The life span of many magazines is sadly short (anyone remember George?), which makes American’s 40th birthday all the more remarkable.
AU’s flagship publication debuted in fall 1977 with a cover story about the new library. (Both the magazine and the library have since had a few facelifts.) The masthead appeared in color—AU blue—for the first time in 1984, although it took another 32 years before we summoned the courage to run a cover with a splash of bright orange. Six US presidents have graced the cover (one appeared as a bobblehead), along with four AU presidents and one DC mayor. Two of our staffers’ sons also made their modeling debuts in American.
The magazine was preceded by the AU Report newsletter, which ran from 1950 to 1977, and the Lodestar, which the alumni association produced from 1946 to 1968. Today, American is published three times a year and distributed to about 125,000 alumni and friends of AU in all 50 states and more than 180 countries.
Here’s a peek at our history in 132 covers (3 covers from predigital days have unfortunately been lost).