Yearbooks another casualty of the Facebook generation


The demise of “Corks and Curls” marks the end of a publication first issued in 1888 by fraternity members at what was then an all-male school. The publication’s name harkened back to early traditions at the school. According to the university’s web site, a student who flubbed a question in class was said to have “corked.” However, “if he answered with a grand flourish of pertinent information, he was said to have ‘curled.’”

A Help “Corks and Curls” site has emerged on Facebook for those interested in reviving the yearbook. University history officer Alexander “Sandy” Gilliam said it’s up to students, not school officials, to resurrect a printed yearbook.

At Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Va., students are trying to bring back a yearbook in digital form, an approach that’s being tried at other schools as well. A campus-wide eMail recently asked students to post photos to a web site.

Heather Templeton, a junior at the 1,200-student college, worked as one of two staffers on the “Sandpiper” in 2008, the year it was discontinued. The previous year, dozens of boxes of 2005-06 books sat untouched because students didn’t pick them up, though they’d already paid for them through activity fees.

“I grew up with yearbooks, and it was a big part of my childhood. Who’s to say that Facebook is going to be around in 20 years?” Templeton said. “Who’s to say that you’d be sitting around your coffee table and going, ‘Let me pull out my Facebook?’ I think it’s kind of sad, personally.”

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