We’ve Got It Covered
July 22, 2011
Picking the cover is one of the most important decisions we make. It can also be the most difficult.
With this issue, we had so many stories we were eager to share with our readers. We have a package of baseball-related stories, including a profile of former O’s and Mets GM Frank Cashen, ‘45. We have an interview with Jerry Parr, M.S. ‘87, the former Secret Service agent credited with saving President Ronald Reagan’s life the day he was shot.
Still, as this issue came together, our cover theme steadily rose to the top. Last fall I had received a note from Patty Sacco, a proud mother who wanted to let me know of a recent accomplishment by the Loyola’s Greyhound Battalion. She encouraged me to take a closer look at ROTC at Loyola.
As I started asking questions around campus, I learned that Patty’s daughter, Christel, ‘11, was not just an outstanding student and ROTC cadet at Loyola. She was considered to be one of the top cadets in the country.
Christel obviously warranted a story herself, and I arranged to meet with her for an interview. As we were talking, and she mentioned how much Sept. 11 had spurred her on to consider ROTC, we started considering the story differently. With the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 approaching, the timing seemed ideal to talk not just about Christel, but also about ROTC.
The question, then, was how to portray ROTC and Sept. 11 on the cover.
I’m fortunate to work with a talented art director, Malia Leary, who always seems to choose the right photographer for each shoot–and gives just enough direction that the photographer also has some freedom. She asked John Coyle, ‘88, of Coyle Studios, to take some portrait shots of Christel by the Sept. 11 memorial on the Evergreen campus. John spent three hours photographing Christel, who was especially good-natured about the shoot considering she was preparing not only for finals, Commencement, and the ROTC commissioning ceremony, but also for her wedding in July.
Malia and I had originally thought we might want a dramatic, nighttime shot of the Sept. 11 memorial for the cover. Then John sent us the photos and we saw the shot of Christel gazing across campus. We liked the simplicity and strength of the photo. We also liked that–although Christel’s last name was on the back of her hat–it was somewhat anonymous, and that she was representing soldiers beyond herself.
What do you think? Would you have picked a different story? A different concept? What would you want to see on the cover of Loyola magazine?