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Has Anybody Heard Of Communiqué?

I recently learned of the existence of a magazine published by the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development: Communiqué.

The magazine appears to be similar to Harvard’s newly launched ‘The Yard’ in many respects—it is very obviously an in-house organ designed to promote the University, its initiatives, and alumni giving and it stands in direct contrast to the editorially independent (and woefully under-subscribed) Cornell Alumni Magazine. But unlike Harvard’s newly launched venture, it appears that Communiqué has been around for quite some time: It’s currently in its 30th volume.

Unfortunately, Communiqué isn’t for everyone. As the masthead states, ‘Communiqué is distributed to alumni, parents, and friends who support Cornell University.’ But somehow I suspect that rooting for the Carnellian and White when they play in Lynah East does not comprise ‘supporting’ the University.

But the oddest thing is that the magazine is not available on the web. A rather in-depth perusal of both the websites of Alumni Affairs and the University Communication turns up nothing.

This is a shame, because for every fluff article in the publication about how excited some alumni couple is to make a large gift to Cornell, there are also some rather interesting articles, including interviews with top administrators about the direction and scope of our University.

So why wouldn’t the University want to make a great resource available on the web to anyone who is interested? It might just get more alumni donations as a result…If anybody out there reading this might know the answer to this question, feel free to get in touch.

Cornell was built on egalitarian principles. It would be nice if alumni affairs recognized this fact and at least tried to treat all of its alumni with a little bit more respect.

N.B. And what’s with the name? I would think that wealthy-alumni-donor-types would respond more favorably to a bit of Cornelliana, maybe like ‘Cayuga’, ‘Cascadilla’ or ‘The Slope’.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on July 07, 2006 (#)

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