Because so few of college newspapers publish on weekends, many of them ran their big 9/11 retrospectives today.

Inspired by the two or three who sent theirs to me this morning, I put out the word via Twitter to send me more. As a result, I have 13 to show you.

In alphabetical order of the institution…


University of Arizona, Tucson

Enrollment: 38,767

Colin Darland — design editor of the Daily Wildcat — designed an awesomely simple front page today for the paper’s four-page 9/11 wrap.

Very powerful.

Pages two and three feature a two-part timeline and a graphic showing some of the new buildings being built at the old World Trade Center site.


That graphic is by artist Brendan Rice.

Here’s the back page of the wrap.

It’s a wonderfully done section. Kudos to Colin.


Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Enrollment: 15,000

News editor Ashley Ohriner led page one today with one of the more striking photos from ten years ago: This shot by Marty Lederhandler of the Associated Press.

I like the choice of picture and I like the placement of text. I especially like the way the Empire State Building pokes up into the nameplate.

However, I think this page might have been stronger if the photo had not been cut out.


See what I mean? Not only does the page look stronger, but also we avoid a lot of time consuming clipping paths. Tracing things like smoke and buildings in the distant haze with the pen tool is kind of tough anyway. Why cut out something you don’t have to?

The editorial page looks terrific…

…and inside pages four and five are solid.


Very nice job on the two color inside pages, six and seven. The timeline is a nice, quick read and the photos seem well-displayed.


Seven total pages of 9/11 coverage wind up here with page seven.

I especially like the listing of local events on the right and the very recent picture of the Flight 93 memorial at the bottom left. Having visited there a month ago, I wondered how construction was coming along.


University of Iowa, Iowa City

Enrollment: 30,328

Editor-in-chief Adam Sullivan writes:

I was the head designer but I got a bunch of help from managing editor Sam Lane and design editor Alicia Kramme. And the quotes collected by reporter Janet Lawler (page 3A) inspired the design.

The design was one of the more interesting pages I’ve seen today. Each little square represents a member of the military killed in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Adam continues:

We knew we wanted the front to be about the wars. We thought about running a profile shot of a student-vet on the front, but we thought highlighting just one soldier seemed odd. I was just messing around with what 6,220 dots would look like and it just happened to be startlingly close to the dimensions of a flag. We ended up running the profile shot on 3A which worked out because I think that photo  is most effective in black and white anyway.

Page three is on the right, below.


And the top half of page five features memories of Iowa graduates who covered 9/11.

Adam continues:

Feedback has been great so far. Our circulation dips on Fridays because students are tuned out this late in the week, but the newstands around campus look like they’ve been well-visited today. This comment from someone at the local VA really meant a lot:

Sometimes you guys drive me crazy with the typos. Sometimes you drive me crazy with the immature thought. Sometimes you drive me crazy with the ridiculously small font in the crossword.

But today you hit it out of the park. Kudos. Seriously, go buy yourself treats today. You earned it. Thank you very much.

I’d say that vet got it right. Out of the park.


Iowa State University, Ames

Enrollment: 29,887

Like its Big 12 sister school, Iowa State chose to run a file photo from, I believe, Jim Collins of the Associated Press. It’s a powerful shot of just when the south tower of the World Trade Center started to collapse.

That’s the front of an eight-page special section that inserted today.

Along the bottom of the front — and all the inside pages — we see mug shots and brief memories of Iowa State students. This is a great way to get faces of your classmates into the paper.

Pages two and three are just stuffed with news.


The doubletruck on four and five contain a number of interesting graphics and a hell of a vintage file photo.

Here are pages six and seven…


The back page is completely filled with student memories.

This section was designed, I’m told by Moriah Smith. Every page of it is wonderful work.


Indiana University, Bloomington

Enrollment: 42,464

Page one of today’s student paper at Indiana was nice and clean and powerful. As you’d expect from that paper.

That was designed by Jessica Contrera. In addition, the IDS included a special section on 9/11. The front of that section was designed by Jayne Flax.

That story by Charles Scudder about the local stonecutters who helped rebuild the Pentagon is quite interesting. Read it here.

A brilliant job.


Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Enrollment: 28,871

The Daily Reveille of LSU went with a stark, poster-style, U.S. flag-themed illustration today on page one.

The artwork was by Lacye Beauregard. Kirsten Romaguera designed the page.

The double-page inside spread was designed by Chelsea Brasted and Matthew Jacobs.

I especially like the timeline running across the top of the page.

There’s not much I’d suggest changing about the cover. But here are a couple of suggestions for the inside pages.

First, I’d recommend we move that pull-quote. We have eight uninterrupted sticks of copy. We could place that quote in any of them. Yet, we’re notching into columns two and three and we’re placing the quote so far down in the package that it almost seems to be migrating to the sidebar.

Let’s stretch it over two columns and place it atop columns four and five. That would make it a lot flatter.

Secondly, the type in that box at the bottom right is awfully large. It should be a danger sign when your pullout box headline is larger than the sidebar headline. Simply knock the size down a bit and use a little more white space around it.

I hope you’ll agree those are relatively minor quibbles. These are fabulous pages.


Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Enrollment: 20,126

The paper at Miami of Ohio chose to turn Thomas Franklin‘s iconic photo of firemen raising a flag at Ground Zero into an illustration for page one today.

The artwork is by Erin Killinger and the page was designed by Colleen Yates.

Usually, I’d prefer to see the actual photo used, rather than a relatively straightforward re-rendering of a photo. Especially one we know so well. However, I applaud the attempt to put a local stamp on the story.

If you’re going to try something like this, then go for maximum impact. Rather than place the picture on the right side of the page, play it in the center and then wrap the story around the artwork. In this case, I’m thinking run the story five-on-six and then running the art across the middle three columns. Since this is a drawing and not a photo, Erin could even have the makeshift flag pole poke out of the box and then into the headline, perhaps.

I dislike the treatment with the flag. “Ghosting” photos behind stories usually just adds clutter to a page and makes it harder to read the story.

Now. Having said that, let me reverse course here and completely rave over these two inside pages.


That’s a terrific example of ghosting done right. Very powerful. Very effective. Wonderfully done.

This page rounds out four pages of 9/11 coverage today.


Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.

Enrollment: 47,131

Michigan State, too, chose to illustrate its front page today. This was drawn and designed by Meagan Choi, I’m told.

I might quibble a bit with the way Meagan chose to render the buildings here. See how powerful that ten-years-ago-and-now young man is? The twin towers might be just as powerful if we had left out the windows and the marble texture. Especially since neither is particularly accurate to the actual World Trade Center.

Something that might have worked: Rendering the towers as sets of vertical black-and-white rules. That would have suggested the distinctive external support columns the towers had, plus it might have tied in better with the people silhouettes.

Like so:


See? The simpler drawing adds power to the presentation.


University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Enrollment: 24,593

The Nebraska student paper built page one today around before-and-after pictures of the New York skyline. The page was designed by Blair Englund.

The whole then-and-now approach is quite interesting — especially the blue pullout box (although I suspect the tuition number is per credit hour or something, right?).

However, you’ve now seen some of these other pages that have great impact. While this one has its merits, it just doesn’t have the impact of those others. That’s what a huge, dominant element will do for you.

Here are the inside pages. placing the grey tint boxes at the upper corners was a smart move.



University of Nevada, Reno

Enrollment: 17,679

I showed you this one the other day, but today’s collection of college pages would seem incomplete without it.

Designer Riley Snyder told us:

A1 design was done by our new design editor, Tara Vederosa, and myself. I came up with the idea of draping the [on-campus] statue of John Mackay with an American flag, and our photo editor, Garrett Valenzuela, got the shot.

Nice work by the folks in Reno.


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Enrollment: 29,390

Visual managing editor Kelly McHugh and senior designer Lauren McCay built the wonderful front page of today’s Daily Tar Heel:

It’s a wonderful idea and it’s wonderfully executed. The monochrome front gives this page a lot of power.

Lauren tells us:

One of our goals for the year was to incorporate more illustrations into front-page designs, so when planning for our September 11 issue, it seemed like an opportune moment to try one out. We wanted to put something together that was contemplative and simple, and something that didn’t rely on file photos as the dominant art.

I’m not quite sure where the idea for the grey towers against a black cityscape came from, it just popped into my head and ended up being the vision we went for. I suppose it was inspired by how quickly things can change, and by how much can happen in ten years. Most of us working on the project were in fifth or sixth grade on September 11, 2001, so we weren’t quite old enough to understand the enormity of what happened but we soon learned that it was to define the era in which we lived. We thought this idea might be poignant enough to reflect that.

We went through a variety of versions playing with the headline in reverse, pull quote and a background gradient, but opted for what seemed the simplest structure in the end. Though we had the space of a double-truck inside, the text just worked beginning in the towers and saved us white space on the page.

Kelly McHugh, our visual managing editor, altered the masthead to give the page more breathing room and worked the charcoal-feel into the illustration.

There’s just one little thing that bothers me. It’s so minor that I hate to even bring it up. But here’s what I would have suggested, on the right:


You see, the white space is what makes this work. So why interrupt that white space with the cityscape background? Moving the cityscape closer to the headline, a) accentuates that powerful white space, and b) makes the towers seem even taller.

Don’t make this sound like a major complaint, though. I love this front page. I love it so much that my inclination is to hold it to a higher standard than some of the others. Hence, my armchair art direction.

Today’s edition also included a wonderful color inside spread. The “By the numbers” section at bottom left by Lauren McCay is a great example of how you don’t always need icons or photos or drawings to make a graphic work.  You can tell a graphic story with just type — if you know how to use it well.


I adore the World Trade Center graphic at right by Meg Wrather. This is despite a rather unfortunate typo below the rendering of the tower. (“Below” instead of “Above is an illustration of…”)

Superlative work by the folks in Chapel Hill.


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Enrollment: 21,203

Now, compare that brilliant UNC front page to this equally brilliant cover to a wrap published today by the student paper at the University of Pennsylvania.

You’re looking at quotes by students — dozens of them. Daily Pennsylvanian managing editor Unnati Dass explains:

A decade after the attacks, our generation is probably the last one that clearly remembers the horror of that morning. To capture the significance of this, we wanted to share as many personal stories as possible from students and alumni. At the same time, we were looking to design a cover that was impactful in its simplicity, in the contrast between the heartbreaking stories and stark black and white. Nothing too obvious, but still something that, at a glance, signified the importance of the issue.

With that in mind, we decided to combine the personal accounts we gathered with minimal imagery of the towers. Our entire staff was in awe of the result — the gut-wrenching stories of dozens of students shaping the fallen towers.

Sports editor Calder Silcox came up with the original idea, Unnati says. Unnati designed the cover with design editor Leslie Krivo-Kaufman.

The rest of the four-page wrap was designed by Todd Duboff.

Here are pages two and three…

…and the back of the wrap.

And yes: I got absorbed in the stories. So be warned before you pull larger copies of them.

Brilliant work. Just brilliant.


Texas Tech University, Lubbock

Enrollment: 31,637

And finally today, consider this interesting photoillustration on the cover of today’s Texas Tech daily paper.

The page was designed by editor-in-chief Kevin Cullen, who also put together the two inside 9/11 pages today.


I like the cover quite a bit, but I think the inside pages could use a bit of work. That headline at upper left gets lost atop that photo, I think. And I don’t see any reason at all for the twin towers picture at upper right to be faded. Never use photoshop when you don’t have to.

Previous 9/11 anniversary posts here in the blog…

Sunday: Please send me your 9/11 presentations.

Tuesday: First three days of the Boston Globe‘s remarkable anniversary series.

Tuesday: The best of the rest of the 9/11 anniversary pages, so far.

Tuesday: How we got all those incredible photos on 9/11.

Wednesday: The day’s notable anniversary pages.