Years after graduation, we might pull out our yearbooks to take a sentimental journey through time, likely asking ourselves on multiple occasions as we flip pages, “Did I really do this?” Without a staff to produce the Nike yearbook, it would be all but impossible to preserve such college memories.
Student organizations occasionally experience downtime due to staffing shortages among other issues, and Wheaton’s yearbook club is no exception. Like every other organization on campus, the yearbook club is completely student-run; students are in charge of everything from brainstorming themes to chronicling another year at Wheaton. Published yearbooks come out every fall and are then mailed to seniors for free after they graduate.
Throughout its history, Nike has had its ups and downs for various reasons, revealing a cycle of staff changes, disorder, and finally revival. Seniors are usually the most invested in the yearbook, yet they don’t have the time to work on it. In prior years, there had been a lack of communication and coordination between yearbook editors and their advisor, Andrea Holden.
Last year, the club started out with no staff. Though Nike was able to survive, the staff overcame many hardships and were very challenged, which has contributed to the pressing problems facing the yearbook today.
“When I start to think that it [the yearbook] might disappear, I get sad,” said Holden, recalling her doubts about the yearbook’s continuation during times of uncertainty. This year, Holden hopes to “save the yearbook” once again by bringing in a fresh group of dedicated students.
“They come here with a passion or interest in yearbook – in layout, in graphic design, in writing, in photography – different people for all different reasons,” Holden said. “What I really work on as their advisor is helping them create a legacy and helping them build mentorships so that leadership rises up.”
Holden worked with Walsworth Publishing, the company that produces Nike, over the summer to set up the 2016 yearbook kickoff meeting, which will be held 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22 in Balfour-Hood Center. Representatives from the company also helped promote the yearbook club during the activities fair, resulting in a promising sign-up list.
“If five people come out of this…, they can make it happen,” Holden said. “If 10 come out, they can make it even better because they can do it easier – they can share the wealth of the work and really think creatively about how to have a great yearbook.”
In the future, Holden wants to increase awareness of the yearbook’s existence through improved organizational and promotional strategies with the goal of articulating to students its importance and longevity. “There is something almost therapeutic about the archival quality of yearbooks…. That’s why it’s near and dear to me…and makes me not want it to completely go.”