The Stevens Indicator: Keeping Alumni Informed and Engaged, Since 1884
It began publishing in 1884 as a 12-page student newsletter, named the “Indicator” to honor the instrument that reveals what’s going on inside a steam engine. The Stevens Indicator promised to report on what was happening inside Stevens Institute of Technology.
More than 136 years later, it still does. Now the university's alumni magazine, The Indicator has kept to its original mission while also reaching beyond to tell stories about the impact Stevens and its graduates have made in their communities and worldwide. In the process, it has helped foster and sustain alumni engagement with Stevens.
The inaugural 1884 issue contained sports news (Stevens football versus Michigan!), some jokes and even poems (“Skating with the Girls”).
When the magazine became an alumni publication, it transformed for a time into more of a technical journal. Some article titles from those years give a taste: “The Julien Electric Streetcar” and “Note on the Use of Ropes for Prony Brakes.”
The magazine published up to ten times a year at one point. Around 1922, it began to resemble the magazine it is today, with more Stevens and alumni coverage and, of course, class logs.
The Indicator has covered seven Stevens presidents, two World Wars, new campus construction, 9/11, historic firsts, and many class notes and logs. The Fall 1971 issue, “New Look for the Old Stone Mill,” for instance, introduced readers to the first class of undergraduate women, who entered that fall.
In recent years the magazine has changed in look, moved to three issues a year and expanded its coverage. But its central role in informing and engaging its readers with stories of their alma mater and fellow alumni has never wavered.