The Alumnus, the official alumni magazine of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, began publication in 1973, following the decentralization of the SIU system that led to autonomy for SIUE and SIUC. The SIUE Alumni Association formally came into being effective January 1, 1973. During an organizational meeting held at the Edwardsville Holiday Inn on December 2, 1972, Mr. Gail Buenger of Granite City became the first president of the alumni association. Warren Stookey, who had been involved since 1961 in previous system-wide alumni and foundation activities at SIUE, became the first director of SIUE alumni services in 1973, a role he filled admirably until his eventual retirement in 1986. In his new role of Edwardsville alumni director, Stookey persuaded SIUE President John Rendleman of the importance of initiating both an alumni newsletter and an alumni news magazine.
The January 1973 issue (Volume 1, Number 1) of the Alumnus was mailed to nearly 12,000 SIUE graduates early in February of that year. Edited by Mildred Arnold of University News Services and designed by Terry Harper of University Graphics & Publications, the Alumnus featured visual images created by campus photographer Charles Cox. The inaugural issue included stories about faculty members Betty Richardson, Paul Guenther, and Ronald Bruno; a report of professional recognition awarded to Harper and Cox; a feature on piano student Ae Ree Kim; and various alumni class notes. Its format measured eight inches wide by nine inches high and it contained sixteen pages plus a cover.
Writer/publicist Mildred Arnold, and her environmentalist husband, faculty member George Arnold, joined SIUE in 1958, just one year after its establishment. Mildred Arnold remained the editor of the Alumnus throughout the three decades of its life (1973-1996), and served as the guiding influence for each of its issues. Up until 1986, Charlie Cox continued to provide the photographs to illustrate the Alumnus. His successor Bill Brinson then assumed that responsibility. The magazine switched to a landscape format (eleven inches wide by eight inches high) in March 1975 and then to a portrait format (eight and one-half inches wide by eleven inches high) in December 1977. The final regular issue of the Alumnus appeared in the summer of 1996 (24:3). A subsequent special publication featuring historical photographs in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of SIUE came out in the fall of 1997.
Publication of a new born-digital SIUE alumni magazine called the e-connection began in the fall of 2006.
This digital collection was created by Lovejoy Library in 2012. The Project Director was Stephen Kerber, who also wrote the home page text. The original materials are preserved in the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives and Special Collections of Lovejoy Library.
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