- Regional Associations
- Class Officers
- Annual Fund
- Society of the Alumni
- Career Center and Network
- Center for Community Engagement
- Board of Trustees
- Friends Groups
Notes should be limited to news of classmates or other alumni associated with your class. Secretaries should not include their own (or other’s) editorials, essays, lengthy poems or personal opinions. We do not include address changes (including email addresses) or telephone numbers for classmates. (Your column can reference that new contact info is available from the alumni office or via amherst.edu/alumni.)
News should be of reasonable length and of an informative nature and should appeal to your entire class. Please avoid innuendos, slurs, inside jokes or personal messages. Please do not cut and paste entire letters, articles or news releases; instead, digest or summarize them. Use the Class Notes section of your class Web page for longer documents and for posting photos. Remember that your column will be read by a broad audience—classmates, parents, grandparents, siblings, Williams alumni, perhaps even patients in an Amherst doctor’s waiting room.
Your classmates will appreciate a secretary who knows the “personality” of the class. But do not be ashamed of class notes that sound like class notes. Providing news is your primary goal. Your classmates want to hear about each other.
cONFIRMATION OF NEWS
Occasionally, a secretary will hear from a classmate who is upset about news he or she did not want published or information that was reported inaccurately. The one sure way to avoid this situation is to confirm questionable or personal news with your classmates. This will make the news more engaging—you can find out, for example, exactly why he/she moved to Boston. Think about your sources and the classmate being mentioned. When in doubt, reconfirm. Remember that some of your classmates work in fields in which information about their whereabouts/doings should not be publicized. If you run across such a mention, please contact that person to determine whether or not they would like it to appear in the magazine. Please also confirm with classmates before reprinting information from Facebook or other social networking sites.
Your efforts should dovetail with those of your reunion chair and other class officers. You should publish the dates of reunion in the issues leading up to the grand event. News about an upcoming reunion should be in your notes by the December 1 and March 1 deadlines.
THE DEFINITION OF A "MENTION"
A “mention” in your class notes is the news of any classmate, whether a detailed paragraph or a brief update. A name in a list (attendees at a wedding or dinner, for example) without substantive news attached will not count as a mention. Classmates mentioned as reunion attendees and with no news attached (e.g., “We haven’t heard from John Jones lately. Does anyone know where he is?”) will not count as mentions.
We hope your column will include detailed, personal news of each classmate: job changes, places of residence, marriages, births, new educational plans or other specific events.
You should be aware not only of classmates who remain unmentioned but also of those who send news frequently, such as: “Finished first semester law school,” “Finished second semester law school,” etc. We leave it to each secretary to decide when and how often a classmate’s news should be printed. The percentage of classmates mentioned should increase as you approach reunion.
Each secretary has a base of 250 words per column for an introduction, conclusion and/or between-mention commentary. In addition, you have an average of 70 words per classmate you mention. A mention must include both a name and at least one bit of news. A list of 12 wedding attendees, for example, will not count as 12 individual mentions, unless there is news about each person.
Remember that the 70-word rule is an average: You are free to include longer reports about some classmates as long as they are balanced out with shorter mentions. (For those of you who work on a computer, word counts are easily available through the “Tools” or “Review” menu in MS Word, and classmate mentions are bolded and thus easy to count.) One easy way to cut down on space is to digest news rather than quoting it directly. If your notes do not fit within the guidelines, your alumni office liaison will ask you to edit them until they are short enough.
The notes are proofread by a professional editor. We try to avoid substantial changes to your text. We follow AP style and will edit for consistency and accuracy.
In an effort to control the costs of printing Amherst, the magazine does not include photographs in the Class Notes. We receive numerous photographs documenting the lives and accomplishments of our alumni—selecting and publishing from that group would be difficult and costly. Instead, we encourage alumni to post photographs on the Class News section of your class Web page.
The notes section is usually the first in the magazine to be read. Your class must be represented in every issue. In the rare instance that you may not be able to prepare notes for an upcoming issue, you should designate a classmate or class officer to cover for you. Please notify your alumni office liaison in advance.
Posting Your Class Notes Online
Given the lag time between when you submit your notes and when the magazine is mailed, we encourage you to post class notes online to the Class Notes section of your class Web page and to notify the class whenever a new batch of notes is posted. If you’d like to learn how to post your notes, please contact your alumni office liaison.