The Making of The Glomerata


Go behind the scenes of the 122nd edition of The Glomerata


In just a few days, The Glomerata will release its 122nd edition. This book features over 7,000 students and countless Auburn memories from the past year. While distribution is only a few days, over a year went into making this edition. Editor-in-Chief Jacob Sparks, junior, and Managing Editor Madison Strawn, junior, began working on the theme and design elements in March of 2018. At the end of the academic year, they hired an Editorial and General Staff of over 40 members who all contributed to various aspects of the book, from Emily Perino’s handwritten calligraphy headlines to Campus Life Editor Jessica Dean’s stories that represent the 2018 - 2019 year. An homage to the song “Glory to Ole Auburn,” the 122nd edition strives to capture the voice and experience of the Auburn student, whether they are involved in campus organizations, show their spirit at athletic events or have made the Plains their home away from home. In celebrating the achievements and talents of Auburn students, this year’s cover was designed by Brett Young, a fall 2018 graduate.

The cover is something that Editor-in-Chief Jacob Sparks has been conceptualizing long before he was first appointed editor. Brett Young “really saw my concept and ran with it, and now a student painting will be archived and remembered for the next hundred years. Recently, a sketch of Auburn’s skyline (2016 Glomerata, Vol. 119) was created by the then editor (Amanda Annonino) and used for the cover. The University loved it, so if you go to Village Dining, that is on the wall. That has been blown up and is now the decoration. That is the entire theme of that place, and so, that started with us, and that was a student’s work. We like to convince ourselves that people don’t see us, that people don’t notice us, but we are noteworthy, we are seen, we are remembered, and so it’s important to know whether that’s going to be for better or for worse. I have the first copy of the book in my office, so I can look back at 1897 and see what it was like, what we did, how far we’ve come. And, I want this to be like that.”

Jacob Sparks
Photo Credit: Adam Brasher | Former Photo Editor

Production of the yearbook is a multi-city affair. The Glomerata cover is printed in Montgomery, but the book itself is printed in Kansas City, Missouri. This year 8,500 copies will be printed, so the entire publishing plant will dedicate a week to just printing The Glomerata. To put that in perspective, it fills about eighteen palettes which will come filled in a tractor-trailer truck. According to Jacob’s research, the Glomerata is one of the largest, if not the largest, print-run yearbook in the country.

Photo Editor Lauren Talkington, along with Assistant Editor Lucie Keck and general photo staff, took thousands of images for this edition of The Glomerata. Lauren describes her approach to her role as “less of designing photos for a specific spot in the book, and more of editing as many as I can that I feel would work for a particular page of a spread.” Though she edited the majority of photos, Lucie Keck edited as well. Lauren describes that because Lucie’s editing style “is slightly different than mine, [so I feel] that adds more variety when looking at the spreads.” The result is photographs taken from different editorial perspectives that capture the emotion and feeling behind each image.

Lauren Talkington
Photo Credit: Jacob Sparks | Editor-in-Chief

One of the main focuses of this year’s Glomerata was to capture stories and events in a way that would take the reader back to their time on the Plains. Copy Editor Nathan Holden was largely responsible for this feat; he edited every story in the book. He describes his role as primarily “coordinating between different sections to make sure the writing style is similar, [and] that it all meets the AP style”. This is the first time that the AP style has been utilized throughout The Glomerata, in an effort to meet professional standards set by other collegiate publications across the country. Nathan believes that this year the Glomerata achieved “a unique blend of the human touch and professional standards” that will set it apart from previous editions and set a new precedent going forward.

Nathan Holden
Photo Credit: Jacob Sparks | Editor-in-Chief

The Glomerata’s adviser Britain Bowen offers a unique take on distribution as this is his first year serving in the adviser position. Brit’s primary role is to oversee the financial obligations of the organization and make sure the Glomerata is meeting all the requirements set for a student media group. In doing so, Brit “[makes] sure they have a voice, and I make sure they have the resources to print the book and put out a good product for Auburn students”. He is one of the few people to have seen the cover and is excited for students and faculty to see it; he believes it has a distinct personality from previous years that will pleasantly surprise Auburn. While this is Brit’s first year as adviser, he participated in distribution last year, which he now calls “one of the most fun weeks of the year”. He explains: “I get to wear a t-shirt to work. I get to be out in the sun all day. I love it, and most importantly, that’s where I get to know some of the Glom students that maybe I don’t know as well”. During Brit’s year in the office, he has had the unique opportunity to see the impact of the book on history. “People come back to Auburn seeking Glomeratas from when they were in school, seeking a certain time in history. And, that’s what The Glomerata is. It’s a piece of history, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this last piece of history looks like.”

Jacob Sparks describes the mission of the 122nd volume of The Glomerata best: “My goal with this book is to make people feel the same way they felt when they were there, both when they open the book for the first time and when they show their kids in thirty years. I want this book to evoke an emotion. I want them to remember their time at Auburn and to think, wow, look how far I’ve come, look how far the university has come. So I spent a very long time kind of dwelling on it, kind of thinking about it, and just wanting it to happen, and I think that now it has come to fruition, I’m just a few days away from holding it, from actually getting to see this thing that I have poured my life into for the past year. I’m very proud to have been a part of this book, to have worked with the people on staff and across campus. I’ve gotten incredible opportunities from this and so, I would say yeah, I am most proud that I think this book has the potential to make a mark and be something that someone holds onto.”

Be sure to pick up your copy of the 122nd edition of The Glomerata at one of our three distribution sites from April 9 - 12.