U of T Magazine received a wonderful compliment recently from a reader in the United States. Our publication, he wrote, “makes me proud to be a graduate of U of T.”
Compliments such as that make us proud, too. But it also sums up the challenge I face as the new editor of University of Toronto Magazine. How do you improve a product when your predecessors have done such a great job?
Under previous editor Karen Hanley, U of T Magazine proved itself not just Canada’s best alumni publication, but one of the top magazines in the country. It regularly wins awards from the education community (in both Canada and the U.S.) as well as the magazine industry. Most recently, our magazine swept gold and silver awards in both writing categories from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education. And in May we made the short list of nominees for Magazine of the Year from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.
So how do you improve on an outstanding magazine? You preserve what’s best about it and look for opportunities to do the little things better.
That’s why you’ll continue to find compelling feature stories that deal with real issues and all aspects of the U of T experience, from research breakthroughs and campus personalities to alumni and student activities. But you’ll also find more short items, more campus news, more on today’s students and more ways to connect with U of T.
Here are some of the new features you’ll find.
• “Student Voices” gives you a window into the thinking and writing of today’s students. In this issue, we bring you one student’s end-of-the-year take on the meaning of life.
• “Great Stories” asks alumni to share their favourite U of T memories. This month we asked you to tell us the most important thing you learned at U of T. For next issue, we’d like to hear about the most memorable person you met at U of T.
• “Student Challenge” is a trivia quiz with an interactive twist. It not only tests your general knowledge, it lets you compare your score with those of students who have already taken our quiz!
• What do you wonder about? “Ask Us” invites readers to pose their most puzzling questions to U of T’s scholars.
These changes are driven by two primary goals: to provide a magazine that is more readable and interactive, and to help you, as a friend or alum, reconnect with U of T. Whether you were last on campus a week ago or 30 years ago, you are an important part of this university. I hope this magazine will strengthen your connections with the people, events and ideas that make U of T a community to be proud of.