When Margaret Bond ’47 retired in 2001 as University editor—at that time, the editorial voice of Rochester Review—she had, remarkably, worked at the University for more than a third of its history. And in fact, her appreciation for the University had begun even earlier.
Both of her parents were University graduates, and, well before her own undergraduate days at the College for Women on Prince Street, “I remember how I used to read the alumni magazine when it arrived at the house, with never a thought that my acquaintance with the publication would ever become rather more intimate,” she later said.
Upon graduating with distinction, she started working at the College for Women in its library, alumnae office, and registrar’s office. She then took an opening as a secretary (“what else was a female French major to do in those days if she didn’t want to teach?”) in the University’s public information office, and from 1951 to 1965 worked her way up through various editorial positions. When the Memorial Art Gallery decided to establish a public relations department, she became its head and remained so until 1979.
It was then that Margaret was offered the job of University editor and associate director of University communications, with the primary responsibility of overseeing Rochester Review. From a first-floor corner office of Wallis Hall, Margaret was a savvy guide to all things editorial.
What does a good editor do when tempers flare, writers complain that an editor has messed up the copy, destroyed the idea, ruined the punch line? In moments of quiet reflection, those same writers will grudgingly acknowledge (at least to themselves) that a skillful editor has made their writing—even what started as well-crafted prose—that much better, that much more compelling. Margaret made all of her colleagues look good. Indeed, her editorial advice was sought out by many outside of the communications office. Her sharp eye and erudition made her a ready resource for administrators across the campuses.
Margaret, who died in March at the age of 87, had a wry wit that always helped to cast things in their proper light. Her continuing flexibility was remarkable, as she witnessed the somewhat daunting transitions from typewriter to computer, from hot type to cold type, from letter to email, from one century to the next.
Ultimately, she edited Rochester Review for 22 years and stayed long enough to preside over the 2000 sesquicentennial publication of the pictorial Beside the Genesee, written by Jan LaMartina Waxman ’81N. After all, who better to mastermind such an account than the sharp-eyed editor who personally witnessed so much of that history?
—Robert Kraus ’71
Kraus was director—and later, associate vice president—of public relations at Rochester, from 1984 to 2005.