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Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-10-010

Scope and Contents note

The records of The Johns Hopkins (Alumni) Magazine consist of a complete set of the Magazine, arranged chronologically from November 1912 through the present; correspondence files of staff members, arranged chronologically by editor; and photographs used in the production of the Magazine, arranged by subject.

Except for the magazines themselves, the record group is incomplete. The photograph files contain only more recent materials, and the bulk of the correspondence covers the period between 1962 and 1971. There is no correspondence for the period between 1912, when the Magazine was started, and 1934. There is only one folder of the correspondence of Robert B. Roulston, Editor from 1917 to 1937, and that folder only covers the years 1934 to 1937. There is a gap in the correspondence from 1937 through 1951, but the records are continuous from 1959 through 1973. Duplicates of correspondence were weeded out and discarded.


  • Creation: 1912-2010


Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Conditions Governing Use note

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Special Collections department. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.

Biographical/Historical note

A publication specifically designed for Hopkins alumni was first proposed in 1910. In June of that year, an Alumni Council report prepared by Dr. Charles M. Andrews advocated "the issuing of an Alumni review, or bulletin, under the auspices of the Alumni Association." Andrews's report recommended that such a publication be ". . . as newsy as possible, introducing nothing of merely a literary character, and confining its contents to material that concerns, directly or indirectly, the University." The report also suggested that the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association select the editors and managers of the publication. The proposal was not acted on for almost two years, but in February of 1912 the establishment of an "Alumni Quarterly" was formally approved at a joint meeting of the Trustees and the Alumni Council. In order to finance the initial costs of publication, the Alumni Council asked the Trustees to return a $2,000 scholarship fund that had been donated by the alumni several years earlier. The Trustees refused, but did provide $600 from the interest accumulated by the fund. This sum proved sufficient, and in November of 1912 the first issue of The Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine was published. The first issue included a foreword by Professor Kirby F. Smith (then President of the Alumni Association), a brief memoir by Professor Basil L. Gildersleeve, a symposium honoring outgoing University President Ira Remsen, and an article describing plans for the University's new location at Homewood. Alumni notes and departmental news were also featured. Lawrence C. Wroth (A.B. 1905), the Magazine's first Managing Editor, wrote an editorial for the first issue, in which he urged a strengthening of alumni spirit and an increase in the number of alumni activities. Wroth also promised to provide a correspondence ("letters to the editor") column. In order to keep abreast of University activities, the Magazine staff asked the President's Office to provide them with quarterly reports on courses, books published by faculty members, visiting lecturers, and additions to the faculty. Financing the Magazine proved difficult at first. The first two issues were mailed free of charge to all alumni, along with a request that they become paid subscribers at a cost of one dollar annually. By the time the third issue (May 1913) was published, however, only a third of the alumni had subscribed. Wroth's editorial for that issue noted that such a number would not be sufficient to pay for the Magazine's expenses. Pleas for more subscriptions, and for additional financial support from the alumni, were reiterated in several later issues. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Magazine during Wroth's tenure as Editor was the "Editor's Comment" or "Special Editorial" at the beginning of each issue. Wroth's columns took opinionated, even polemical, stands on University related issues. Topics on which he wrote included the hazing of freshman (he was against it) and the relationship between the University and the City of Baltimore. In other editorials, Wroth requested the publication of the annual Treasurer's report, and evaluated the criteria by which a successor to President Remsen was being sought. Although later editors of the Magazine generally adopted some sort of editor's column, none were as long or as potentially controversial as Wroth's. In 1917 Wroth joined the Armed Forces to serve in World War I. Robert B. Roulston (A.B. 1900, Ph.D. 1906), then Associate Professor of German, became the second Managing Editor. In June of 1918, the entire issue of the Magazine was devoted to "The University and The War." During Roulston's twenty year tenure, the Magazine continued to feature alumni and campus news, as well as articles about University people and events. Roulston also added several features, including Commencement and Commemoration addresses, public lectures, and some of the lectures given before the Tudor and Stuart Club. Roulston resigned the editorship after the publication of the June 1937 issue. P. Stewart Macaulay (A.B. 1923) was appointed chairman of a committee to study the Magazine and make recommendations for its improvement. The November 1937 issue, jointly edited by the committee, was larger than its predecessors and featured glazed paper, more illustrations, and two column pages. Norman S. Heaney (B.S. 1934), a member of Macaulay's committee, took over the editorship as of the January 1938 issue. Macaulay continued to be involved with the Magazine for almost thirty years, in the position of Chairman of the Editorial Committee. During Heaney's tenure, the autumn issue of the Magazine began to include a list of new undergraduates who were brothers, nephews, sons, or grandsons of Hopkins alumni. The cost of a subscription rose to two dollars during this period. In early 1942, Heaney completed a Ph.D. in political economy and prepared to enter the Navy to serve in World War II. J. Louis Kuethe (B.S. 1930) co edited the March 1942 issue with Heaney and became Editor Pro Tem upon Heaney's departure. At that time, and for the next four years, the Magazine featured lists of Hopkins men in the armed services, as well as letters and stories from soldiers stationed abroad. Kuethe became Editor in 1946 and held that position until June of 1949, when the last issue of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine was published. A new alumni publication made its appearance in April of 1950. The Johns Hopkins Magazine, published monthly from October through June, differed from the earlier publication in its look and format, especially due to its heavy reliance on photojournalism. Corbin Gwaltney (A.B. 1943), the first Editor of the new Magazine, introduced occasional special issues devoted to a single theme or event. The first of these was a "75th Anniversary" issue (January February 1951). Other special issues focused on "Professors Emeriti" (February 1952), "Graduates Abroad" (March and April 1954), "The University of Bologna" (May 1955), and "Woodrow Wilson" (March 1956). A special issue entitled "The University: A Statement in Text and Photographs," a photographic essay accompanied by the words of John Masefield, appeared in February 1953 and was later published as a book. During Gwaltney's tenure, the Magazine was thrice the recipient of the Robert Sibley Award for "most distinguished Alumni Magazine in the United States" and was twice named "Magazine of the Year" by the American Alumni Council. Ronald Wolk took over the editorship as of the October 1959 issue and held it until January of 1963, when he was succeeded by Anthony E. Neville. Neville steered the Magazine in a new direction. He wanted the magazine to function as a "vehicle of continuing education" for Hopkins alumni, with each issue constituting a "short course" in a single topic "of broad interest and importance." To fulfill this aim, the Magazine switched to a quarterly schedule as of the Winter 1966 issue. An outstanding example of the Magazine during this period was the issue entitled "The Renaissance Revisited" (Spring 1967). Robert J. Armbruster, who became Editor as of the Spring 1968 issue, decided that the Magazine required a "more general and varied content." In an editorial for the Summer 1968 issue, he wrote that "Important issues on the campus and in the larger community that didn't fit the theme being explored at any given moment had to be shelved . . . stories about university programs or individual students, faculty, or alumni . . . went untold." Although the Magazine was once again devoted primarily to University activities, individual articles dealt with issues of wider significance, such as civil rights and the war in Vietnam. When Thomas J. Kleis became Editor in the autumn of 1971, the Magazine had more than 50,000 alumni readers. The Winter 1971 issue focused on the installation of Steven Muller as Hopkins's tenth president. Elise Hancock took over the editorship in 1973. The Magazine switched to a bimonthly schedule as of the March 1973 issue. A special Centennial Issue was featured in May of 1976. During the 1970s, the Magazine was twice named "one of the top ten Alumni Magazines in North America" by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In August of 1980 the Magazine received yet another Robert Sibley Award.


The Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine, volumes 1 37 (1912 1949).

The Johns Hopkins Magazine, volumes 1 31 (1950 1980).


10.97 Cubic Feet (3 record center cartons, 19 letter size document boxes)

Language of Materials



In February of 1912 the establishment of an "Alumni Quarterly" was formally approved at a joint meeting of the Trustees and the Alumni Council. The records of The Johns Hopkins (Alumni) Magazine consist of a complete set of the Magazine, arranged chronologically from November 1912 through the present; correspondence files of staff members, arranged chronologically by editor; and photographs used in the production of the Magazine, arranged by subject.

Arrangement note

Series 1: Magazine Issues, 1912-present Subseries 1: Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine, 1912-1949 Subseries 2: Johns Hopkins Magazine, 1950-present Series 2: Correspondence of Editors, 1934-1982 Subseries 1: Robert B. Roulston, 1934-1937 Subseries 2: Corbin Gwaltney, 1953 Subseries 3: Ronald A. Wolk, 1959-1963 Subseries 4: Anthony E. Neville, 1963-1967 Subseries 5: Robert Armbruster, 1968-1971 Subseries 6: Thomas J. Kleis, 1968-1972 Subseries 7: Elise Hancock, 1973-1982 Series 3: Photographs, 1960s-1970s Series 4: Photographs, 1980s-1990s

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The file of Robert B. Roulston was found in the Gilman stacks with his other papers. A manuscript by Lloyd W. Stephenson was discovered in the safe in 102 Gilman Hall. Various issues and volumes of the Magazine have been donated by alumni: Donald W. White ('28), Robert W. Cowgill, Albert B. Williams ('23), Osmar Steinwald ('28, Director of Alumni Relations, 1947-1970) and C. Wilson Josselyn ('24). The Milton S. Eisenhower Library transferred many of the bound volumes of the Magazine. The remaining records were transferred to the Archives by Elise Hancock, Editor of the Magazine.

Accruals note

Accession Numbers: 77.2, 77.42, 77.74, 77.90, 78.31, 78.34, 78.41, 78.43, 79.25, 79.109, 79.128, 80.54, 81.5, 81.44, 83.5, 83.28, 84.21, 84.23, 85.17

Processing Information note

Processed by Andrew Gelber, Katrina Tautz, Alaine Schumb, Parker Williams. Encoded by Marius Stan.

Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine records RG.10.010
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA