The Evolution of Northwestern Medicine Magazine



This summer 2017 issue of Northwestern Medicine magazine has a new look, but it represents just the latest chapter in the medical school’s catalogue of magazines, which have been published off and on for 118 years. The first, University Medical School Quarterly Bulletin*, was published from 1899 to 1962 (with a break between 1912 and 1940) as both a scientific journal and a medium for medical school news.

Ward Rounds

A few versions of the magazine later, the first issue of the publication known today as Northwestern Medicine magazine was mailed to readers in the fall of 1984 under the name Ward Rounds. Fittingly, that issue’s first feature story covered anatomy professor Leslie B. Arey, MD, who researched and compiled the school’s history for its centennial in 1959 and updated it in 1979. When the story was published, Arey, who had joined the faculty in 1915, was 93 years old and still teaching.

In 1991, Editor’s Workshop newsletter lauded the magazine, saying it “covers all the traditional alumni activities … but the layouts are so crisp and the writing so professional that it seems more like a professional magazine.”

The black and white magazine became full color in fall 2004 and, in winter 2008-09, began to be simultaneously published online. (There was a short-lived effort to make every other issue online only, starting in fall 2010, but our alumni missed the print issue so much that spring 2012 was the last “online only” issue.)

In spring 2009, a special, extra-long sesquicentennial issue was released. This keepsake magazine featured special historical features from publications pre-dating Ward Rounds and timelines highlighting events, construction and notable people at the medical school.

In winter 2010-11, the magazine underwent a redesign to give it a more modern layout and this history blog began, in conjunction with the Galter Health Sciences Library. Initially, Special Collections librarian, Ron Sims, wrote the blog. Since he retired, it is now frequently a collaboration between the Galter Library and Communications.

Northwestern Medicine Magazine

In winter 2013-14, the magazine underwent its most significant re-branding yet: It was renamed Northwestern Medicine Magazine and became a publication for not just Feinberg and the McGaw Medical Center, but also for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, to form a more aligned presence with one of our main clinical affiliates. The magazine became longer and included additional clinical content, along with alumni news, current research and campus news. The online issue was also updated with a new look and feel to reflect our growing audience and reach. Michele Weber, then editor, won a Silver Quill Award of Merit from the International Association of Business Communicators Pacific Plains for the print redesign.

Now, for our summer 2017 issue, we re-introduce you to the magazine with a fresh concept and contemporary design under the guidance of editor, Nora Dunne, and in conjunction with our new graphic arts partner, Taylor Design. We also plan on continuing to upgrade our web presence spearheaded by the efforts of Ian Martinez, so we can share more content than is permitted by space constraints in the print edition.

Please enjoy our new look and share your comments with us below, or email us at!

*View old issues of the Northwestern University Medical School Quarterly online here, or by contacting Special Collections at the Galter Health Sciences Library at