• Rachel Barks

The GlimmerGlass Rebrands to The Olivet Gazette

Olivet Nazarene University’s newspaper has made a big change, transforming from The GlimmerGlass to The Olivet Gazette, rebranding in hopes of starting a new era in the ever changing world of journalism.

The school’s newspaper has been known as The GlimmerGlass since 1941, making decades of memories sharing Olivet’s student news. The newspaper started simply as Olivet News, before making The GlimmerGlass the name that would stick for 79 years to come.

The actual definition of the word glimmerglass refers to, “The vibrant reflection of sunlight on a watery surface,” according to definitions.net.

A lake by that name comes from the writings of American author, James Fennimore Cooper, who wrote Leatherstocking Tales, Pioneers, Home as Found and The Deerslayer. The lake is near the town of Otsego, New York where a GlimmerGlass Opera Company is founded and an annual GlimmerGlass Festival takes place.

In The Deerslayer, Cooper describes the nine-mile lake as “a broad sheet of water, so placid and limpid that it resembled a bed of the pure mountain atmosphere.”

The GlimmerGlass came into existence as a potential name when an Olivet advisor named Bertha Supplee visited upstate New York, and saw the lake that Cooper’s writings were inspired by.

At the start of the 1941-1942 academic year, the Olivet newspaper staff, led by Editor Normalee Phillips, spread an invitation for name suggestions. They wanted a less generic name, a title that would have more meaning behind it. After receiving 150 suggestions, the staff unanimously chose the name The GlimmerGlass.

“The idea for The GlimmerGlass was that the newspaper is a reflection of the life, of the values of Olivet,” said Dr. John Bowling, Olivet Nazarene University’s President. “It’s unique and it talks about reflecting the life that’s all around the environment.”

The decision to change the name has been tossed around a handful of times over the years, but nothing has traveled through the process of fully rebranding up until this point. In order to change the newspaper’s name, the request had to go through Dr. Jay Martinson, past Chair of the Communication Department, and then be introduced and voted on at an Administrative Team meeting.

2019-2020 Executive Editor, Rachel Hughes and current Executive Editor, Elle Marshall were the students to request the change for the newspaper’s name.

Among some of the biggest reasons for changing the name go along with the way journalism is transforming, such as relying heavily on online platforms rather than print.

As the newspaper relies more on the internet, it’s important to have a name that will come up first on massive search engines such as Google, etc. Students will now be more often searching up the name of the newspaper online, not picking up physical copies on campus like in the past.

“It’s a really good time for [rebranding the newspaper], since we’re moving so much online,” Hughes said. “Slowly, every year we’re moving away from print so the timing made sense.”

Students in the past would read the paper while waiting in line for lunch, or sitting around with friends in academic buildings. They were used to physically seeing what The GlimmerGlass was, and touching it. Now, students search the paper online to interact with it.

“Since making the change to online, I think the name change is really warranted to make it more searchable, and more recognizable,” said Jay Martinson, previous Faculty Advisor of The GlimmerGlass up until this year.

“I love The GlimmerGlass and The Olivet Gazette,” Martinson adds. “I think it’s so important, for not only communication majors but students across the discipline to get involved in journalism. I think this name change will enlarge our viewership, our readership.”

The Olivet Gazette can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @olivetgazette.

“I feel really good about The GlimmerGlass, The Olivet Gazette; I’ve been very proud of it the past few years,” Dr.Bowling says. “I’m looking forward to this new year, and the new name will be part of the new year.”

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