Yearbook missed by students, faculty

Jenny Rohl/The News Kyna Finley, freshman from Clover Port, Ky., looks through old editions of The Shield.
Jenny Rohl/The News Kyna Finley, freshman from Clover Port, Ky., looks through old editions of The Shield.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Kyna Finley, freshman from Clover Port, Ky., looks through old editions of The Shield.

It embodied the photographs, stories and memories of the lives at Murray State each year.

The Shield was the University’s yearbook from 1925-2008, until the publication stopped due to financial reasons.

The yearbook included articles and photos of students, faculty and staff, campus events, athletics, student organizations and academics.

Elaine Dillard, Murray State alumna, worked at The Shield as a student from 2005-07. She said it was a fun experience and allowed her and fellow students to capture memories.

“We were really thoughtful about what memories were worth preserving for many years,” Dillard said.

Interim President Tim Miller said he is not sure if students are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of not having a yearbook since it has not been around during their time at Murray State.

Paige Werner, senior from Louisville, Ky., said a yearbook is something she wished the University still had.

“My mom attended school at Murray State when there was a yearbook and I think it was a great way to preserve memories and remember classmates,” Werner said.

She said she feels that social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram have replaced the purpose a yearbook served.

Miller said he enjoyed The Shield because it could be used to look back at graduates to see what they were involved in.

Dillard said she is sad to see The Shield is no longer in existence, but is not surprised due to the lack of popularity the publication had during her time at Murray State.

According to Dillard, there was trouble getting students to show up to get portraits made and difficulty getting students to order the yearbooks.

Bob Lochte, professor and chair of the department of journalism and mass communications, said during The Shield’s last year of publication, only about 500 out of approximately 10,000 students purchased a copy.

“I think (a yearbook) is one of those things that does not seem important to students at the time, but then you look back later and wish you had those memories,” Dillard said.

Ann Landini, former professor in the department of journalism and mass communications and adviser for The Shield, said that without the publication, the ability to capture the history for each year is lost.

“Short term, students may not realize that they do not have a yearbook, but when they get older it will be harder to look back and have a frame of reference and see what campus was like,” Landini said.

A year before the publication ended, The Shield was one of 15 finalists in the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Competition, which recognizes quality journalism.

There is a complete collection of yearbooks located in Pogue Library. Included in the collection are yearbooks from when the University was Murray State Normal School, Murray State Teachers College and Murray State College, according to Pogue Library’s website.

Said Werner: “A yearbook is something that helps you to look back and remember and is something I wish the University still had.”


Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff writer