As editor of the Alumni News & Notes section of Tufts Magazine I set out to find and tell good stories about members of Tufts Nation, whose loyal numbers span generations. The aim: to engage alumni and encourage their continued active and enthusiastic participation in the life and mission of their alma mater. We sought to go beyond the after-the-fact reports of chapter meetings with reader-submitted snaps; to spark alumni interest and involvement by spotlighting graduates whose colorful life experiences had begun in the shared environment of Tufts. We took an interactive approach, inviting alumni to share their stories. We introduced “Super Class Notes,” drawing on biographical blurbs alumni had submitted themselves and expanding them, beyond the agate type, into reported features that were showcased not only in the print magazine but on the alumni website, in the alumni e-newsletter, and on the broader university website. And we introduced stronger graphics and illustrations, leading the section with an eye-catching image. Some examples:
Remarkable Tufts grads: The creators of eBay and Blogger. New York’s greatest political intellect since Alexander Hamilton. The inventor of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup. All Tufts graduates.
If you could be a Tufts student again for 24 hours, what would you do? We queried grads in advance of the first Back to the Hill event for young alumni.
The bear painting above was done by a Tufts alumna who is a wildlife artist and whose story came to us via Class Notes. We responded by doing a feature on her and used one of her artworks on the opening page of the section. Similarly, another Class Note received from an ambassador to Mongolia led to a striking photo and feature in the magazine’s After Image section.