Independent School Magazines: Milton Academy - Gold Medal

Category 19A: Independent School Magazines
Milton Academy, Milton Magazine
Gold Medal Award

Contact: Erin E. Hoodlet, associate director of communications, 170 Centre Ave., Milton, MA 02186. Phone: 617-898-2384, e-mail:

Objectives: Milton Magazine, published biannually in the fall and spring, seeks to increase awareness of the school’s character, sustained excellence and distinguishing features through highest quality writing and photography, and the discussion of important and thought-provoking ideas. It works to enhance connections with the school’s alumni and celebrate the role of alumni in the life of the School, as well as in public life. The magazine tracks the history of the school, while increasing awareness of its traditions and highlighting new developments.

The magazine is a strategic document; each magazine connects a major issue debated or discussed in the public mainstream with relevant alumni action, and further, with dynamics of today’s Milton education that supports developing leaders in that domain. The strategy involves demonstrating the power of the mission through outcomes (alumni at work) and the direct connection of those outcomes to the mission alive at Milton today (the values and the attributes of the Milton environment).

Based on the findings that all alumni like to read about each other, and that Milton alumni are thinkers, self-starters and involved citizens who “Dare to be true,” the magazine connects interesting alumni work or life commitments with quality education on campus. Connecting each of these grounding points through the mechanism of important public ideas increases the stature of both. Through examples, the magazine emphasizes key themes in the mission statement.

Each issue of the magazine includes several main sections:

  1. “Features” focuses on the general topic (such as the evolution of journalism, the importance of entrepreneurial ideas, new directions in science). Whether these stories begin with alumni activity or with the latest ideas on campus, we use the topic as leverage to expose related activity in both domains.
  2. “Departments” gives voice to alumni, faculty (favorite spokespeople for Milton alums and exemplars of the school’s values) and the head of school and showcases an interesting aspect of classroom work.
  3. “On Centre” updates readers on campus activity, often including recent speakers, projects, sports, alumni publications, and student and faculty achievement.
  4. “Class Notes” follows the traditional school magazine pattern reporting personal and professional updates from graduates.

The magazine attracts readers who value ideas, honest discussion, learning, the pursuit of excellence and diversity. It is candid and provocative. Milton Magazine is a cultivation of fundraising support, strengthening the identity and stature of the school among its constituencies, celebrating alumni leaders and serving as the key vehicle for communicating strategic direction. Other publications focus on giving and annual fundraising activities.

The magazine’s editor, Cathleen Everett, and associate editor, Erin Hoodlet—two of the three members of Milton’s communications office—handle concept development, research, writing and editing. We depend primarily on freelance photographers (who are listed as “contributors” on the entry form); alumni, students or faculty members contribute other articles and photography. Joseph Moore of Moore & Associates Design (Cambridge, MA) does the magazine’s design work.

Each issue is generally between 60 and 80 pages and costs approximately $48,000 to produce (in design and printing). The mailing list for our constituents is near 12,500, which includes parents and alumni in the United States and abroad; we use additional issues for recruiting activities in conjunction with the admission office.

We receive gratuitous positive feedback about Milton Magazine—from alumni and parents, as well as from outside readers. People oftentimes call our office asking what the next issue will be about, or when it will be mailed. We can count on enthusiastic response to inquiries about being interviewed and featured. Featuring the broad range of meaningful, successful endeavors by graduates, students and faculty makes the publication valued, widely anticipated, and a powerful affirmation for the excellence of the School.