About the Magazine
Portico is the official magazine of the University of Guelph and is mailed two times a year – November and March – to more than 110,000 alumni and friends of the university. Its mission is to enhance the relationship between the university and its alumni and friends and promote pride and commitment within the University of Guelph community.
Produced by Communications and Public Affairs, Portico magazine is mailed free to Guelph alumni living around the world. Ideas and opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of the university or the editors.
Associate Vice-President, Communications & Marketing
Lori Bona Hunt
Senior Director, Media Relations & Stakeholder Communications
News Service Manager
Luma Issam Alomari
The first University of Guelph alumni magazine was published early in 1968, a natural progression from the establishment of the university in 1964 to the development of a university-wide alumni association and a department of alumni affairs.
Originally called Guelph Alumnus, the magazine changed its name in 2004 to celebrate the University of Guelph’s 40th anniversary. Borrowed from the limestone portico that sits on Johnston Green, the magazine’s current name reflects university history, but is gender neutral and has meaning for graduates of all disciplines. The structure on Johnston Green is identified by alumni and the campus community as a positive symbol of tradition and an entryway to the University of Guelph community.
In fact, the Portico is the only piece of architecture to endure since the inception of the campus. The first students walked through these limestone columns to begin classes in 1874. For every generation of living Guelph alumni, the Portico has been a sentinel on Johnston Green. Today’s students may pass the Portico with little notice of its history, but they rest and study and play in its shadow. Tens of thousands of family photo albums have pictures of the Portico used as a backdrop for a group of Guelph friends, new graduates with their proud parents, wedding parties, alumni reunions, and family outings.
The Portico belongs to everyone who has sought to learn at the University of Guelph. Its enduring presence is symbolic of our great strength as an educational institution, the traditions we cling to and the welcoming campus environment we want to maintain.
Now representing both the printed and web versions of the university’s alumni magazine, we hope you will respond to Portico magazine as an invitation to come inside, read about the University of Guelph and stay in touch.
U of G’s Portico
In 1855, Guelph stone mason Matthew Bell crafted and built a limestone entrance for the farmhouse on a 500-acre property owned by Frederick W. Stone. When the Stone farm was purchased as a college site in 1874, the house was used as both a classroom and residence. Additional stories and wings were added over the years, and in 1929 the whole building was razed to make way for the construction of today’s Johnston Hall. The Portico was saved. It was stored until 1934 when it was rebuilt in its present location and dedicated by alumni as a connecting link between the past and present. A later generation of alumni chose the Portico to serve as a symbol for the first University of Guelph development fund in 1969, and a restoration project in 1999 saw still another group of alumni save the weathered landmark from deterioration. Today, as it has been for nearly decades, the Portico is a favourite place to take convocation photos.