Tagged: baylor

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For the second issue in a row, Baylor put football on the cover. OK, the first, Fall 2011, was technically a homecoming cover, but homecoming revolves around the football game, of course, and football players were part of the cover illustration. Winter 2011/12 featured Baylor’s new Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III. That makes four football or football-related covers in the last 14 issues. Can’t wait for the Spring 2012 cover—spring football practice! (Randy Morrison edits Baylor. By the way, RG3, as he’s known at the school, also made the cover of The Baylor Line. Yes, Baylor has two alumni magazines. It’s complicated.)

New redesign for CM, the magazine of the Commonwealth School in Boston. Editor Tristan Davies—you may recognize him as the CUE-L listserv majordomo—notes that the new biannual magazine consolidates the formerly annual alumni publication and two yearly newsletters. Davies says, “I’m an alumnus, and even before I came to work at Commonwealth, I had talked with people at the school about how old-fashioned its pieces seemed: loaded with dense text, almost no color, illustrated almost completely by student art that also printed in black and white, and not based on the standard periodical magazine. Once I started working at Commonwealth in July 2008, I started thinking more seriously about merging the three pieces into one. But I was also about to lead a complete redesign of our admissions materials, and so I put off a decision.” Then came last year’s Editors Forum. Davies got a critique from Middlebury’s Matt Jennings—hard to see how any good could come of that, but maybe it’s just me—and attended Tina Hay’s “Magazines 101” workshop. Says Davies, “On the Friday afternoon of the Forum I sat in my hotel room and mapped out the new magazine format.” Jeanne Abboud of Abboud Design had been doing the publications the last few years, and she did the new look, as well. “Yes, the same person did both the before and after,” Davies says, “which I think says quite a bit about how much we were holding her back.” The first issue of the new CM surely does look better, and includes a couple of fine pieces, Janetta Stringfellow’s “Unbreakable,” and Melissa Glenn Haber’s “Into the Words.” Now if only they’d stop employing the term “alumni/ae.”

Two other major redos: USC Trojan Family, from Southern Cal, and Drexel Magazine. First issue of the new USC magazine includes a letter from athletic director Patrick C. Haden detailing the violations of NCAA rules that led to sanctions against Souther Cal football, men’s basketball, and women’s tennis. The NCAA ordered publication of the letter, which is not exactly what you want appearing in your pretty new magazine. Sympathies to editor Lauren Clark.

Drexel’s previous design was hardly bad, but I thought the book looked more like a corporate report than a magazine. Editor Tim Hyland says, “Content-wise, the magazine was just fine when I arrived. And it looked pretty good, too. But my sense was that we really wanted to make sure that we achieved a sort of ‘cutting-edge’ look to this redesign, and to make sure the look of the magazine matched up with all of the exciting things that are happening here at Drexel today. It really does feel like a university on the move, and there’s a lot of energy here right now. I wanted the magazine to capture that.” He retained designer Emily Aldritch, who previously had designed Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin and Voice (Carleton). “She came for a campus visit, and within no time delivered two really interesting design directions. Both of them reflected the ideas we wanted to convey about Drexel—it’s urban location, it’s focus on experiential education, it’s fast-paced environment, etc. In the end, we ended up choosing a hybrid approach that borrowed from each of the design directions.” The new look makes use of bigger type and bigger art, and drops the dragon mascot from the nameplate. I was actually sort of fond of the dragon, but will concede that working your sports mascot into your nameplate is a bit lame. (Unless you are the University of California, Santa Cruz, in which case I want to see banana slugs all over your pages.) Says Hyland, “I think from a design perspective we are exactly where we want to be. Emily has done her part, and now I’d like to really focus on making the content as engaging and interesting as possible. I want our alumni to look forward to getting the magazine, and to reading it. I want to see more feedback and more letters to the editor. To get there, we need to churn out really interesting content. That’s on me as editor and on my team as well.”

Sad to say it, but the mail brought the last print edition of Endeavors, the axed research magazine at the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. Jason Smith’s fine publication lives on as a website, but it just ain’t the same. And it must be said of the Winter 2012 finale—Best Pig Cover Ever. Look at the penetrating gaze on that beast.

Finally, the latest Drew Magazine (Renée Olson, editor) has a centerfold. Yeah, yeah, yeah, not what you’re thinking, grow up already. It’s a double centerfold, actually, of a watercolor by Drew faculty member Roberto Osti of four seasons in Drew’s much-loved Forest. Look, it’s got birds and a chipmunk and a bunny. Now don’t you feel bad about where your mind went first?

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Didn’t hear how a certain national championship game turned out earlier in the year? Two new covers will tell you.

While we’re talking sports, nice lead on Amber Werley Orand’s piece in Baylor Magazine on club sports:

It’s Saturday morning, and a Baylor athlete arrives at the practice field early to work on his passing. He throws and retrieves, throws and retrieves, trying to nail that elusive perfect arc, breaking out in a sweat despite the chill in the morning air. By the time the first of his teammates arrives, he is tired but elated, confident that he won’t have many turnovers next weekend.

He retrieves his Frisbee one last time and goes to greet his friends.

By the way, Baylor appears to have gone from saddle stitched to perfect bound. Randy Morrison is editor.

The Spring 2011 edition of Beloit College Magazine (edited by Susan Kasten) devotes eight pages to turtles. We’re not talking about natural history or research in the biology department on terrapins. We’re talking turtles as the unofficial mascot of the college. Eight pages on a mascot, and not even the real mascot? (If you must know, officially the sports teams are the Beloit Buccaneers.) Yeah, and it works. Marlo Amelia Buzzell’s “Turtles All the Way Down” is a lot of fun, digging into what seems at first like trivia but turns out to be part of the deep history of not only the college but the community and the region. Never forget that we’re in the nostalgia business. Even an alumni magazine dedicated to serious, long-form journalism can never forget that its mission includes not just sustaining the intellectual engagement of its readers, but the emotional engagement, and more often than not that means playing to our nostalgia for our alma maters. Beloit does this really well with Buzzell’s piece.

The author takes note of everything around Beloit named after turtles: Turtle Creek, Turtle Township. The local minor-league baseball team is the Beloit Snappers. There’s an ancient turtle-shaped effigy mound. Give the school enough money and you become a member of the Chapin Society and receive a turtle pin. The English department’s literary magazine used to be called The Turtle. The president and commencement speakers have work turtle references into their speeches, knowing what works in a Beloit room. The whole thing is goofy fun and I’ll bet was widely read. Plus, it included this priceless picture of the 1947 synchronized swimming team performing a water ballet with lighted candles. They were called The Terrapins. Some of the best stuff is the stuff you can’t make up.

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Baylor Line, magazine of the Baylor Alumni Association (Todd Copeland, editor), takes good advantage of the wonderful photography of Baylor alumna Martha Swope. For 40 years, Swope shot dancers and actors with uncommon skill and instinct, and Baylor Line devotes its cover and eight pages to images of Leonard Bernstein, Mikhail Baryshnikov, a very young Sarah Jessica Parker in the lead role of Annie, and Betty Buckley.

A couple of issues of Bonaventure Magazine (Beth Eberth edits), from St. Bonaventure University in New York, found their way to my mailbox, and the Spring/Summer 2010 edition features on its cover rollergirl Jennifer Eskin. When I perused the Fall 2010 issue of Denison, I found an alumni note on Amy Spears (right) who, it so happens, also is a rollergirl. That’s two alumni rollergirls—one more and we officially have a trend.

While I’m on the subject of Denison, it has a tremendous cover story by Steve Nery about American combat veterans who suffer from PTSD, “Home is Where the Heartbreak Is.” On the cover and the magazine’s first eight pages are wrenching photographs by Erin Trieb of vets back from Afghanistan, the funeral of a soldier who committed suicide shortly after his return to the States, and the grieving fiancee of a soldier who, the day after his return from the Afghan war, beat her up and later died of what was first thought to be suicide, but later determined to be pneumonia. To me, this is university magazine work at its best. Editor at Denison is Maureen Harmon.