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A milestone—and a departure—for the University of Denver Magazine

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Tamara Chapman

Senior Managing Editor

Senior Managing Editor"

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one person speaking, and a second person holding a notebook and pen
In what she describes as an unforgettable experience, Tamara Chapman ventured to Amache in southwest Colorado to write about professor Bonnie Clark's summer archaeology program.

In fall 2023, the University of Denver Magazine will embark upon its 24th year of publication. As it wraps up its first quarter century, it’s poised for a significant reinvention, both to align with DU’s refreshed brand and to accommodate the interests and needs of today’s sophisticated audiences.

I, alas, won’t be along for that journey, but I will be reading with avid interest. The spring/summer edition of the magazine was my last, but the publication will always be dear to me. After all, I’ve contributed to it—as a copy editor, writer, traffic cop, managing editor and unapologetic booster—for much of its existence.

Mostly, I’ve loved writing for our thoughtful community of readers—of idealists and visionaries and engaged citizens. Over the years, I’ve profiled some giants (Charlie Burrell, for example, known as the Jackie Robinson of classical music) and examined some thorny issues (among them, Colorado’s gobsmacking population growth and the alarming problem of binge drinking among college students). In 2010, I ventured to Stanford, where DU alumna Condoleezza Rice was serving at the Hoover Institution. She gave me insights into her tenure as secretary of state, but also provided a single degree of separation (yikes!) from the likes of Vladimir Putin and Moammar Gaddafi.

I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing—and often writing about—so many of DU’s remarkable initiatives, from the launch of Cherrington Global Scholars under then-Chancellor Dan Ritchie to the unveiling of the Marsico Initiative under then-Chancellor Robert Coombe, from the Denver Advantage campaign led by Rebecca Chopp to the 4D Experience championed by our current chancellor, Jeremy Haefner. I was on campus and working on the magazine’s very first research issue when news broke that DU had achieved R1 status, a designation awarded by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to recognize that the University is conducting the highest levels of research activity. Naturally, as an experienced wordsmith, I had just the right word to honor the occasion: Wow!

With every new DU initiative and ambitious undertaking, the magazine has sought to tell stories that engage readers and cultivate their pride in this ever-changing hub of learning and reflection. Fortunately, we have no shortage of stories to tell. If I have any regrets about the last two and a half decades, it’s that so many great tales never made it into print.

In recent years, I’ve served as the University of Denver Magazine’s managing editor. That’s meant I have planned editorial, assigned and edited stories, and commissioned art, photography and design. In doing this, I have always believed that a provocative magazine is how we pay tribute to our alumni. It’s our way of saying they’re still part of this dynamic learning community. Emphasis on learning. When I plan stories, I assume our alumni remain hyper-curious about the world and its challenges, that they’re eager to hear from faculty and alumni experts about the issues facing all of us. I also assume they’re proud to be part of this community and can’t wait to learn about what their peers have been doing. Assuming anything is a risky proposition, but given the caliber of graduates this institution produces, these seemed to me to be safe assumptions.

One of the greatest joys associated with magazine production is that it truly is a collaborative effort. It takes the proverbial village to bring an issue to life. I’ve worked alongside an immeasurably talented team of writers, editors, artists, designers, photographers and creative directors, all of whom have channeled their energies toward creating a publication that honors readers and the institution’s priorities. Along the way, the team has been supported and cheered by an executive editor who has believed in nurturing talent and testing new ideas. That’s no small thing.

The collaboration and support go well beyond the Marketing and Communications suite. All across the campus and country, DU alumni, faculty and staff lend us a helping hand. First, they agree to be interviewed, to share their knowledge, thoughts and perspectives. They help us with fact checking and ensure we’re pushing beyond conventional wisdom. Their generosity never fails to astonish me. Their insights never fail to make our stories better.

What’s ahead for the University of Denver Magazine? I hope you’ll keep reading to find out. I know I will be.

Tamara Chapman
Director of Strategic Publications