This year is all about kick-starting traditions. It is about allowing the Josephine Butler College Alumni Association to really grow and forge an identity. Hopefully, some of the developments that have happened this year will be the bedrock for an interactive and engaging alumni community for years, even decades to come. These developments include the Reunions, alumni sports fixtures, Butler Angels, simple things like twitter and LinkedIn, and even this blog that you are reading right now. One more step forward is the Alumni Magazine. I would love for you to share your thoughts on the magazine and contribute to it (more on that further down…). It would be fantastic to see such developments become tradition, expanding and improving as the years fly by.
In the modern age of internet and social media, it is easier than ever to play an active role in a community. While I am sure that lots of alumni will continue to attend Alumni Reunions in Durham and across the UK, distance and life in general can sometimes make it difficult to engage in communities which are spread over the globe. However, distance and time do not have to get in the way of an active online alumni community. The easiest way to interact with the rest of the alumni community, and indeed the College, is through the internet. You can follow on twitter (@butler_alumni). You join the Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Even better, you can interact through those means – comment, like and post to your heart’s content!
The Alumni Magazine is another incredibly exciting step forward for the Butler alumni community; another way for alumni to interact with each other, and a simple way to stay connected to Josephine Butler College. I am working alongside Daisy Wyatt (2011), who is currently studying a Masters in Magazine Journalism at City University London, to produce a magazine for summer distribution, which we hope will be the first of many, the start of another Butler Alumni tradition.
The magazine will only be as good as your contributions. This is why we need you to be pro-active, to get in touch, and to contribute whatever content or ideas you can, whether this is a lot or a little. This is your magazine. We want to make it something interesting, informative and light-hearted that you will enjoy reading each year. We want as many alumni as possible to contribute articles, updates, photos, reviews, interviews and whatever else you can think of. We have a few ideas to get us started. If you would like to be a part of any of these ideas, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any other ideas, or would like to write your own article, please let me know too. Why not discuss some of your ideas and your thoughts on the magazine generally in the comments feed on this blog?
Here are some of our ideas so far:
- Reports on College year (by Principal and Common Room Presidents)
- Maps of the UK and the world (with lots of alumni writing a paragraph or two in boxes around the map, discussing what it is like to live in the place they live in)
- ‘The real world of…’ (multiple alumni writing about their experiences working in particular careers)
- Interviews with alumni who have followed different paths since graduation (job, travelling, masters)
- Report on the Alumni year (by Alumni Relations Assistant)
- Reviews of Alumni Reunions (by you, our alumni)
- Sports match reports (from alumni vs. current students matches, and even old Mound Magazine reports from when you were here as a student)
- Updates on engagements, marriages and births!
- Information about upcoming Reunions and events
- Interviews with some of our Butler Angels (this could be you?)
- Interviews with students who have used the Butler Angels (like the interview with Kyle in the first blog post)
- College Bursary reports by current students (eg, about travel that was funded by bursaries)
- Articles written by alumni about your memories of particular events, sports teams, societies, developments in College, etc.
If you would like to contribute to one of the above ideas, or if you have an idea of your own, please comment and discuss them on this blog post, and get in touch. This is a really exciting project, and we’d love for you to get involved! Let’s make this a fantastic first Butler alumni magazine together!
Finally, do you have any ideas for the name of the magazine?
Andy Hodgetts, Alumni Relations Assistant 2011/12