National Editor Elizabeth Budd (Epsilon, University of Southern California)
described the role of The Lyre in her 1941 Heraeum report, emphasizing its importance
“since the objective of any fraternity magazine is to place before the membership of the fraternity as well as the fraternity world in general the undertakings,
interests, accomplishments, and matters vital to the organization.”
Alpha Chi Omega continued to value the importance of this outreach and educational tool, but World War II impacted The Lyre just as it touched all aspects of the Fraternity.
In November 1942, Budd, after lending her editorial and writing talents to 21 issues of the magazine,
enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the War Department in Washington,
D.C. She bid farewell to Lyre readers, saying, “During the busy days that are ahead my thoughts and good wishes shall be with Alpha Chi Omega.
Even though my first duty now is to the Navy, my loyalty and devotion to Alpha Chi Omega are constant and unchanging.”
Paper shortages and a resulting sharp increase in paper costs meant fewer pages in the magazine
and led to some disappointed members whose submissions weren’t able to be included due to space limitations.
Still, according to National Editor Ina G. Bonney (Phi, University of Kansas) in her 1943 report,
“In spite of this limitation, The Lyre still carries a more voluminous chapter letter section than magazines of other NPC groups.”
But these years, even those directly following the end of the war, would still challenge and vex the editors.
Number of pages, budget, available paper weights, how to include as many submissions as possible, how to best communicate with the growing membership base—it was a seemingly unending series of questions.
Always known to be a vital communication link for members,
The Lyre was professionalized even more with a 1951 National Convention decision to set up a department of publications in central office,
with journalist Ann Hall (Alpha Chi, Butler University) being named the director shortly thereafter.
Hall proudly reported in June 1956 that every collegiate chapter,
including three newly chartered chapters, had contributed to the quarterly magazine.
Not surprisingly, the most common refrains in her annual reports to the membership in the Heraeum were “More Pages Needed”
and “Space at a Premium.”
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