College and University General Interest Magazines: Bates College - Bronze Medal

Category 17: College and University General Interest Magazines
Bates College, Bates Magazine

Contact: Jay Burns, editor, Communications and Media Relations, 141 Nichols St., Lewiston, ME 04240, Phone: (207) 786-8241, e-mail:

Objectives: In 2006, Bates concluded its most successful fundraising campaign ever ($120 million). As the flagship vehicle for wide-scale alumni engagement, Bates Magazine helped set the tone for discussion of issues and objectives facing the college during The Campaign for Bates.

The magazine's mission is to reflect Bates as a college that rewards merit, where people possess a zeal for living and learning, and where a focused sense of purpose permeates alumni and campus life.

The magazine depicts the intellectual, social, and business leadership of individual members of the Bates community, in all walks of life. The magazine articulates key elements of the Bates ethic: achievement, entrepreneurial spirit, an understanding of the ethical dimensions of any endeavor, and the value of critical thinking, social justice, and being engaged, intrepid, and optimistic.

The magazine also seeks to stimulate pride by inviting those less connected to the college into the lives and shared values of the current Bates community.

Staffing: Editor (3/4 time magazine), graphic designer (1/2 time magazine), staff photographer (1/5 time magazine), staff writer (1/5 time magazine). Note: The magazine's design template makes fullest use of a talented staff photographer — a fortunate resource for Bates — and we try to ensure that photography is a major component of every feature layout and that photographs get the best display possible.

Frequency: three times a year

Pages per issue: 64 pp self-cover

Circulation: 22,000 USPS alumni, parents, friends, faculty emeriti; 2,000 campus distribution

Total annual budget: $97,800

Average cost per issue: $32,600 ($28,600 for production/printing; $4,000 for freelancers —writers, class notes production, illustrator, occasional freelance photographer and proofreader)

Results: A key finding of a third-party report commissioned to evaluate campaign efforts was Bates Magazine's strength within overall college and campaign communications. During campaign events, our advancement vice president reported greater understanding of Bates' needs and goals, attributable to magazine outreach. We heard from trustees, who told of disaffected fellow alumni for the first time reading the magazine cover to cover. "Upbeat without bragging," is how another reader described the magazine — and that's a comment that describes well the Bates alumni sensibility.