Yearbooks losing popularity with college students

Last month at the University of Texas, which has an enrollment of more than 50,000, only about 60 students showed up to have their pictures taken for the yearbook.

An ABC News online story cited lack of interest among students as a reason why college yearbooks are slowly going the way of the dodo.

With just two of the five four-year Middle Georgia colleges still producing yearbooks, some officials are worried that a sense of institutional history will be lost if such tomes no longer exist.

“Historians love the written word,” said Stephen Taylor, a history professor at Macon State College, which hasn’t offered a yearbook since 1976. “You wonder how historians 500 years from now will study the cultures that existed today. With (today’s archives) primarily digital, historians will have to get more creative. You are definitely losing the ability to just thumb through the past physically and connect to it that way. It’s very disappointing.”

Taylor and others say the regrets of no longer having things like yearbooks on campus won’t be fully realized until years from now when future researchers won’t have the publications to capture a snapshot of life on U.S. college campuses.

In the midstate, only Wesleyan College and Fort Valley State University continue to produce annual publications. At Macon State, Mercer University and Georgia College & State University, yearbooks haven’t been produced in at least a decade.

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