The Oberlin Alumni Magazine (OAM) is published three times a year and mailed to about 36,000 alumni and friends of Oberlin College, including parents of current students.
The primary goal of the Oberlin Alumni Magazine is to spark the same sorts of conversations that began when alumni were students at Oberlin: Late-night dorm talks or long lunches, classroom discussions that spilled into the hallways, dialogues that kept the mind in motion during student days.
The magazine strives to explore the Oberlin community on campus and out in the world with accuracy, transparency, and enlightened enthusiasm.
Established in 1904, the OAM is the college’s flagship periodical. It is published three times a year by Oberlin’s Office of Communications and distributed to alumni, parents, and friends of Oberlin College.
The Oberlin Alumni Magazine is always open to story suggestions and pitches. People interested in pitching a story should tell us what the story is about and why the magazine should pursue it.
A pitch is more than just the name of a person or organization: It’s a description, an explanation, an angle, a point of view, and a brief argument.
Before pitching, ask yourself, “What would I hope to accomplish with an article in the alumni magazine? Who would be interested? What would I want the reader to do after reading the proposed article?”
The magazine is divided into the following departments:
- Letters to the Editor
- Around Tappan Square: a roundup of mostly campus news briefs
- Thought Process: creative and intellectual pursuits of alumni, faculty, staff, and students
- Feature Stories: main articles in the middle of the magazine
- Class Notes: alumni-submitted news and information, plus a few mini-features
- Losses in the Oberlin Family: staff-written obituaries, plus an occasional “Memorial Minute” from a faculty member about another faculty member
- Endquotes: quotes from an Oberlin-related person or about Oberlin
Keep these departments in mind when pitching a story so you can be specific about how you see your story fitting into the magazine.
When things go as planned for a person, project, or organization, it usually isn’t a story for us; when they go much better than planned, or much different than planned (even if it’s worse)—that’s where the stories are.
We’re less interested in the fact that the new chancellor of the American Academy of Poets is an Oberlin alumna (congratulations Linda Gregerson ’71!) than we are in using that fact as the news peg for publishing one of her poems in the magazine.
We think it’s great that alumnus Trevett Hooper ’98 has one of the hottest restaurants in Pittsburgh. We’re more interested in the thoughtful dialogue about food issues like GMOs he wants to start.
We’re grateful D.A. Henderson ’50 helped eradicate smallpox, of course, but we’re intrigued the he cites his time at Oberlin’s college radio station in his explanation of how he was able to do it.
We’re impressed that Michael Sorrell ’88 rose to become the president of Paul Quinn College. Yet when he plowed under the football field to create a small farm to provide fresh produce to an underserved neighborhood of Dallas, that’s when we took note and asked, “What’s he up to there?”
Not all stories have to congratulate Oberlin for being Oberlin, but by providing a broad lineup of richly textured stories, we hope to celebrate what it means to be a part of this community.
We’re looking for stories that are relevant to the lives of our diverse readers, stories that are topical, stories that bring insight into the way the world—or the mind, or the heart—works.
To pitch a story, send your idea by email to Jeff Hagan , OAM editor.