Archive for Saturday, August 17, 1991


August 17, 1991


Now in its 104th year at Kansas University, the Jayhawker yearbook will be presenting a more personal touch in its 1992 edition.

"We're going to try to picture a broader base of students," said Bob Turvey, Jayhawker faculty adviser. "It won't just be the senior pictures that we'll be taking."

Turvey said identifying students in all of the campus living groups is a good way to increase the number of pictures in the book.

"If we go into Battenfield Scholarship Hall, instead of a group shot of just everyone there, we're going to do individuals," he said. "It will be more personal. If you're one person in a crowd, that's one thing, but if your actual mug shot is right there, I think it would be a little more desirable for you to pick up the book."

Turvey said changing the Jayhawker will take more than one year.

"We don't expect to get 20,000 pictures in the book next year, but we do hope to expand the number of people who are interested in the book," he said.

Having more students purchase the Jayhawker is important to the yearbook's student staff, Turvey said. The yearbook, which is not affiliated with the school of journalism and does not receive funding from the university, relies primarily on sales for its income. For the past two years, some of the 2,300 yearbooks have gone unsold, a development that has baffled the staff.

"I DON'T know why that is," he said. "We really have struggled with what's happening, what's changing in the marketplace. People seem very pleased with the book itself, so we're kind of at a little bit of a loss.

"It seems like they don't care. It's not just KU we don't hear of other places where sales are surging. So I don't know it's not money, it's not quality . . . it's just a sign of the times."

Turvey said a study of yearbook prices indicated that the Jayhawker's $25 cost was not to blame for sluggish sales. So the staff has decided to take steps to improve and market its product.

To help with sales, he said, more effort is being made to generate an interest in the book early in the school year.

Turvey said things aren't desperate at the yearbook, ``. . . it's just that we're not capturing all the people that we think we ought to capture. There's a financial end of that for us, but there's also, gee, 25 years from now, these people are going to miss something by not having this look back at history."

The yearbook format won't be completely altered, he said. The Jayhawker intends to chronicle many of the same activities on campus, including the ever-popular sports, campus events and pertinent issues at KU. Some color photos will be included.

ANOTHER YEARBOOK tradition is the Hilltopper awards, which recognize outstanding seniors on campus. To be considered as a Hilltopper, students can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else, Turvey said. A stringent application and screening process ensues, with the Hilltopper committee making its recommendations based on grades, activities, campus leadership and significant involvement in the community.

Last year, six seniors were honored as Hilltoppers.

"Hilltoppers is a major undertaking," Turvey said.

So is increasing the Jayhawker's sales. Turvey hopes that students will think ahead when deciding whether to buy the yearbook. He likes to tell the story about one father who recently bought back issues of the Jayhawker to cover his son's years on Mount Oread.

"`MY SON needs this,'" Turvey related the man as saying. "`This is an important piece of information.'"

Another favorite story of Turvey's is about a woman who wrote him asking for a picture from a Jayhawker during the early 1940s. He said she wanted to get a picture of a student she had planned to marry, but was killed in World War II. Turvey found his picture and photocopied it for her.

He said her touching thank-you letter demonstrated the importance of the yearbook.

"I think that's what really struck me about the book," Turvey said. "If you're graduating now, you pick up the book and look at it, and it's interesting. Well, try 30, 40, 50 years from now. You look back at that book it's the memory book . . . it's a very important piece of the university."

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