Bonhomie Archives Furman Memories

The end of the school year encourages reflection on the memories made over the past two semesters. Furman’s Bonhomie yearbook seeks to capture these memories through pictures, profiles, and stories.
Photo courtesy of Jordan Tapp
Photo courtesy of Jordan Tapp

By Laura Hayes

The end of the school year encourages reflection on the memories made over the past two semesters. Memories for the 2013-14 school year might include events like homecoming, the Brett Eldredge concert, sporting events, an Evening with BJ Novak, the Pauper Player’s performance of Les Misérables, or a diverse number of CLPs. Furman’s Bonhomie yearbook seeks to capture these memories through pictures, profiles, and stories.

Since 1901, the Bonhomie has documented Furman’s many events and changes, everything from the first O-week in 1926 to the move to the current campus in 1961. Around 1,900 copies of the latest edition are printed every year and distributed free of charge to students and community members.

This year’s theme revolves around the idea “once a Paladin, always a Paladin.” Bonhomie editor Jordan Tapp said it reflects on “how we integrate ourselves into the community during and after our time at Furman and how we apply our liberal arts education to the real world.” This theme was decided before the production of the yearbook even began so that the staff could keep these fundamental ideas in mind throughout the year.

“We usually start the planning process over the summer,” Tapp said. “There is a workshop that I attend to determine all the details of the book such as the theme, the cover, the resources, everything.”

In the fall, the staff recruits additional interested members while continuing to work on the book. Over the course of the year, the dedicated team works to meet four main deadlines throughout the year. Each staff member is required to do a minimum of five hours of work on the book every two weeks. In the weeks leading up to the deadlines the workload is usually more.

“For each deadline we turn in 44 pages of the book to our publisher,” Tapp said, noting that the whole yearbook is usually done by early April and available for distribution. The deadlines give the staff time to plan for the next year’s edition before the school year is through.

“Luckily this time around we had more staff helping with the production,” said Tapp. “Last school year, the previous editor dropped out of the production and it was basically just me putting together the yearbook. It was a stressful year.”

This time, the Bonhomie had about six dedicated staff members working on all aspects of the yearbook, including designing pages, taking pictures, interviewing, and creating athlete profiles, and more.

“Ideally I would like to have 15 to 20 staff members in the club,” Tapp said.

She expects that this number will gradually increase as the club gets more recognition on campus.

“The club has gained attention this year through social media,” Tapp said, referring to the Facebook group “Furman Bonhomie.”

“The staff and I recently used the page to help identify people in the pictures we had taken throughout the year. I could post a picture with someone that needed to be identified and within two to three minutes I would have a name. ”

By becoming members of the group, students could help identify fellow students in addition to professors and become more aware of the presence of Bonhomie and the work that goes into its production.

Be on the look-out for this year’s edition of the Bonhomie to be distributed within the next few weeks. In the meantime, copies of previous Bonhomie editions are available for viewing in the library’s Special Collections and Archives as well as in the Student Media Suite in the Trone Center.

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