Who Moved My Trees?

Images: Toltemara Getty Images; Little_Airplane Getty Images. Composite: Erin Sonnenschein

The first thing you may have noticed about this issue is that it’s bigger. Exactly 7/8-inch wider and 1/16-inch taller, if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Why? Because over the past year, we’ve been engaged in conversations with you, our alumni, about what you would like Stanford to be. Thought-provoking, you said. Compelling. Imaginative. Easy to navigate. One alum summed it up: “Make it special,” he implored. Giving ourselves a larger canvas enables us to do that.

With this issue, we unveil Stanford’s most sweeping redesign in 20 years. In 1999, we debuted a magazine that featured new paper, a color palette of 47 Farm-fresh shades and a reconceived architecture. One centerpiece: Farm Report, a 16-page section that promised to “keep you up to date on campus news, research and events.”

Over the intervening two decades, as we’ve made refinements to the magazine, Farm Report has shrunk from 16 pages to 14, then to 12. As of today, it is gone. We’ll still tell you about the most important developments on campus—see the President’s Column and this story for updates on the admissions fraud scheme perpetrated at several colleges nationwide—but we’re not going to pretend that you’re first hearing big news from a magazine that comes out five times a year. Plus, we have two better methods to get stories to you quickly: the Loop, our semimonthly email newsletter, and stanfordmag.org, our recently redesigned website. (Not in the Loop? Sign up here. Want a monthly email from the magazine editors with highlights from our website? Subscribe here.)

We’ve learned a lot in our conversations with you. You don’t want our website just to be mobile-friendly; you want it to be mobile-first—so that’s now how our creative team designs our online stories. You want the print magazine to feel uncluttered, and you always want to know where you are. So here’s a field guide to navigating the new Stanford:

We begin with Dialogue, an interactive take on traditional letters to the editor. All Right Now, a selection of short and medium-length stories from throughout the Stanford community, aims to provide—well, all the things you want to know right now. We’ve devoted ample space to each feature story, so you can immerse yourself in the dancer-scholar scene at Stanford, ponder how college campuses should resolve freedom-of-expression conundrums, and meet our Cardinal congressional frosh. You asked for book recommendations in addition to reviews, and you got ’em in Biblio File.

Dive in, and let me know if you think we’ve made it special.

Kathy Zonana, ’93, JD ’96, is the editor of Stanford. Email her at kathyz@stanford.edu.