Reflections on the Drury Magazine

The Drury Magazine is a personal reflection of what it means to know Drury University. The magazine puts presence to the connection we feel as part of the experience of learning. It remembers alumni who studied here. It heralds our amazing faculty, staff and students. It gives perspective to our past and a vision for our future. It helps us to know one another better by sharing individual journeys. In this way, the magazine's mission is a realization: 

" engage readers in the life of the university, reflect the university's values, and capture the intellectual curiosity and distinct community that is Drury." 

If the Drury Magazine had a champion, Don Ameye would hold the title. Don is Drury's creative director and the managing editor of Drury Magazine. He has conceived and designed more than 120 issues of Drury Magazine so far during his 35-year career at Drury. Don is the recipient of Drury's Distinguished Staff Award for 2017, and producing an award-winning publication is something he strives to achieve. With this attention, the magazine has received over 10 awards from national peer-hosted contests.

Don and I recently looked through the magazine archives. We began with his first issue as designer in September of 1983 (seen below). Don mentioned that he didn't know he would be creating a magazine when he began the position. It was a labor intensive aspect of the job"Everything was done manually," he says. "The type was set in long galleys which were three inches or six inches wide on a Compugraphic 7500. The galleys were cut and applied to paste up board. Edits would need to be reset and applied to the board after cutting out the existing mistakes with an X-Acto knife.

"Any illustration or art was enlarged or reduced on a high contrast camera with giant bellows and then waxed and applied directly to the paste up board. It was a long, tedious process," Don recalls. "When all the layouts were complete, I would lay them on the floor so I could see the entire magazine at once and make adjustments as needed." 

The equipment was sold to a local print shop in the mid-1980s, when Don bought his first Apple computer. The early computers were slow and had only 16 MB of storage and four MB of RAM. Today, of course, almost every aspect of the magazine is created on a computer.

When design was done by hand, you were limited by time. A concept would be developed, then the designer would create it. "In a way, this made the process easier and less complicated," Don says. "When you were finished, you had done the best you could with the time allowed. Now, the experimentation is unlimited and the possibilities are endless. The difficult thing is deciding when you stop changing the design. Was the concept you created earlier better than what you have now? You have to be knowledgeable and humble enough to realize what is good and what is not." 

Don is quick to mention that he "collaborates with a talented team in Marketing & Communications." Sarah Jones MA '16 is the senior designer and Corey Ritter '15 is the writer/editor. (Sarah's hands are featured on the 2011 cover to the left.) They, along with the rest of the Marketing & Communications staff and the Office of Institutional Advancement, contribute as writers, proofreaders, editors and suggest story ideas and alumni to profile. The magazine also offers a few Drury students invaluable experience working on publications as an internship. Students assist with designing, writing and proofreading. This experience enhances resumes and job prospects.

Stacie Bloomfield was one of those students. A 2003 alumna, Stacie worked in the Office of Marketing & Communications from 2002 to 2003 as part of her design and fine arts major. Stacie has owned her own illustration and design company, Gingiber, since 2009. She designs greeting cards, tea towels and calendars, selling them in over 350 stores across the country. Stationary Trends magazine named Stacie one of 2016's "Designers to Watch." She has also designed for companies such as The Land of Nod, West Elm and Quarto Publishing, and she has her own wallpaper and fabric lines with Chasing Paper Wallpaper and Moda Fabrics. 

"I love design and art," Stacie says, "and I've found a way to take what I learned in college and run with it. Working with Don and Sarah was my chance to design for someone else, complete with deadlines, learning how to get files ready for press and how to be professional. I was so thankful for the chance to intern with them." 

The Drury Magazine is mailed to more than 24,000 homes, government offices, businesses and peer universities. It is also available online. Almost every article has a URL to visit for videos and more information. 

This biannual glimpse into Drury's community illuminates our purpose and goals. The magazine becomes a tangible reflection of the pride we feel as alumni and friends of Drury. Don says, "I hope the Drury Magazine remains true to Drury University and is never afraid to confront controversy or address difficult situations. I hope it will remain in print and be delivered for free to whoever wants to receive it." 

Written by Melody Sanders, Office of Marketing & Communications