“Shift Your Weight.”

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Thoughtful surprises, compelling stories—and a new beginning.

This letter will be my last as editor of the Davidson Journal. More on that later, but first, lean in. I’m going to reveal some secrets about how we make
this magazine happen. Here goes.

You can plan a magazine as you might plan a special meal for your family. Think carefully about your guests—what do they like to see on their plates? Is there a family recipe, a traditional dish they will expect? Choose what they enjoy, sure, but offer what they need as well. The menu should be  both nourishing and tasty—give them something to chew on that will stick to their ribs. Surprise them if you can; make them laugh, make them wonder. Make them think. And save room for a sweet.

As you set the table, choose familiar pieces, reminders of times you’ve shared in the past. Help them remember, smile, and nod in recognition. Pass around family pictures, rehearse the tales they tell. Keep tissues handy.

It’s an irresistible metaphor, and apt. Our team thinks very much like this as we plan an issue of the Davidson Journal. We want to give you content that is balanced, engaging, informative, and provocative. We want to satisfy your appetite for college news, and we want you to feel at home.

There’s a world of stories to choose from—literally. Features, the main course, are in the works for months, sometimes years. Flexibility is key—things don’t always go as planned. Balance is critical, not just within one magazine, but across time. Images tell rich stories of today and yesterday, show Davidson on campus and around the world. Side dishes spring from myriad delicacies at hand—new presidents, honorary degrees, and victories, like our Southern Conference golf champ; and things of mysterious beauty, like a collaboration of word and image between two artists.

Even as alumni food connections grew, this feature stayed on a back burner until the Davidson conversation became as rich and saucy as the liberal arts themselves, ranging from the chemistry of taste and color in food to the economic sustainability of the farming industry. World hunger, labor laws, animal rights, religion and culture, food and literature, and environmentalism are infused in the teaching and learning at this college. Outside the classroom, Davidson students, staff, faculty, and alumni are food activists who care about what they eat, how it was produced and transported—how it’s prepared and how it tastes. They are strengthening the connections among food and community, food and leadership, food and service. The dish was ready to serve.

Now, back to me. After 25 years at the college and 13 with the Davidson Journal team, I am retiring to embrace a new opportunity. Not because I’m full of Davidson—I will never get enough of this place, its people, and its honorable, beautifully executed mission. I am profoundly grateful to belong to this family—and will look for you on Alenda Links.

Words of thanks are in order—to the college that believes in the value of a good magazine for its family, to the gifted team I’ve been part of, and to you—for your stories, your support, and your attention. Reaching you through these pages has been my greatest pleasure.

I came across a quote recently, a line from The Real Thing by playwright Tom Stoppard: “Happiness is equilibrium… shift your weight.” That’s what I’m doing, shifting my weight, proud to take a place with you at the Davidson Journal table and wait patiently by the mailbox for my next taste of Davidson.

Meg Kimmel is now assistant vice president of communications and media relations at Bates College in Maine.

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