As the official yearbook of James Madison University, The Bluestone was first published in 1910 and has been published every year since. The Bluestone is published in the spring, covering all events and activities from approximately March of one year to March of the following year. The book is created and produced by an entirely student staff led by the Editor-in-Chief.
The Bluestone is the official yearbook of James Madison University and was the first publication at the university. Originally called the Schoolmaâam, the yearbook was first published in the 1909-1910 school year, and consisted of 122 editorial pages and 30 advertisements. The yearbook officially became The Bluestone in 1962. At that time the staff was composed of student representatives elected by various student organizations, with editors chosen by the student body. The editor in chief was chosen from the group of editors by a faculty committee. Now the staff is selected through an application process and the editor in chief is named by the previous year’s staff.
In its beginnings, the yearbook used advertising space and fundraising to pay for production, including student group efforts and an annual bazaar run by the yearbook staff. Yet the staff often contributed its own funds to other significant causes such as adding to a school-wide effort to raise money for the United War Work Campaign in 1918, and donating funds towards a new swimming pool in 1926. In addition, sales from the first JMU play contributed to yearbook costs. Today, the Student Government Association and generous patrons help keep the yearbook free for all students.
Today, The Bluestone averages around 400 pages per year; it features popular sections such as Through Your Lens, which started in the 1970s and features independently-taken student pictures. In 1997, The Bluestone became officially recognized for its excellence by earning a number of national awards. The Bluestone continues to win nationally prestigious awards today, such as The Gold Crown and Pacemaker awards.