By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
The yearbook signifies the culmination of a school year and is usually delivered to students before they head off campus for the summer.
However, UA's official memory guide, The Desert Yearbook, got a late start and should be arriving in the homes of students who ordered them last year in the next two or three weeks, said Kevin Klaus, Desert editor in chief.
Daniel Scarpinato, last year's yearbook editor in chief and former Wildcat editor in chief, said students might be wondering where their yearbooks are, but said the yearbook didn't finish production until early June because the yearbook staff wanted to include commencement ceremonies, senior photos and athletic events that continued on past the end of the school year.
"This seems late to people, but it was meant to be a fall book," Scarpinato said. "My guess would be that they'll probably be mailed out by mid-October."
Scarpinato said the time frame for delivery is pretty much on schedule, but he would like to have seen the yearbooks delivered in August.
Nevertheless, he said that students won't mind the wait once they see the finished product.
"I don't get the sense that people will be mad," he said. "I think it will be a nice surprise. I hope they're excited about getting them."
Steve Bossi, an undeclared freshman, said he understands why the delivery might be delayed.
"I don't really care that the yearbooks are late," he said. "It's got to be pretty tough to put together a college yearbook."
But veterinary sciences senior Katie Babiak said she wouldn't want to wait until the following school year to receive a yearbook.
"I didn't buy a yearbook because I wouldn't spend money on it," said Babiak. "If I ever were to buy one, (knowing that the yearbook was late this year) would definitely make me think twice."
Scarpinato estimated that a total of 1,600 - 2,000 yearbooks were ordered by students, faculty, departments and the alumni association between November and May of last year, for $75 a book.
Most sales were done in the fall semester of last year, with peak purchases in the holiday season of November and December.
While Scarpinato doesn't have the official sales numbers for last year's yearbook, he said the 2004 yearbook sold twice as much as the 1997 yearbook.
"We're very happy about that," Scarpinato said. "There's a market for the book and it's definitely going to continue this year."
"Depending on the response from this year will determine sales for next year," he said.
The Desert Yearbook was first published in 1911 and was an important part of campus for more than 80 years. But, after publishing only 934 copies for 33,737 students on campus and losing a total of $200,000 in the 1990s, the UA ceased publication of the book in 1997.
Scarpinato said The Desert Yearbook is one of the largest college yearbooks in the country, containing over 500 colored pages.
"It's definitely worth the $75," he said.
Klaus' expectations for the 2005 yearbook will be more image-based and aesthetically pleasing all around with "significantly more poppy images" and "text more drawing to the eye."
"This year's product is great, but I want to improve it," Klaus said.
Klaus, also a Wildcat photographer, hopes to cover more arts and science material and hopes to have a senior photo shoot in the first semester for early graduates and another in the second semester to get all seniors in the yearbook.
"We rarely cover those areas," Klaus said. "With more photo spreads for this year's book, students will be able to get a better view of campus."