September 19, 2020

College yearbook commemorates centennial

Students sit for senior portraits that will be included in this year’s centennial edition of ‘The Seal.’ (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

By Matthew Angelo

At 5:15 on a Wednesday, Michael Thieme sat for his senior portrait.

Lights glaring, head tilted to the photographer’s specific direction, he donned a cap and gown that will, in just a few months, signify the culmination of four years spent earning a degree in finance here at the College.

Thieme is just one of many seniors taking the same picture, each catching a glimpse at what they will look like in cap and gown when they finally say goodbye to campus, classes and their college experience.

Though they will be leaving, this year’s senior class has an opportunity to be a part of something special.

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the College’s yearbook, The Seal.

“I didn’t know that this was a special issue or anything, but after talking to some people about it I decided to get the portrait,” Thieme said.

Because of the historical significance of the issue, Seal Editor-in-Chief Jillian Polak and the staff are presented with a difficult challenge.

“This year’s staff is working to connect the 2011 book with the first book from 1911,” Polak said.

They plan on adopting some of the items from that first yearbook and using them in this year’s edition.

Things such as the “foreword, hand drawn images and small graphics” will aid in reminding students of the historical significance of the issue.

“There will also be a small, special section titled ‘Through the Years’ which will represent the College in terms of historical perspective,” Polak said.

This section will include a timeline of major events that have occurred on and around campus in the past 100 years such as the record-breaking kiss by Matt Daley and Bobby Canciello and civil rights rallies. In addition, interesting information, such as the College’s name changes and other facts, will be included.

As it pertains to the cover, the staff chose something minimalist and traditional, giving it an element of historical authenticity.

“We chose a dark blue, leather-bound book. It’s a bit grainy and has some texture to it, which gives it an especially traditional feel,” Polak said.

With such an important issue, in trying to make it the most attractive to students, the staff decided to take a practical approach when choosing its content.

“Only seniors are able to sit for portraits, so, we thought it would be smart to gear the book toward their interests,” Polak said.

How they plan to accomplish this is to deviate from traditional layouts in past editions. Instead of only showing Welcome Week 2010, the book will display shots of seniors moving in this year and will also include many shots of Welcome Week 2007.

“We are going to do our best to use photos that are primarily of seniors from the College so that graduates will find that this book is representative of them and their own college experience,” Polak said.

The small staff of seven has its hands full as it attempts to combine history with the contemporary, displaying the College’s place in history, as well as highlighting its continual growth and achievements.

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