‘Summit’ hits the stands at MRU
University combines alumni and community magazines into unified publication
A new publication has hit the stands at Mount Royal University.
The first issue of MRU’s Summit Magazine was released Oct. 15, combining the university’s old alumni donor and community magazines into one unified publication. However, alumni will be at the heart of the publication.
“Alumni will always be a river running through Summit,” said Lucille Gnanasihamany, the chair of the new publication and MRU’s director of marketing. “Students will always have an opportunity to continue to read about and connect with their alma mater, and learn about the new things that are happening.”
Prior to the Summit launch, each division of university advancement had their own separate publication: Reflections for alumni relations, the annual donors report and Focus, which went out to the entire community from the marketing department.
“We debated this long and hard, but we think we’ve got a publication that has content that is relevant to alumni, is interesting to donors, and is informative for the community,” Gnanasihamany said.
The reasons behind the consolidations were primarily budget related, according to Gnanasihamany. The three disparate publications were each created separately, in a process that cost the university between $220,000 and $250,000 a year.
This included the cost of mailing Reflections out to 50,000 alumni bi-annually. “The mailing cost is the single biggest expenditure, and we believe that we can save that cost while translating it into a rich online experience,” Gnanasihamany said.
“We do feel like all our stakeholder groups still have to be communicated with, but we could not afford three publications anymore,” she added. The cost of Summit will be between $150,000 to $175,000 per year.
The current issue of Summit features articles about some of MRU’s new and upcoming programs, profiles of the achievements of faculty, staff and alumni, and features about the Cougars and the university’s Legacy Awards series.
“Alumni are the heart and soul of our outcomes at Mount Royal,” Gnanasihamany said. “Nothing else really tells the world about the quality of a Mount Royal education than somebody who’s graduated and gone on to change the world in their own ways.”
Students who graduate will continue to receive copies of Summit in the mail for at least the next few years, though Gnanasihamany said that in three years she would like to see Summit’s distribution become entirely digital, save for the copies that are sent out in the Globe and Mail.