Commentary

Welcome to BYU Magazine


By Jeff McClellan, ’94, Editor

BYU in 2001 bears little physical or statistical resemblance to the little school that had a toe-hold on “Temple Hill” 78 years ago. But at its core—in its deep-down essence—BYU is the same institution. Even today’s hot topics of conversation seem to seep up from the now-underground archives.

In 1923 BYU and Provo were interested in football, and the alumni publication then—the Alumni Announcer—did what we’re doing now: it talked football. Nearly eight decades ago, however, BYU had only recently revived the sport after a 19-year ban, and the Alumni Announcer fondly referred to the team as the “Youngsters” and the “football infants.”

As football has gained yardage in 80 years, so have other aspects of BYU. In 1923 the Announcer discussed the school’s burgeoning enrollment—then at 1,100. And in the July 1924 issue, then-BYU president Franklin S. Harris wrote an article in which he rejoiced over the construction of a “long needed new modern library.” Now the testing center, Harris’ “new modern library” has been replaced, expanded, modernized, and expanded again.

BYU‘s alumni publications have followed suit, and the history reads like a passage of scripture. The Alumni Announcer (1923–25) begat the Y Alumnus (1926–27), and after many years Brigham Young Alumnus(1946–67) rose up to take its place. Brigham Young Alumnus begat BYU Today (1968–92), and BYU Today begat Brigham Young Magazine (1993– 2000). BYU Alumni (1997–2000) also lived in those days.

Now we’re announcing the next in this lineage: BYU Magazine, offspring of BYU Alumni and Brigham Young Magazine, grandchild of BYU Today, and great, great, great grandchild of Alumni Announcer.

Though it is new, BYU Magazine bears characteristics of its ancestry. In it you’ll find familiar elements, including Commentary, After All, and Richard Cracroft’s Book Nook, all of which began in BYU Today. A Closer Look and Family Focus are holdovers from Brigham Young Magazine, and College Updates descends from BYU Alumni.

Of course there is much that is new in this publication. A spring 2000 readership survey told us you enjoy BYU devotionals, and we now have Speaker’s Notes, a two-page condensation of a recent devotional or forum address. And for those of you interested in how BYU helps you, we’ve added Alumni Resources, designed to help you access services, activities, products, and information on campus.

We have overhauled our news section as well: BYU Today features short summations of campus news and life; Works and Progress presents longer discussions of faculty research and activities. And First Person is your turn to talk, continuing the nostalgic reader-sharing feature begun a year ago in Brigham Young Magazine.

We have also revamped our electronic communications. While you’re online, visit our new Web site at magazine.byu.edu (featuring searchable archives and more) and register for MyBYU NewsBYU‘s new customizable e-mail newsletter, at today.byu.edu. In addition, a couple of new names grace our staff box. Peter Gardner and Mike Walker join us as new associate editors while Mary Lynn Johnson leaves for greater adventures.

Despite all the changes, just as the core of BYU has remained constant for 80 years, so has the core of alumni publications. Our purpose, as ever, is to inform you about your alma mater. Even more, we seek to educate and connect, to bring BYU to you.

We hope we’re succeeding. Please let us know what you think. You can reach us by e-mail at magazine@byu.edu.