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With an introduction from then Indiana University President, William Lowe Bryan, the first issue of The Vagabond appeared in October of 1923, as a bimonthly student publication, carrying poems, essays, short stories, sketches, and humor. The publication statement of the first edition outlined the twofold objectives of the publication stating: "the magazine offers a medium of expression for the literary life of campus; and it hopes to hasten a rebirth of science, art, and life at Indiana." The first editor-in-chief was Mauck Brammer, followed by Philip B. Rice and Robert E. Harris, Edmund Bierwagen, John H. Johnson, Maurice H. Smith, Walter Grant and Robert Fink, and Robert Hallstead.
Featuring articles which were often highly satirical, critical of the university and sometimes quite risqué , The Vagabond, as might be expected, often aroused a great deal of disapproval from the campus community. In January of 1927, then editor John Johnson ran the article "The College Student: Juvenile Sophisticate" which painted a highly critical picture of the typical campus student. The article resulted in the expulsion of both the editor and the author ofthe article and as a result, only one issue ofthe magazine was published in 1927 and 1928. Following the scandal, the magazine was again revived in 1929 to its original standing. The last known issue was published in April 1931.