the Director's Chair
After 14 years as a successful tabloid, the Binghamton Alumni Journal
will make a significant transition. Later this year, the Division of External
Affairs will expand the Journal into a new, full-fledged University magazine.
By late 2005, you’ll be thumbing through a periodical that will
give voice to everything Binghamton University has become – a world-class
research institution that has earned acclaim as the “premier public
university in the northeast.” The magazine will be an apt vehicle
for stories for and about alumni, and will have a breadth of editorial
content we hope will engage you and other valued University constituents
as well. Our aim is to make everyone more aware about Binghamton University,
its graduates and their places in the world and in academia. This expansion,
in fact, parallels a trend recently reported in The New York Times that
many universities are working to make their alumni magazines more readable,
to expand circulation and to inform both alumni and other centers of influence.
At Binghamton, a staff work-team spent a year studying desired improvements
and how best to make the transition from tabloid to magazine. Assisting
the team were an independent consultant, reader surveys and an advisory
group of alumni from the publishing world. Late last summer, the team’s
findings and recommendation to upgrade to a magazine received wholehearted
support from the advisory committee, the Alumni Association board and
President DeFleur. Since then, we’ve been hard at work implementing
the initial phases of the transition.
The magazine will, of course, continue the Journal’s tradition of
high-quality journalism. Its new look and design will be informed by research
into award-winning magazines at other universities. You’ll continue
to find a good mix of content, ranging from class notes to in-depth features
on alumni, faculty, students, teaching and research. With nearly double
the number of pages, you can also expect expanded coverage about the University,
with features that look ahead while building on the past.
Most important, the magazine will provide a voice for and about our University
community, and especially our alumni. We can all be stronger advocates
for and supporters of Binghamton if we are kept well informed.
We want the magazine to be a first-rate venture, and here’s where
I’m asking for your help. We know that the change may take some
“getting used to” for some, but once we have a few issues
under our belts, we want your feedback. While we plan to conduct reader
surveys, we also want to hear your constructive criticism and honest praise
whenever you’re able to give it. It’s your magazine. Let’s
stay in touch.
Richard Heck, your alumni director