Target Is the Thousands of Alumni and Friends Who Receive No Regular
Communication From Berkeley
The premiere edition of Berkeley Magazine, a new 32-page biannual publication from the Office of Public Affairs, has received rave reviews from readers.
The magazine, which was recently mailed to more than 200,000 alumni and friends throughout California and in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas, is the most ambitious publishing effort of its kind in the campus's history.
"Amazingly enough, Berkeley Magazine provides the first opportunity in our 128-year history to reach out to virtually all our alumni and friends with news about the campus," said C.D. Mote Jr., vice chancellor for University Relations. "The creation of the magazine has been a top priority for me right from the start of my service as vice chancellor; the response to it has been great."
Based on a small pilot issue published last spring, the premiere edition of Berkeley Magazine was launched in December. It includes a cover story on an incoming freshman's odyssey from her home town in southern California to her first days as a Cal student.
The magazine also features a profile of ethnic studies professor Ronald Takaki, the 25th anniversary celebration of the University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and the research effort to design materials for the 21st century. Articles were written by journalists in the campus publication and public information offices.
From the more than 800 responses received from readers so far, nearly two-thirds rated the magazine "good" or "excellent" overall. An equal number of respondents gave the same ratings to the writing, photography and graphic design aspects of the magazine.
"Cool mag--send it to my daughter," wrote Claire Ravi, a member of the class of 1965, in an email message. Another alumnus wrote: "I received Berkeley Magazine and I wanted you to know how impressed I was with the articles. I live in New York and I don't get to feel connected to my alma mater all that often. I hope that the magazine impresses upon alums the need for financial support after graduation. You can be sure that my check is in the mail!"
"Excellent--all around," commented Clark Kerr, former UC president.
A few respondents questioned why they were receiving two alumni publications from the same university. Some Berkeley Magazine also receive California Monthly, published by the California Alumni Association for its members. Linda Weimer, assistant vice chancellor for Public Affairs, said the new magazine is meant to meet the needs of thousands of alumni and friends who receive no regular communication from Berkeley and to add to the enjoyment of those who do.
Many Berkeley Magazine readers who wrote in said they wanted to see more.
"One of the hardest things about doing this magazine was confining ourselves to 32 pages," said Weimer, executive editor of the magazine. "There's so much going on in Berkeley, so much fantastic stuff to write about."
Some readers thought the magazine's modern design made it difficult to read.
"We're after a sense of energy with this publication," Weimer explained. "We want it to reflect the energy of Cal. So many alumni publications are staid--dignified is one way to put it. Berkeley Magazine captures the youthful energy of this place."
The next Berkeley Magazine, due out in late spring, will feature stories on new technology and distinguished teachers. Magazine editor William McDonald said editorial suggestions are welcome. He may be contacted at 643-6162 or by email, wmm@ pa.urel.Berkeley.edu.
Copies of the current edition are available in the third floor lobby of the Public Affairs Office, 2120 Oxford St., or by calling 642-6436.