By Shelby Leonard
The best of show yearbook goes to the Baylor University Round Up.
The Round Up’s 2012-2013 edition “No Small Feat” won the 2013 Associated Collegiate Press Best of Show contest for yearbooks with more than 300 pages.
The contest was an on-site national competition which took place during the 92nd annual Associated Collegiate Press/ College Media Association National College Media Convention from Oct. 23-27, in New Orleans.
“This particular award was a singular rating for this book,” said Paul Carr, director of Baylor Student Publications. “It was ranked number one in the country. That is a national championship by anybody’s standards.”
Jim Anderson, senior sales rep at Balfour (formerly Taylor) Publishing Company, has been working with the Round Up since 1974. He said the extraordinary transformation of the Round Up came through the hard work and the unique qualities of the Baylor yearbook atmosphere.
“Some people think a yearbook just happens, but that’s not how it works,” Anderson said. “There is a value to yearbooks that is hard to understand.”
Anderson said the Round Up program was built for success through retained memory and a system designed to train students to be skilled and committed.
“The Round up has been a stellar publication for years,” Carr said. “The Round Up been ranked in the top 2% publication in the world of yearbooks the last several years by the Balfour Company. In just the past year, the Baylor yearbook and its student staff earned 37 awards, including including 10 “Top 5″ honors from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the national championship from the Associated College Press, along with 26 state awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association including first for Overall Excellence, Designer of the Year for Round Up Editor Derek Byrne, and Sweepstakes.”
Julie Freeman, assistant media adviser, said most college yearbooks are dwindling in readership, and some are shutting down altogether. However, both Freeman and Anderson said the Baylor Round Up is going against that trend.
“Many college yearbooks are dying,” Anderson said. “Round Up has real content and value that the student body recognizes. Not only did they win a national championship, they got students to read. That’s the ultimate judge.”
Anderson said an important thing to remember in the yearbook industry is that there are two readers, the you today and the you 25 years from now. He said students read the Round Up because it is a well edited, professionally produced and a quality product that will last for years.
“Years from now when students pull out their yearbook from 2013, they will be able to say ‘this won a national championship,’” Carr said.