Thousands of students have walked the grounds at MSU, each person with their own unique story. Sharing them with current and past students is a way to bridge the unity of Minnesota State. TODAY magazine connects students, faculty and alumni through covering what MSU is currently up to along with how MSU has shaped alumni post-graduation.
Editor Joe Tougas said that TODAY focuses on finding juicy, interesting stories that have some sense of connection to MSU.
“We’re always looking for stories that are interesting to read and would reach anyone, whether they’re an alumni or not. They all happen to have MSU in common, but they’re nonetheless compelling human interest stories,” said Tougas.
A typical issue consists of a student profile, a faculty profile, and a “feature well” that focuses on three to four stories of interesting people or programs. Senior Director Sara Frederick said a key section is the class notes, a section where alumni can submit notes about themselves at the end of each magazine.
“The class notes is a hallmark of an alumni publication that allows alumni to keep track of their classmates over the years,” said Frederick. “Every time I get a publication, it’s the first thing I flip to so I can see what they’re doing.”
The magazine is printed once a semester, but the website is updated a couple of times each month. When the magazine is published, Frederick mentioned that out of 135,000 alumni, over 120,000 receive the magazine.
Tougas said that while the magazine covers stories about alumni, he considers TODAY to be MSU’s magazine.
“It’s a representation of the energy that surrounds and informs this university,” said Tougas. “I just want TODAY to be representative of the intellectual and social energy of MSU now, moving forward and the myriad activities that goes on here that’s rather fascinating.”
While TODAY has covered a wide variety of stories over the years, some of their noteworthy ones in the last few years included former President Richard Davenport’s retirement and President Inch’s arrival at MSU.
“We hadn’t had a transition in power in 19 years without a change in leadership. It was pretty cool to be able to do something big for the outgoing and incoming president,” said Frederick.
Frederick said she’s developed a good eye for interesting stories that will appeal to all readers.
“There are alumni who graduated in the 1950s and some who graduated in 2019. You have to think about what it’s going to mean to them and how are they going to relate to it,” said Frederick. “Part of the fun for me is finding those stories that cross generations and tie together the past and present.”
Tougas hopes that those who read TODAY view the magazine as a reputation builder for MSU.
“There is so much going on here that I think is fascinating, and in some cases, game changing. TODAY amplifies those stories and enhances what MSU offers the world,” said Tougas.
For those looking to submit story ideas, they can submit them to email@example.com.
For those wanting to catch up on the latest stories and read web exclusives, go to TODAY’s website today.magazine.mnsu.edu.
Header Photo: James Mackey (left) and Joe Tougas (right), stand in the Wieking Center printing room holding the latest issue of the TODAY Alumni Magazine of 2023 which features compelling stories of those who have attended MSU. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
Write to Emma Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org