Paul always does amazing work at Harvard Medicine and GW is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to share these, Dale!

  2. Mary Ruth Yoe

    Re the Carolina pup, we will NEVER throw this issue away. It’s the Southern, polite version of National Lampoon‘s classic “If you don’t buy this magazine, we’ll shoot this dog.” And it works: that puppy’s eyes are staring at me as I type.

  3. Brian Doyle

    Made me laugh. We would run a baby cover every issue if I could get the babies lined up properly and not all sprawled and loose and snickering and using foul language on the floor.

  4. Amy Lovett

    Brian Doyle, who says the babies weren’t sprawled and loose and snickering and using foul language on the floor? Oh, wait, that was me.

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