“Most people read their college alumni magazines for the class notes,” says the New York Times in an article on how social networking changes the way alumni interact with the university—and each other.
Boise State has certainly evolved to adopt social media, as is evident in the myriad of Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups and active, heavily hashtagged Twitter feeds. Yet, even with social media providing platforms and channels that connect us, many universities continue publishing print magazines, and Boise State is no exception.
A recent “class note” in Boise State’s magazine turned up something special.
Published by the Office of Communications and Marketing, FOCUS on Boise State University is our print magazine reaching the broadest audience including alumni. Each issue covers campus, arts, research, and alumni news. A new online version will complement, not replace the print version, as we hear people still like to get the magazine delivered to their homes.
The current issue of FOCUS includes a farewell message to Bob Sims, professor emeritus and founding dean of the university’s College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, who passed away in May. His colleagues gave a touching tribute in their comments.
Shortly after the latest issue of FOCUS hit mailboxes, our office received an email from Mrs. Sims. She had read the tribute, and she wondered if we would send her a copy of the photo in the article. She had never before seen that picture of him.
This tribute is a good example of what many alumni look for in a university magazine—reminders of the enormous impact of people like Bob Sims.
Recently, we conducted our Alumni Pulse Survey to find out more about what alumni look for from us, and their attitudes and preferences. These findings, as well as national data, are shaping our programs and communications and making us more responsive to our alumni and donor community.
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.
“College Alumni Magazines Struggle to Compete with Facebook”, New York Times – June, 2008