Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) spent all of 2020 celebrating its centennial. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the university’s ability to host a majority of its in-person centennial events, other components of the celebration were successfully completed. One such component was a special centennial-themed series of the university’s Engaging Mind & Spirit magazine. The series was received extremely well by the USF community, and has now been recognized with a Bronze Award as part of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) annual Pride of CASE V Awards Program.
“To artfully tell the University’s rich 100-year history through stories and imagery in such an impressive presentation was an immense undertaking that required the collective efforts of several USF employees led by the USF Marketing Services Department. To have that work acknowledged with a Pride of CASE V award commemorates those efforts that played an important role in our year-long centennial celebration, while also providing us with a point of pride upon which we can fondly look back for years to come,” said USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D.
CASE officials indicated that this year’s District V showcase included over 350 entries from higher education institutions that included large state schools such as the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and the University of Minnesota. Organizationally, CASE District V (the Great Lakes District), includes 400+ member institutions and more than 2,500 institutional representatives from schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The competition judges for the “Magazines > Alumni/General Interest Published three or more times a year” category in which USF’s submission was awarded praised USF’s use of photographs throughout the series.
“One of the strengths of USF’s work is their use of old photos to create nostalgia and tell historic stories. We really enjoyed the ‘Then and Now’ piece. USF is doing good work in relaying information to its readers and keeping the magazine’s look consistent,” the judges said through their evaluation feedback.
While USF’s CASE award was only recently announced, work on the magazine series started back in the fall of 2019, at which time a team of USF employees created a vision for the series in anticipation of the university’s centennial. Each issue of the series was carefully mapped out, with the issues sharing some common components, but with each also featuring some of its own unique components.
“Unique to each issue were special center spreads, such as a large group aerial photo of USF community members in the shape of the number 100 and a spotlight on the new USF Centennial Collage. Each issue contained a new installment of the university’s history, resulting in a three-part feature story written by David Veenstra, Ph.D., USF History Department Chair and Associate Professor of History. Additionally, each issue included recurring components, such as a look at the university presidents through the years, a review of the university’s historical timeline, and comparisons of vintage photos alongside recent photos of the same subjects,” said Dave DiLorenzo, USF Director of Community and Government Relations.
For Julie Futterer, USF Director of Marketing Services and magazine editor, the success of the series resulted from a successful pairing of the past and the present of Joliet’s university.
“Those who know the University of St. Francis know that its past, present and future are deeply intertwined. Our three centennial magazines did a good job of painting that picture by blending rich historical accounts with current-day contributions from a multitude of USF community members, including the Sisters of St. Francis, past and present employees, students, alumni, donors, trustees and friends. That kind of collaboration is what makes the magazine truly special to me. We were also able to get all of the issues out in the midst of a global pandemic, which says something about the creativity, commitment and work ethic of the entire USF team. Overall, being recognized by our colleagues in higher education through a respected organization like CASE is encouraging and I’m just very grateful. This is a nice way to celebrate the end of a ‘unique’ centennial year,” Futterer said.
View the magazine trilogy and learn more about the university’s centennial at stfrancis.edu/centennial.
To learn more about the Pride of CASE V award program, visit case.org/districts/district-v-great-lakes and select the “Awards” link.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the global non-profit association dedicated to educational advancement—alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services—who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society.
The U.S./Canada region of CASE (four global regions) is divided into eight regional districts each district has a volunteer board of directors to oversee operations, programming, and services. District V / Great Lakes represents member institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.
University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.
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