Best Cover in the Land

FOLIO: Magazine honors Santa Clara Magazine with best cover. Plus, lots more awards news.

Here’s some national news: Santa Clara Magazine has been honored for the best cover of any university magazine in the country.

At the annual FOLIO: Magazine awards gala in New York on October 9, Santa Clara Magazine took home an OZZIE Award for our Fall 2017 edition. The FOLIO awards recognize editorial excellence (the EDDIEs) and design excellence (the OZZIEs) and draw competition from major media corporations as well as independent publishers. They’ve been presented for more than two decades. Other winners this year included ESPN the Magazine, The Atlantic, Better Homes and Gardens, and AFAR.

The cover they chose as tops features an illustration by artist Brian Stauffer on the theme “Justice for All.” Stauffer depicted the Washington Monument as a factory smokestack before an orange-colored sky—a spare and startling image.

He regularly contributes work to The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, and other leading publications—and when we reimagined the magazine back in 2015, we turned to Stauffer for the cover and a series of illustrations.

Magazine Cover
Justice for All cover of Santa Clara Magazine/ Illustration by Brian Stauffer

For us, images and words work together: The cover feature story for the winning edition was written by Deborah Lohse“The Most Important Lawsuit on the Planet,” which offers a deep dive into the case Juliana v. United States. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of 21 young people suing the U.S. government for understanding the dire consequences of climate change but pursuing policies that have worsened it.

The Good, the Bad. and the Kid cover. / Illustration by Tim O'Brien

Writing, Design, and More!

At the FOLIO awards ceremony, Santa Clara Magazine also took home a half dozen honorable mentions for editorial and design excellence.

The honorable mentions in the OZZIE awards for design:

  • Overall design excellence
  • Cover: “The Good, the Bad, and the Kid,” illustrated by Tim O’Brien for the summer 2017 edition. It depicts Billy the Kid as a figure torn between good and evil—inspired by the most recent novel by writer Ron Hansen M.A. ’95, who is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Professor of Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University.
  • Single edition design excellence: Summer 2017
  • Photography: “Coffey Park” by photographer Noah Berger, Spring 2018

The magazine garnered a pair of honorable mentions in the EDDIE awards for editorial excellence:

  • Series of articles: “Aftermath of Disaster,” bringing together stories on how people have coped in the aftermath of the tragic Wine Country fires, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and the earthquake that struck near Mexico City in 2017. The writers honored were Kerry Benefield, John Nova Lomax, and associate editor Matt Morgan.
  • A body of work by a single writer: For a range of stories by editor Steven Boyd Saum, ranging from election observing in Belarus(the last dictatorship in Europe) to a look back at when the 101st Airborne was sent into Little Rock, Arkansas, to ensure nine African-American children could attend high school.

‘Sets a Standard for the Entire Industry’

Our readers know that Santa Clara Magazine is no stranger to national awards. In previous years it has brought home EDDIE and OZZIE awards as well. But there’s a reason for that. We’ve got great stories to tell here—so we want to tell them well, and beautifully. Here’s some more news in the awards roundup.

In June, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) honored the magazine with three national awards: gold medal for best designed university magazine (our Summer 2017 edition), gold medal for photography (for Robin Mayoff’s photograph of the Yuba River, Spring 2017), and a bronze medal for editorial design for “Cut & Paste Conservation”by Emma Marris with illustrations by Jason Holley. Judges for the design award lauded the combination of compelling content, thought, and energy that goes into each issue and surmised: “The result is a magazine that sets a standard for the entire industry.”

Also in June, the Catholic Press Association (CPA) honored us for the second year in a row with Alumni Magazine of the Year. CPA presented the awards at its annual banquet in June. It recognized the magazine with 13 awards total, noting, “The bold and captivating design of this magazine is matched by equally strong writing and reporting.”

One aspect of the CPA awards: They recognize not just university publications but also international, national, and local Catholic media—and some of the awards the magazine earned are for the best work anywhere. The full list:

  • Alumni Magazine of the Year
  • First place, best personality profile: government leader (for all Catholic media)—“For the Record” by Justin Gerdes
  • First place, best photograph in an alumni magazine—“Faith and Fiesta” by Charles Barry
  • First place, best personality profile in an alumni magazine—“Courage Central” by Marty Sammon ’56, MBA ’63, as told to Steven Boyd Saum
  • First place, best feature article in an alumni magazine—“Cut & Paste Conservation” by Emma Marris
  • First place, best photo illustration in an alumni magazine—“Rambis + Nash” by Victor Juhasz
  • Second place, best interview in an alumni magazine—“The Good, the Bad, and the Kid” interview with Ron Hansen by Steven Boyd Saum
  • Second place, best reporting on “care for God’s creation” (for all Catholic media)—“The Most Important Lawsuit on the Planet” by Deborah Lohse
  • Second place, best reporting of social justice issues (for all Catholic media)—“Courage Central” by Marty Sammon ’56, MBA ’63, as told to Steven Boyd Saum (first place went to America Magazine)
  • Third place, best in-depth analysis/writing (for all Catholic media)—“Artificial Intelligence and Public Trust” by Shannon Vallor
  • Third place, best feature article in an alumni magazine—“The Most Important Lawsuit on the Planet” by Deborah Lohse
  • Third place, best original poetry in an alumni magazine—“This New Day” by U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, a poem he composed for his 2017 commencement address

To cap off the summer: In July, we were honored by peers at other Jesuit universities as the top magazine published by a Jesuit university. That award was presented by the Jesuit Advancement Association.


This One Goes to 11

The University College and Design Association honored the magazine with an unprecedented 11 awards of excellence this year. These were presented at the UCDA Awards Banquet in October:

  • Fall 2017 cover: “Justice for All” by Brian Stauffer—for both cover design and for illustration (two awards)
  • Summer 2017 cover: “The Good, the Bad, and the Kid” by Tim O’Brien—for both cover design and for illustration (2 awards)
  • Spring 2018 cover: “Coffey Park” by photographer Noah Berger
  • Fall 2017 edition for design excellence
  • Spring 2018 edition for design excellence
  • Summer 2017, Fall 2017, and Spring 2018 for a three-part complete unit for design excellence
  • Illustration: “Grounds for Detention” by Edel Rodriguez
  • Illustration: “Nobel Beginnings” by Paul Blow
  • Editorial spread: “The Kid,” with illustration by Tim O’Brien


We’re delighted with the awards, of course—because the first goal of any magazine is to be something worth reading, and awards offer recognition from peers that there’s something fine here.

We also know that awards aren’t an end in themselves. If they bring some broader and deeper awareness of the people who shape this place and have been shaped by it—well then, we’re doing our job.

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