What’s behind the name, “The Phoenix?”

By: Courtney Sheets

The first edition of The Phoenix was published more than three decades ago. While the pages of that original issue have yellowed and the stories are no longer current, the name remains on modern issues of the alumni newsletter for the Department of Journalism at Ball State University.

Before The Phoenix came to life, the alumni association lacked or failed to maintain means of communication between the journalism department and the department’s alumni that were scattered across the country.

That 1980 edition of The Phoenix brought “new life to past attempts” of alumni publications.  The editor at the time explained that The Phoenix rose from the ashes of previous attempts of journalism endeavors that had failed.

The group of students and professors who were assigned the task of naming the alumni publication considered the name The Phoenix because of the legend behind the phoenix bird. According to legend, the bird lived for 500 years before burning itself to ashes on a pyre. Then, the phoenix was rejuvenated and rose from the ashes as a young bird that would live another 500 years before the cycle would begin again.

Today, The Phoenix is once again rejuvenated as it rises from the ashes of a print publication. This new youthful version of The Phoenix has obtained the format of a digital, interactive publication.