Corks & Curls remembers the year

The making of the U.Va. yearbook

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After a seven-year hiatus, Corks & Curls returned last year to memorialize students' University experiences. 

Marshall Bronfin | Cavalier Daily

Corks & Curls, the University yearbook, was founded in 1888 and consisted of a staff composed of one brother from each fraternity. After a seven-year hiatus in publication between 2008 and 2015, Corks & Curls released the 2014-15 edition, heralding its revival.

The University yearbook is a feature-driven publication that strives to memorialize the student and University connection in any given year.

Managing Editor Sarah Alexander, a second-year College student, said in order to keep the yearbook focus on student life at the University, the Corks & Curls staff brainstorms different story ideas and pays close attention to University conversations.

“When you’re reading the yearbook, we want to make you feel like you’re reliving the year,” Alexander said. “So you can look at this book almost like a coffee table book, so you can look back on the year and really reflect on what went on, what made this year special and what kind of events people went to that made this year great.”

Corks & Curls works to cover all events around Grounds. Though many are the same year to year — due in part to the many traditions at the University — staff members will specifically look for events that make 2016-17 unique from the other years, Alexander said.

Notably, Alexander said this year’s edition will include a spread on the controversial presidential election and its impact on student life. Corks & Curls staff are approaching the election from various angles, including stories on the Eliminate the Hate Campaign and student voter turnout statistics.

Photography is another important component for the yearbook’s documentation of student activities at the University. Sarah Thomas, a second-year College student and photo co-editor, said Corks & Curls afforded her the opportunity to continue to be involved with photography while at the University.

“I really enjoyed the fact that I got to see all these different parts of the University that I never would have been able to see,” Thomas said. “When you’re a photographer I think that you really get to see all the different aspects [of the University] and a lot of the behind the scenes that goes into the creation of the big events. It takes you random places, but in the best way.”

One of the main featured spreads of Corks & Curls this year will be the reopening of the Rotunda — an especially unique part of student life this year, Alexander said.

Before September, many current University students had yet to sit on the steps of the Rotunda or see it without other remnants of its reconstruction — like the black coverings that had been draped over the Rotunda’s columns.

Other spreads in the yearbook will focus on the Muslim Student Association, Double Hoos — students who attended the University in both undergraduate and graduate programs, Monticello, Special Collections Library, University athletics and other events.

Just as Corks & Curls aims to highlight what is unique about University student life for the 2016-17 year, the yearbook itself is a unique publication. In addition to the stories and photographs, Thomas said in past years Corks & Curls has included poetry and drawings.

“We have some poetry that we’re trying to incorporate in the book,” Thomas said. “We try to make it somewhat creative … You have to be careful because it’s not a newspaper article, it’s about the interesting parts of U.Va. life and you want to focus on that connection between the students and the University.”

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