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On behalf of the many people whose talents and hard work are reflected in the pages that follow, I am happy to present to you the first issue of Transformations: A Journal of People and Change. Though it has a new name (more on that later), this new quarterly periodical continues the 106-year heritage of the WPI Journal, the university's first alumni magazine. The Journal, augmented for the past 15 years by the news tabloid The Wire, has played a critical role in strengthening the ties that connect this university with its many alumni and friends. Transformations will assume that role.

Like the Journal and Wire, Transformations will serve as both the official chronicle and the family album for the WPI community, keeping readers up to date on the latest developments on campus and giving alumni a forum for sharing their own news, views and milestones. It will also be a regular showcase for WPI, helping those within and beyond the WPI family appreciate what makes this institution and its people distinctive and noteworthy.

This new publication is the product of more than a year of research, planning and creative effort. Given the many important jobs that WPI's alumni publications are asked to do, the university decided to take the time to critically evaluate those publications to see how well they were meeting the needs and addressing the interests of today's readers. We also took the time to review the kinds of publications our readers turn to for information, and to see what we could learn from some of the best examples of university and consumer magazine publishing.

From that review came the resolve to create a new publication, one that retained the qualities that endeared the Journal and the Wire to readers, but augmented them with new features and a new, more contemporary and reader-friendly design. In short, we set out to create a magazine at the cutting edge of publishing, just as WPI and its people have always been at the cutting edge of science and technology. We've given this new publication a multipart mission. First, we want to make sure that as you peruse each issue, you discover what a remarkable place WPI is. We want you to be proud of your alma mater--proud enough to tell your friends, neighbors and colleagues all about us.

Second, we want you to feel that each issue of Transformations is just the beginning of a conversation. We hope that what you read and see in these pages issue prompts you to talk back--to tell us what you think about the information we've sent you, about what you'd like to receive more--or less--of, about what's on your mind, and about what's happening in your life. Write us, e-mail us or visit us on the Web, where you can chat with our staff and your fellow readers in the brand new Alumni Café.

Third, we want this publication to reflect what is truly unique about WPI. We call this new magazine Transformations because we believe that word captures better that any other what distinguishes this university from all others. In fact, the idea of transformation is at the core of WPI's mission.

Through its innovative approach to teaching and learning, WPI transforms young men and women into productive, socially aware professionals exquisitely well prepared to apply their knowledge and skills to make a difference even before they graduate. Through their scholarship and research, WPI faculty members are transforming our planet and our understanding of it. And through their achievements, and with their imagination, their creativity, their knowledge and their irrepressible desire to make things better, WPI alumni are helping transform the world around them in positive ways.

In the pages of this new magazine, we will tell the stories of those transformations and the people behind them. And, we will paint a colorful, dynamic and informative portrait of the innovative university where those stories begin.

With that, I wish you happy reading.

Michael W. Dorsey
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Last modified: Jul 10, 2002, 16:50 EDT
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