The Vindex is the oldest continuing publication at St. Mark’s. Established in February of 1877 by English teacher Walter Deane along with three student editors, at the start the Vindex was both a news magazine—featuring stories about on-campus happenings, summaries of athletic contests, and opinion pieces about both schoolwide and worldwide events—and a literary journal: replete with student-written poetry, short stories, essays and, later on, student art. It also served as the St. Mark’s yearbook until the advent of the Lion in 1918-1919 (and even then took over that responsibility again when the Lion was briefly suspended from 1925-1930).

A curious and fascinating glimpse into the past: In just its third issue (May 1877), the Vindex printed an interesting statistical analysis of the student body in the mid-to-late 19th century:

Perhaps a few statistics of our School might interest the readers of the Vindex. They are given as nearly correct as could be obtained, and include every subject worth mentioning. The School at present consists of 47 boys, 15 of these having been here since before Dr. Coolidge first took charge of the School [1873]. The boy that has been the longest time has been here for 6 years, and the shortest for 4 months. There are 13 boys from New York City, 12 from Boston, 3 from Philadelphia, and 7 from Providence; the rest coming from different places, so scattered that it would not be worth mentioning. There are 7 pairs of brothers in the School this year, last year there having been 9. Of the number present, 16 leave this year. 13 of them go to college and 3 into business; those going to Harvard 8, Yale 4, and Brown 1. The oldest boy in school is 20 years, the youngest 12. The tallest boy measures 6 ft. 2 in., and the shortest 4 ft. 7 in. The heaviest boy weighs 178 lbs., the lightest 72. The largest shoe size worn in No. 10, men’s size, the smallest No. 13, boys’ size. The number of boys that shave 14; the number wearing clean faces, 12; moustaches, 1; number trying to raise moustaches, 3; number raising moustaches and not shaving, 2. Number of young mean deeply in love, 4. Number that have taken prizes since they have been here, 15. Number of regular ballplayers, 17; number of regular rowers, 12. Number of boys that are in the church choir, 18; number of regular church communicants, 18. Most notable nicknames in the School are: “Squaw,” “Windy,” “Cockeye,” “Butt,” “Chubby,” “Ger,” “Snarley,” “Bolivar,” “Mike,” “Dinah,” “Jenny,” “Governor,” “Fatty,” “Squeeler,” and “Piggy.”

With the founding of the St. Marker in 1947, the Vindex quickly evolved into purely a literary magazine: a forum for the creative energies of generations of St. Mark’s students. It was the privilege of this alumnus to have both poems and short stories of mine published in the Vindex between 1972 and 1976, and to serve on the Vindex editorial board as a VI Former.

For 142 years the Vindex has been part of the St. Mark’s experience, with members of the school community regularly looking forward to each printed edition. Today, in 2019, the Vindex takes a huge step forward into the 21st century. For the first time ever it has eschewed print entirely to become an electronic online publication. In this way it hopes to expand its accessibility and reach many more readers with the creative efforts of talented St. Markers.

Awards & Recognition

In May of 2019, the online version of the Vindex was selected as a finalist for a Double Diamond Award from Finalsite.