The Tower, the undergraduate student literary and art magazine at the University of Minnesota, offers English majors and other undergraduates the opportunity to work on all aspects of publishing a literary magazine, as well as the chance to be active in local literary communities. The magazine is run by students enrolled in the two-semester series EngL 3711 Literary Magazine Production Lab I (fall) and EngL 3712 Literary Magazine Production Lab II (spring). Students handle everything from securing funding to reviewing submissions and from designing the website to contracting with a printer to produce the final product.
The Tower (formerly Ivory Tower) gives the best undergraduate writers and visual artists at the U of M a chance to publish their work. Submissions are blind and collected at the end of fall semester. The magazine can be picked up in late April across campus. In 2012, the Ivory Tower staff won the Tony Diggs Excellence Awards Innovation Award from Student Unions & Activities.
Completion of The Tower class fulfills the experiential learning requirement of the department's Certificate in Editing & Publishing.
Ivory Tower has been in existence, with various gaps in publication and switches in sponsor, since 1952. Alumni of Ivory Tower include memorist and Regents Professor Patricia Hampl, novelist Robert Pirsig, critic Lewis Hyde, and Meghan Murphy and Jamie Millard, creative director and executive director respectively of Pollen. Staff members of The Tower continue to advance into careers in publishing, editing, and writing.