In its 87th year, the Vintage stands as a continual record of what takes place at BJU every academic year.
The Vintage has been under the guidance of Carol Keirstead, BJU’s Chief Communications Officer, for 15 years. She directs the entire Vintage staff and the six advisory faculty and staff members involved in the process. Work for the following academic year’s Vintage usually begins in April or May when the theme selected by the year’s editor is discussed and decided. When the theme is presented by the student staff and approved by Keirstead and BJU President Dr. Steve Pettit, the official work begins. Over the summer, faculty design advisor Dr. Jared Stanley works with student designers to develop a quality design concept that will illustrate the theme. This design concept will be portrayed throughout the book.
Over the following fall and spring semesters, the production unfolds until the revealing of the book, the theme and the dedicatee of the Vintage on Tuesday of commencement week. Vintage editors first divide the book into approximately 12 signatures comprised of 16 pages. Designers then work on the portrait pages and add content for the remainder of the book.
The Vintage is sent to Chicago for pre-press work after student and faculty advisors have completed the signatures. Bob Muccianti aligns portraits and makes any other changes necessary prior to printing. “A big part of his job is resizing and aligning [headings], maintaining a consistent black background in all photos and color balancing portraits on each spread,” Stanley said. The Vintage is printed in February or March at BJU Press. When first started, the Vintage was printed off campus but has now been printed by BJU Press for the past 12 years.
Keirstead pointed out the most important aspect of the Vintage is its compilation of BJU’s history. She also said the Vintage, which literally means “fruit of a year,” was named by Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., to serve as a reflection on everything that happens at BJU over the course of a year. The Vintage started in 1935 and over time has evolved into the publication it is today. In its beginning, the Vintage was more formal, but over the years the style has taken on a less formal feel. Keirstead said students have gradually done more and more of the work involved with the Vintage and can be credited as producers of the book. “They really do a good job,” she said.
This year’s student editor, senior graphic design major Kelly Vervaet, primarily serves as the liaison between faculty advisors and students. She carries several responsibilities including her creation of the theme and ensuring staff members meet deadlines. Vervaet has appreciated the opportunity to be on staff as editor. “It has really been an amazing experience being part of something like this,” she said. “I am going through the job interview process right now, so being able to refer back to the experiences I have had with [the Vintage] . . . has been really helpful.”
Stanley enjoys working with the students on staff during the production process. “I get to know the graphic design team particularly well . . . and help them outside of the classroom setting to continue to develop and grow,” he said. Stanley also plays a vital role in working with the printing division, particularly Don Barrett and Bill Robson, to ensure that the Vintage is printed per his specifications.
The 2021 Vintage will be showcased on Tuesday, May 4 during chapel. Student editor Vervaet will honor this year’s dedicatee and explain the significance behind the theme. Vintage dedicatees are selected based on several criteria such as length of service and overall contributions to the University and its students over time. The dedicatee is kept intentionally confidential until the dedicatee is told the day before the Vintage‘s reveal.
Students may pick up their 2021 Vintage in the Rodeheaver Auditorium lobby on May 4 from 11:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. or May 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For students enrolled both semesters of this academic year, the cost of the Vintage is included in their program fee. Students enrolled only one semester will pay $25 to secure their copy. An online version of the Vintage may be accessed at bjuvintage.com.
Students interested in joining the staff next year should reach out to Kelly Vervaet if interested in web, photography, graphic design or copywriting positions.