College’s yearbook comeback


While working for Wilmington College’s Office of Alumni Engagement this summer, sophomore Logan Florea’s desk was positioned next to a shelf of yearbooks dating back nearly 100 years. That coincidence in office logistics led him to the point at which he’s leading an effort to revive the college’s venerable “Wilmingtonian” annual after a several-year absence.

He enjoyed leafing through the books and several times provided “throwback” stories and associated photos that the college featured on its social media.

“I realized all the history in it,” he said about the yearbooks. “It was neat to see what students were doing in the 1930s, ’50s and ’60s. I thought it would be important for students of today to be able to look back at their years at Wilmington College in much the same way as previous alumni.”

Florea is a sophomore from Blanchester who attended Clinton-Massie High School. A transfer student who arrived at WC in January, he is majoring in secondary education and history.

Intrigued by the images he saw from decades ago, Forea inquired about the college’s yearbook status and learned the last printed annual was the 2017-18 edition. “I learned it fell by the wayside,” he said. Indeed, it met the fate of numerous collegiate yearbooks around the country as the number of printed student publications has been waning in recent years.

Florea initiated a mission to revive the Wilmingtonian. He posed the idea to Sigrid Solomon, vice president for student affairs, who admired his motivation and advised him to reach out to the student government association (SGA), which holds the purse strings for many student organizations and activities.

“We heard in August that SGA would help fund it, so I got a team together and we’ve been working ever since,” he said, noting he networked among students he already knew and recruited additional ones during new student orientation activities.

“Shannon (O’Boyle) was her high school yearbook editor and she joined because I asked Mckenzie (Danhoff) to join because she is a good photographer,” Florea said about two sophomore staff members. Senior Jamirr Johnson is well-known on campus for his creativity and photography skills and the staff rounds out with sophomore Mason Klamroth and freshmen Matthew Smith.

“Everything fell into place,” the editor said about his enthusiastic staff. Also, Ashleigh Wellman, associate director for digital marketing, agreed to serve as the adviser.

Florea expressed an interest in speaking with former editors for their advice on producing a yearbook and its enduring value to alumni. With Advancement’s permission, he contacted 91-year-old Michael Ziegler, WC class of 1952, who agreed to write the 2022-23 yearbook’s foreword. Ziegler cheered on Florea with the sentiment that, “Being editor was hard work but worth every minute spent.” He encouraged WC students to “keep up the tradition” of publishing an annual edition.

“It was great hearing him reminisce about his days at the college and what it still means to him after 70 years since his graduation,” he added. “He was excited we wanted him involved.”

The college’s first yearbook was known as The Alpha in 1907 while an early version of a monthly student periodical, from 1900 through 1919, was known as the Wilmingtonian. In 1920, the annual adopted Wilmingtonian as its permanent name. Well, not quite permanent. The infamous 1970 yearbook bucked tradition and was called “Yearbook 1970.”

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