Tag Archives: Rankings of best colleges and universities

Closing the cover

It’s the end of an era. That’s what people my age and older say about practically everything as it passes.

This week U.S. News & World Report announced that its December issue would be the last to hit newsstands, following 62 years in print circulation. The magazine will continue to live online.

As with many periodicals, U.S. News has been struggling to adapt to dwindling print ads and consumers’ overall shift to the Web, by publishing less often and making other cutbacks.

I am not a regular reader of the magazine. I paid a lot of attention to its famed rankings of U.S. colleges and universities when our son was applying to college five years ago. Otherwise, I read an occasional copy in a doctor’s office, or perhaps on a plane.

However, I remember vividly a year in which I read it consistently.

In my senior year of high school, all students taking Mr. Henretty’s U.S. Government class at Annandale High were required to subscribe to—and read—U.S. News & World Report every week.

Carrying around my copy of U.S. News made me feel more adult than turning 18 did that year. I read U.S. News before I began reading the newspaper regularly. In fact, reading the magazine and discussing it in class might have given rise to the news addiction I developed shortly thereafter. There’s no doubt Mr. Henretty knew what he was doing.

I suspect high school seniors are reading as much news online as we read in print in 1978, if not more. But I can’t imagine their feeling the same pride and excitement that we did, pulling U.S. News & World Report out of our book bags.

As soon as the December issue is on the newsstands, you can bet I’ll be picking up a souvenir copy at an airport near me.

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