15 Alumni Magazines with Award-Winning Journalism


Let’s face it — some alumni magazines out there probably don’t feature the world’s most interesting journalism. While they remain fascinating outlets keeping readers abreast of the news and views of their fellow graduates in science, medicine and more, most people tend to search for their riveting writing and striking photography elsewhere. Except they probably shouldn’t. The truth is, some of these publications prove absolutely showstopping in scope and quality alike, raking in awards and recognition for their contributions to the journalism scene. Sort of like the following …

  1. Wayne State Magazine:

    The Society of Professional Journalists’ Detroit Chapter bestowed upon Wayne State Magazine (the alumni magazine for Wayne State University, in case that wasn’t clear) three awards in 2008, two for design and one for editing and writing. Writing, journalism, and higher education buffs hoping to check out an example of its acclaimed features should read over lecturer Jack Lessenberry’s “Transforming Wayne” for inspiration regarding what impresses alumni magazine readers most.

  2. W&J Magazine:

    Starting in 2009, this Washington & Jefferson College publication began raking in awards and shows no signs of letting up, with more piling on between 2010 and 2012. Like many other heavily decorated alumni magazines, this one boasts honors in both design and authorship, including two MarCom Platinum Awards and a PRSA Renaissance Award.

  3. Suffolk Arts + Sciences:

    Suffolk University originally kept its alumni connected via newsletter before switching to a magazine format in 2007, immediately snapping up a Gold EXCEL Award and EXTRA! Award for its major paradigm shift, not only in format but in writing quality as well. Since then, it maintains a steady stream of lauds from local as well as national organizations, most notably from Folio: magazine, who just adores its articles and website.

  4. Santa Clara Magazine:

    While most heavily decorated in the areas of photography and design, the journalistic writings at Santa Clara Magazine certainly haven’t passed off into the wild blue leadership unnoticed. In fact, in 2008 it stood as the most-rewarded periodical in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Southwestern region, picking up 10 gold medals out of 6 different categories.

  5. Dickinson Magazine:

    CASE, the APEX Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Association of Communicators in Education have all recognized the alumni magazine of Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. When it comes to written journalism especially, its medical coverage in particular brings in the most accolades, especially amongst the SPJ.

  6. Flagler College Magazine:

    The MarCom Awards honor excellence in marketing, well beyond just the higher education market, so the earnings foisted onto Flagler College’s official alumni magazine parallel those of Fortune 500 businesses, top advertising firms, and plenty more. And by “earnings,” we mean they scored the gold medal in the magazine/education category for only four years running!

  7. The Murphy Reporter:

    While University of Minnesota’s The Murphy Reporter has yet to win a Pulitzer Prize, it boasts the honor of winning awards thanks to the contributions of a journalist with one already to his name. Chris Ison’s (who won the prestigious literary award for Investigative Journalism) “Taking the Lead” scored a bronze in Feature Article for Education from the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association in 2012; the publication also received a gold in Profile Article for Education for Tim Gihring’s “The Art of Magazines.”

  8. University of Chicago Magazine:

    CASE’s Robert Sibley Award dates back to 1918 and remains one of the most prestigious honors alumni magazines can earn, and University of Chicago scored it in 2012. The magazine actually won in 1952 and 1957 as well and boasts one of the most experienced, pedigreed staffs imaginable, making it quite a contender for next year’s round of award love.

  9. Dartmouth Alumni Magazine:

    Another mainstay of CASE awards ceremonies, sometimes it seems like it might be easier to list the honors Dartmouth Alumni Magazine has not yet scored but probably will in due time. For what it’s worth, though, the magazine earned five Sibley Awards since 1943, along with a drool-worthy litany of local and national awards for pretty much every element of the publication process, from design to writing.

  10. Auburn Magazine:

    “Veggie Tales” and “God’s Man: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of Millard Fuller,” both by Suzanne Johnson, earned Auburn’s official alumni magazine national recognition from CASE Circle of Excellence, and the entire staff has walked away with group recognition for writing and design alike. Plus, there’s that whole thing about how it pretty much stands as a higher ed journalism leader in its region as well, which is more than a smidge notable.

  11. Alabama Alumni Magazine:

    Since 2004, the Alabama Alumni Magazine based out of the University of Alabama has brought home at least two (and an average of roughly 4.4 per year) national and/or regional honors annually. Most of these focus on overall presentations, though curiously its 2007-2008 Annual Report Crimson Reflections rather than one particular issue received honorable mention nods from MarCom.

  12. DePauw Magazine:

    The Sepsis Alliance praised CASE’s 2012 decision to grant its gold medal in series feature writing to a piece chronicling one alumnus’ fight against the condition, published in DePauw Magazine. Such an honor actually marks the periodical’s first major award that we know of, and we wish them the best of luck on their future journalistic endeavors!

  13. Postscript:

    Postscript covers stories of interest to alumni of the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s School of Pharmacy, and it has managed to pique the love of its CASE region as well. Since 2008, the magazine has brought home a bronze, a gold, and a silver for Excellence in Communication, which recognizes both its writing and its design work.

  14. The Penn Stater:

    At last count, Penn State’s alumni magazine enjoys 180 national and regional awards and honors to its name, all raked in within the span of five years, including the 2007 Robery Sibley Magazine of the Year. Beyond that, though, Newsweek itself congratulates the others, and it will let them finish, but it considers The Penn Stater the greatest periodical of its type of all time.

  15. affinity:

    2012 proved exceptionally kind to Columbia College’s alumni-focused periodical affinity, because it brought home three of the most coveted prizes in higher education journalism for its Summer 2011 issue. The crowning glory proved the Platinum Hermes Creative Award, which only recognizes 15% of those applying to score one.

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