Closing the Book

Tali collage

Naomi Driessnack & Tanner Cole

It is our immense displeasure to announce that the Talisman yearbook is going out of print after this year. For the past three years, various donations of one-time money have funded our book on a year-by-year basis. As budget cuts loom on the horizon, it is clear that our book will finally face a massive cut.

Moving forward, the Talisman staff will publish a once-a-semester magazine and expand its publication on

As editors, we really can’t exaggerate the role that the Talisman has served in our college years. Our publication is more than a book — it’s a place of learning and growth. No, we are not a group of scientists, engineers or mathematicians. We are journalists, writers, photographers and graphic artists. And we are losing something dear to us, something that we have spent years building and loving.

Three years ago, the university halved our budget. We were quickly transformed from a public service to a commercial product. Our finances have been a headache ever since. Suddenly, we were being asked to sell a book to the same students who had received them freely for years. We needed salespeople and marketers, but we no longer had the money to pay them.

Still, our staff leapt to meet the challenge. We were never that worried.

The Talisman operates in a small room on the side of WKU’s Student Publications building. We usually have music blaring out our double doors, annoying the staff of the College Heights Herald. Our walls are covered in inspirational artwork, funny images and goofy photos of each other. We had somewhere around 100 students apply to work for us this year. Our advisor invites us to her home, cooks us food when we’re hungry and listens to us when we cry.

Basically, we have always had a powerful, special community. A little money problem wasn’t going to bring us down. And honestly, neither is this one.

As we mentioned earlier, this is not the death of the Talisman. Students gave our website an incredible reception this year. Next year, that web presence will grow to include the same style of content found in our current yearbook in addition to much more. The magazine we are planning will still provide the historical value of our book and offer similar job opportunities to students.

Advertising in the magazine will alleviate many of our financial woes, and we will be distributing copies for free once again.

But our jobs have given us a chance to break that focus and work on our humanity, not just our degrees. We’ve found ourselves in others’ stories.

Our jobs at the Talisman have allowed us to take little peeks into the lives of people around us. We’ve learned so much from these interactions. Good humans value and listen to each other, and this book has forced us to do so repeatedly. We’re students too, and we focus a lot on finding ourselves just like everyone else. But our jobs have given us a chance to break that focus and work on our humanity, not just our degrees. We’ve found ourselves in others’ stories.

So much has already been written about the looming cuts to WKU’s budget. We are very sad to become some of the first faces affected by those loathsome dollar signs. But we know our community won’t be shaken so easily, and we will stand in solidarity with our fellow artists on the Hill as more budget news rears its ugly head.

Life, more life!

Tanner Cole & Naomi Driessnack

Talisman Editors-in-Chief