The Powderhorn was a bi-yearly magazine written and edited by students intended to replace the Carolana yearbook, which had seen a steady decline in interest from students willing to generate content and publish a traditional yearbook each year. In fact, the Carolana yearbook publication lapsed for seven years, from 1982 to 1989, and only published three additional volumes for 1989, 1990, and 1991 before ceasing.
In the fall of 1991, students created a survey to see if there was interest in continuing with a yearbook or replacing it with a student magazine, and survey results showed that students wanted a magazine instead. They wanted something that had more in-depth stories written from the perspective of the student body. After a few months of organizing, writing, and editing, the first issue of the Powderhorn magazine was published in spring 1992. Magazine staff chose the name Powderhorn to tie into the university mascot at that time, the Rifles; a powder horn holds the gunpowder which is the “life” of a rifle, just as students are the life of a campus.
The magazine released a new issue each semester except for fall 1992, and focused on campus activities, students, faculty, pop culture, and other relevant issues, putting a spotlight on every aspect of campus life. The Powderhorn magazine published its final issue in spring 1995.