Issue: October 27, 1999 - Vol. 30 No. 3
`On the Green’ marks third decade
By Todd Byrd
|(Left:) The first issue of On the Green, dated September 8, 1971; (right) the first major redesign of the campus newsletter, unveiled on October 1, 1979, which continued until the current format of OTG, which was introduced on September 3, 1997.|
On September 8, 1971, Gallaudet employees received something new in their mailboxes—a sheet of 8-1/2 by 11-inch paper. It was a no-frills little newsletter, a single page with type on both sides, and without photos. But it informed them about important events: new faces on campus, upcoming lectures, captioned movies, and new campus facilities. The name of the newsletter was On the Green.
This month marks the beginning of On the Green's 30th year. (The 'Vol. 30' that appears at the top of OTG’s masthead reflects its 30th year of publication, but those who are mathematically astute will count only 29 years since the newsletter’s inception. This is because for some unknown reason, the seventh year of OTG’s publication lasted only from November 1977 to January 1978; at that time, the masthead was changed to reflect the start of its eighth year.)
Dr. Jack Gannon, who retired in December 1996 after a 28-year career at the University, was responsible for the birth of On the Green. “It was while I was director of Alumni and Public Relations that I started OTG to keep the faculty and staff better informed of developments on campus,” Gannon recalled. He said that by the late 1960s, the campus was the scene of constant change—new people, new programs, new ideas, and he felt that steps needed to be taken to keep the campus informed. It was clear that the campus needed a newsletter. “President [Edward C.] Merrill was very supportive of this new weekly newsletter, and it quickly caught on,” said Gannon.
For almost a decade, OTG was typed on the single sheet of paper and published at the University’s old Print Shop (In those days it was located in the Washburn Arts Building). “It was printed on a green stock-naturally!—and it was one of the earliest campus publications to be printed on recycled paper—something we were very proud of,” said Gannon.
Over the years, OTG underwent two major design changes. The first was on October 1, 1979, when it expanded to 10 X 14 paper, and most editions were four pages. The biggest improvement was that it had photos. This version went basically unchanged until September 3, 1997, when it was again redesigned to its present format.
When On the Green was redesigned in ‘79, the big news in the first issue was that deans had been appointed to three new schools: Dr. Thomas Landers, dean of the School of Education and Human Services; Dr. Jean Shoemaker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. David Tweedie, dean of the School of Communication. There was also a long list of new employees who had been hired. Again, there are a number of people who remain on the payroll today: Marita Danek, Carol Erting Kenneth Epstein, Joseph Innes, Catherine Kalbacher, Barbara Kaufman, Carolyn McCaskill, Margaret Reichard, Shirley Shultz Myers, and Frank Ziezula.
When OTG got its second facelift in 1997, the issue reported on the first Convocation ceremony for new students in the University’s history. The launching of A-RAP (Action*Results*Assessment*Planning), a planning process to take Gallaudet into the next century which is still active today, made headlines in this issue, as did a report from the Office of Sponsored Programs that 27 grant and contract awards totaling more than $2.6 million had been received by the University during the fiscal year. Another article informed the campus of Gallaudet student-athletes’ outstanding performances at the 18th World Games for the Deaf in Copenhagen, Denmark. The issue also saw the beginning of several popular columns, such as that sage of campus wisdom, 'Aunt Sophie,' in which she delved into such burning issues as the identity of the “Psycho-plant,” that has taken over the Ely Atrium (she came up clueless) and what President Jordan’s initial 'I' stands for. And there was the birth of 'Up Close,' which talks about the interesting off-campus lives of Gallaudet employees, and 'Studentsaurus,' which profiles our high-achieving students.
When the second incarnation of On the Green was unveiled to the campus in 1979, Gannon stated in a front page letter to the campus community that “This is YOUR publication. Help us make it the best!” His words hold true to this day. On the Green truly DOES belong to the campus, and with your help, we hope to continue being 'The Best'!