Sept. 29, 2008

University to launch new magazine, Ezra

Ezra, a new quarterly magazine, will make its appearance on campus in mid-October.

The magazine is being produced by the Cornell Chronicle and the Office of Publications and Marketing with assistance from the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D). It is hoped it will become a vital news source for alumni, faculty, staff and students, as well as the Cornell community around the world.

Ezra magazine springs from a merging of two previous publications at Cornell:

• Cornell Chronicle Magazine, which premiered in January 2006. Seven issues were published, each one focusing on a single subject specific to Cornell -- from science, engineering and technology to arts and humanities, social sciences and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. The magazine showcased some stories that originally appeared in the weekly Cornell Chronicle but also featured new stories written specifically for each themed publication.

• Communiqué, which was first published by AA&D in 1978 as a quarterly, but later appeared biannually. Communiqué was published for alumni, parents and friends of the university with a strong focus on the role of philanthropy in Cornell's success. The magazine also kept its broad audience updated with campus events, achievements and personal profiles.

Like traditional news magazines, Ezra will have a cover story and wide-ranging sections, reporting on research and scholarship, much of it interdisciplinary; on outreach that brings applied research and Cornell resources to people around the globe and solves real-world challenges; on the arts and humanities; and on Big Red athletics.

The cover story for the magazine's debut issue is an in-depth look at Cornell's new financial aid plan, announced earlier this year. This academic year, about 4,500 students are benefiting from the initiative, which greatly reduces the amount of loan debt for students from families whose income levels are below $120,000. In the issue, Ezra takes a look at the financial situations of several freshmen who might not have considered Cornell without the new plan, and at several returning students who are also benefiting from the aid.

In each issue, Ezra also will report on "Far Above ... The Campaign for Cornell," and the importance of the themes in the ongoing $4 billion campaign, which aims to support students, recruit and retain faculty, and develop and maintain facilities. Each issue will carry campaign updates and features on areas worth supporting.

The first issue will be available by the middle of October; the second issue is due out in December. An online version of the magazine will reside at http://ezramagazine.cornell.edu and will develop over time as multimedia and additional content are produced.

Why the name "Ezra"? Ezra Cornell, the university's founder, was a 19th-century man, but his vision was far ahead of his time. Cornell, the man, used his self-made fortune to establish a university without regard to gender, race or religion, one where "any person can find instruction in any study." That effort continues today, broadened even more this year by the university's new financial aid program, the subject of our inaugural cover story.

Nearly a decade into the 21st century, Cornell, the institution, is more relevant than ever, serving as a land-grant university to the world, applying research and scholarship for the benefit of many others, and giving opportunities to students who will become the next generation of scientists and thinkers, historians and artists, leaders and educators.

Ezra's managing editor is Joe Wilensky, former managing editor of the weekly Cornell Chronicle.