Dean O'Brien, editor of Voyageur magazine from 1989 to 1995, passed away June 16, 2010 iin Minnesota at the age of 78. A native of Waukesha, Dean was a communication and journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, joining the original faculty of the new four-year school in 1968 after serving in the Marines, receiving his Ph. D. from UW-Madison, and working for newspapers in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. He became editor of Voyageur a year before his retirement as a full professor from UWGB. Over the years he was also active with his wife, Polly, in the Cofrin Arboretum, Artstreet, and the Green Bay Botanical Garden, among other community interests.
With his father a professional photographer, Dean had a particular interest in visual imagery and how people shaped and framed their environments. The cover of his first issue of Voyageur featured a history of early Hazelwood, a historic house, and the cover of his last featured a series of articles on "Making History Visible." He enjoyed soliciting manuscripts, working with authors, polishing articles and writing thoughtful columns in Voyageur on themes of historical interest.
During his tenure as editor, Dean recruited fellow UWGB faculty member Jeff Benzow to become Voyageur's art director, and the magazine switched from manual cut-and-paste layout to computerized page design with more photographs and artwork. Dean was perceptive, creative, always made deadlines and a gentle soul to those who knew him. He is missed.
The 2010 publishing year of Voyageur featured our 53rd and 54th issues. The Summer/Fall 2010 issue highlighted soldiers in World War I plus area museums, Elizabeth Baird, the Boys and Girls Brigade, Oconto Beer and Ojibwe oral history.
The Winter/Spring 2011 issue featured 1950s basketball, the League of Women Voters, Krause Publications, a history of WLUK television, volunteer firefighters and early lumbering. Plus book reviews and other departments.
Congratulations to Editor Victoria Goff, Senior Art Director Jeff Benzow, Art Director Toni Damkoehler, Review Editor Kerry Trask, the Publishing and Editorial committees, students, authors, reviewers, our bulk mailing crew and all others who helped with the publication of Voyageur'stwo Vol. 27 editions!
Voyageur set an all-time record of 3,888 subscribers in 2010. The total compares with a previous subscription high of 3,461. Voyageur prints close to 5,000 copies of each issue and considers its total readership to be in the vicinity of 10,000, or an average of two readers per copy.
Voyageur's Art Directors Jeff Benzow and Toni Damkoehler and the graphic arts students from UW-Green Bay received in 2010 a Gold ADDY award from the Fox River Ad Club of the American Advertising Federation for excellence in magazine design. More news and updates to come later in 2011!