UCM Magazine, a biannual publication with a print distribution to 25,000 University of Central Missouri alumni and supporters, is being recognized with a 2022 Best of District award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

A representative of the UCM Alumni Foundation will accept the award during the CASE District VI Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, Feb. 5–7.

The UCM Alumni Foundation works in cooperation with the university’s Office of Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) to produce the publication. It was judged by a panel of communications professionals against entries from public and private four-year institutions of higher education in the Midwest region, comprising Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. UCM Magazine and publications from two other institutions were selected as Best of CASE District VI Award winners in the category for alumni/general interest magazines printed twice a year.

While the award recognizes the quality of the publication among other colleges and universities in the eight-state Midwest district, its impact extends much further. Changes within the awards program placed district awards within CASE’s global competition. Instead of choosing many winners at the district level (one Grand Gold and multiple Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards), as has been previously done, the top three scores in the global competition that did not receive global recognition are now recognized as Best of District winners.

The Best of CASE District VI Award showcases the passion of staff members whose work exemplifies the best of the advancement profession in their district or region, and serves as an inspiration for all advancement professionals. The same kind of passion also is reflected among university faculty, staff, students and, particularly, alumni who are featured in UCM Magazine.

“It is our privilege to reflect in UCM Magazine the talent, diversity and service-oriented spirit of our alumni community,” said Kathy Strickland, the magazine’s executive editor. “Every graduate of the University of Central Missouri has a story to tell, and these stories are all connected by a common thread dating back 150 years to the founding of our institution. It is our hope that the magazine and this latest award invoke a sense of nostalgia and pride in what UCM students, faculty and alumni have accomplished and continue to achieve in service to our world."

Strickland said two issues of UCM Magazine, Fall 2020 and Fall 2021, were submitted for judging. They provided examples of what readers have come to expect from the publication, including content such as the Alumni Foundation Annual Report, stories about Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, and many other articles featuring interesting people, initiatives and accomplishments that are UCM focused.

Judges scored nominations in five areas: content, writing, and editing; overall concept and creativity; design and layout; audience engagement; and use of resources (budget, people and time) and return on investment. Judges also considered special circumstances/overcoming adversity and the quality and clarity of nomination and supporting materials.

Strickland noted that UCM Magazine is “always created with the reader in mind.” This drives content decisions that strive to represent all sides of a story through interviews with current students, faculty/staff members and alumni who present diverse perspectives.

“The magazine as a whole seeks to invoke nostalgia, fond memories and pride in the reputation current and future accolades bring to the institution and to the value of the hard-earned degrees of our alumni audience,” Strickland stated. Individuals who want to view the magazine online can do so at ucmfoundation.org/magazine.

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