Survey Says

Dickinson magazine covers

Thank you to the 1,433 readers who participated in the Dickinson Magazine reader survey circulated in August. We have been digging into your responses and will be considering your valuable feedback as we continue to find ways to improve your magazine. Here’s a sampling of what you had to say:

How You Read

  • 77% read every issue or two/three issues per year.
  • 71% of responders prefer the print edition of the magazine.

What You Read

  • When asked about the various first-person columns that regularly appear in the magazine, including those authored by college administrators, 51 percent of readers cited the president’s column as the one in which they are most interested.
  • Readers are most interested in news from around campus (44%), followed by updates on academics/research (25%).
  • Class notes (Our Dickinson) remains firmly at the top of everyone’s reading list, with 56% of respondents placing it first among faculty/alumni/institutional accolades or updates.

Why It Matters

  • Dickinson Magazine remains a primary source of information, with 30 percent of responders listing it first, followed by alumni emails (14%) and Dickinson social media (12%).
  • 77 percent of responders "agree" or "strongly agree" with the statement "Reading Dickinson Magazine strengthens my connection to Dickinson."

Why You Like Dickinson Magazine

  • Seeing how my classmates have been involved, grown in or further shaped the community. I’m filled with pride when I read about the efforts Dickinson makes to better the experience for its students.
  • The magazine takes me back to campus. I love reading profiles, in-depth stories and features on what is going on around campus, new and current students or alumni. I don’t live near Carlisle, so it’s a connection for me to that world.
  • The design is outstanding, as well as the written content. I love skimming through and seeing the students, campus and professors.
  • I enjoy having it on the coffee table. Sometimes when I miss my son, I’ll take another look through the magazine and be reminded that he is in a good place.
  • Very solid. My wife and I … receive six different college/university magazines and both think Dickinson’s is the strongest.
  • I love reading the class connections! It’s great to see the accomplishments of Dickinsonians of all ages and how they still get together. I also love reading about different campus initiatives or traditions and updates happening on campus!
  • I wondered for some time why the college maintained a print magazine, what with concerns about paper use, postage costs, sustainability, etc. Now I see the value of a beautiful print magazine (using sustainably sourced paper, of course!). The photographs, in particular, are so well conveyed in this medium.

A Few of Your Least Favorite Things About Dickinson Magazine

  • When there are no class notes from my year.
  • It has too much propaganda, but I suppose that’s the point.
  • It sounds trivial, but it would be nice if the magazine were of more typical dimensions. I imagine it’s easier to fit the photos and articles I enjoy on such large pages, but the feel and portability of a normal magazine dimension is unmatched.
  • More profiles on alumni in various fields—seems like the magazine focuses on authors, people in politics, government, education, not taking into account a myriad of other fields to highlight. Life is busy and I don’t always have time to read the longer pieces/stories. It would be great to also email links to the online version of the magazine.
  • Tone, patting ourselves on the back all the time rather than writing about issues where the influence of the liberal-arts education is revealed in the thoughtfulness of the subject and subtlety of the writing.
  • My least favorite part is that it makes me miss Dickinson!

Congratulations to the five survey participants who were randomly selected as winners of Dickinson College Bookstore prize packs: Margaret Dean Pontzer ’91, Sarah Dantzer DeHart ’85, John W. Thomas ’66, Alexa C. Bell ’16 and Evan C. Frey ’59.


You can reach the editor and other members of the team directly at for a variety of things:

  • We welcome your story ideas anytime.
  • There are several ways to submit a class note—through your correspondent, via the online form at or directly to us.
  • We would love to print more letters to the editor … you just need to submit them!
  • You are welcome to unsubscribe from the print version (though we and the survey responders agree that it’s the best way to view the magazine!)—every issue is available at and

Read more from the fall 2017 issue of Dickinson Magazine.


Published November 3, 2017