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Editor’s Note, October 2019

A time to celebrate
We’ve not just survived, but thrived

In October 1959, a slim eight-page newsletter was mailed out to universities across Canada. According to its unnamed editor, this “new quarterly [is] designed to keep university personnel and others who are interested in higher education informed about university affairs.” Its name, fittingly, was University Affairs.

That first issue had a circulation of 8,000 copies, which was quickly increased to 11,000 for subsequent issues – a “quantity sufficient for distribution to all full-time members of administrative and teaching staffs.” An additional 1,500 copies were mailed to educational associations, government officials and the media.

On its first anniversary, the still unnamed editor declared that the first volume of the bulletin had been “an experiment.” And while “it is always difficult to discover whether such a publication is valued … most of the few comments received have been complimentary so it has been decided to carry on.”

Sixty years later, we are still carrying on.

Surviving 60 years in Canadian publishing is an achievement, but thriving over those six decades is a triumph worthy of celebration. The magazine has gone from strength to strength over the years, attracting acclaim and many awards along the way. Through it all, we have you, dear readers, ultimately to thank for its success. The enthusiasm, affection and sense of attachment you’ve shown for the magazine is humbling.

We hope you like the package we’ve put together to celebrate our 60th anniversary (and there is much more exclusive content online). Such events are an occasion to look back, and accordingly we have a feature on memory institutions and their evolving role. We also look ahead, canvassing seven higher-ed leaders on the challenges and opportunities they see for universities in the years to come. As well, I sat down with two of University Affairs’ previous editors, Christine Tausig Ford and Peggy Berkowitz, to reflect and reminisce on the magazine’s evolution. Ms. Tausig Ford, who first joined the magazine in 1979, summed up her time as editor by saying it had been “just a great ride.” Indeed, it has.

Léo Charbonneau