The first of the 200 Days portrayed in this issue of the Alumni Review is Aug. 13, 2010. But the project itself really began in December 2009 when Steve Wulf ’72, P ’12, editor-in-chief of ESPN Books and a senior writer and former executive editor for ESPN The Magazine, approached Hamilton with an idea to celebrate the Bicentennial: 200 stories from one academic year in the life of a College that’s been around for 200 years.
That turned out to be the easy part. Because Hamilton offers so much both in the classroom and beyond it, we needed to start planning months in advance. And in order to capture the true essence of the Hill, we sought out student writers and photographers as well as alumni mentors.
With Steve assuming the role of guest editor, the task of organizing calendars, identifying contributors, orchestrating photographers and putting the entire issue to bed was handled by College Editor Donald Challenger, who notes, “We could take on such a project only because we have such a strong, responsive community to provide ideas and support.” Responsibility for assigning, wrangling and fine-tuning each written profile fell to Project Manager Bambi Bachman Wulf P’12, who kept in constant contact with more than 30 student writers and their mentors throughout the year. Having spent 32 years on the editing side of Sports Illustrated and Time magazines, she was “awed” by the professionalism and talent exhibited by her student charges.
Long before that first moment of the college year — when upperclass students in jester garb gathered along College Hill Road and went hoarse greeting new students arriving for pre-orientation — came the realization that with such a wealth of material, we would be left with far more choices than days. So while we believe this issue is representative of the people, events and values that define Hamilton, we won’t claim that it’s fully comprehensive. Indeed, we could publish a chronicle like this any other year and come up with 200 totally different stories.
The beauty of this issue owes a great deal to Catherine Brown, the College’s director of visual communications, who created the design, and to photographers Nancy L. Ford, Laura C. Laurey and Phil Scalia, who provided so many of the memorable images. Special thanks go to the Office of Communications and Development for its constant support and to the College itself for its warm embrace of the project.
But we reserve our deepest gratitude to the students and the alumni mentors who took time out of their busy lives to suggest, report, write, edit and shoot these stories. The qualities that make Hamilton so unique — the creativity and the vitality, the rigor and the play — are reflected in their extraordinary contributions. A lot of work went into this issue, but it was a lot of fun, too, and we’d gladly do another version.
Just give us a few days.