Signatures is the most recent incarnation of Anderson University’s alumni magazine. It began in the spring of 1987, just before the school’s name officially changed from Anderson College to Anderson University. Like its immediate predecessor, Anderson College News, it is directed primarily to alumni, but with stories of interest to current and prospective students as well. Issues of Signatures are longer than Anderson College News, running close to 35 pages, and the magazine is published quarterly rather than monthly or bimonthly.
There have been several editors of Signatures, beginning with Tom Bruce from 1987 to 1995. Jack Williams edited the magazine for four years, until Jenin H. Nuwer took over the position in Spring 1999. A year later, Deborah Lilly became the editor in chief from 2000 to 2017. As of Winter 2017, Rebecca Fuller Beeler is the editor of Signatures, a reflection of the university-wide consolidation of communications.
The magazine contains similar information to all the previous alumni publications, including reports of alumni marriages, births, deaths, and new jobs, announcements of chapel and commencement speakers, and news about fundraising campaigns. Special issues of Signatures also include donor lists and the President’s Report. Additionally, the magazine introduced new regular columns, such as faculty profiles, an academic calendar, and profiles of campus groups like Student Peace Initiative (SPI), the Debate Team, and Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE). Regular Q&A articles with faculty were introduced in 2011.
Signatures covers the entirety of Anderson University’s history under its current name. The physical campus changed with a new campus development master plan and the expansions of the library, Hartung’s nursing wing, and Decker Hall. New buildings included the Kardatzke Wellness Center, Flagship Enterprise Center, Fair Commons and York Seminary Village apartments, and York Performance Hall. On the academic side, Anderson University added the School of Business and started an MBA program soon after. Anderson University Press and the Orangehaus Records recording label were initiated. Signatures also covered the transition to the digital age with the addition of computer labs and online classes.
Several milestones have been observed during the magazine’s thirty-year history. The TRI-S program, which receives extensive coverage in Signatures, reached its fortieth anniversary. The School of Theology celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Both the seventy-fifth and centennial anniversaries of the university were observed, inspiring articles by Dr. Strege on the school’s history. Signatures also reports on the transitions between President Nicholson and President Edwards in 1990 and President Edwards and President Pistole in 2014.
Notable issues of Signatures, include the President’s Message in Winter 2000 and the Robert Reardon memorial issue in Spring 2007. The issue of Summer 1999 includes a redesigned cover, and an entirely online edition was first published in Winter 2012. The magazine has since returned to its paper format.