For class notes volunteers

Here are a few tips and tactics for our class notes volunteers as you prepare notes for Bates Magazine.

What does a class notes volunteer do?

By sharing alumni news and updates with Bates Magazine, you help sustain Bates relationships and connections. The aggregation of alumni news in Bates Magazine is a powerful way for alumni to know what their friends and classmates are up to.

In that vein, we hope you will:

  • Submit news items to Bates Magazine three times a year


  • Produce an annual Class Letter that’s mailed to your classmates

For the magazine class notes, how many should I send?

Our goal is to have every class represented each issue with at least one note. So, sending just one item before deadline is a good start. If you have a Class Letter in the works, the magazine will use those notes. If not, try to put together up to 10 notes.

What makes a “good” class note?

Class notes are like a status update, just with a wider lens. So, just ask your classmates to share the kind of news and insights that will help keep fellow alums stay current on what’s happening in their lives.

Who is my contact?

For guidance about how to seek news items from your classmates and/or help producing a Class Letter, email Heidi Gagnon, class officer liaison with the Office of Alumni Engagement.

How do I gather news items?

  • For Bates Magazine Class Notes: We suggest that you use your class roster, Facebook, or other digital means to contact a few classmates prior to each magazine deadline to assemble around 10 news items.
  • For an annual Class Letter: Heidi Gagnon can work with you to initiate a “Call for News” (CFN) to all your classmates, either through a print mailing or an email blast. Here is a sample Call for News for a Class Letter.

How do I send my news to Bates?

Class Notes: Email with a Word attachment to Bates Magazine. Short news items can be simply sent in the body of an email.

Class Letters: Email with a Word attachment to Heidi Gagnon.

When should I do a Class Letter?

Typically, each class produces a Class Letter annually. Heidi Gagnon, coordinator and liaison for Alumni Engagement can help you schedule yours.

When you submit your Class Letter to Bates, it is then automatically provided to Bates Magazine for edited inclusion in the coming issue.

How do I report marriages, births/adoptions and deaths?

To report any news of this kind, you can email the Office of Alumni Engagement or phone toll-free 888-522-8371.

  • Marriages: Forward the date, full names and class years (if applicable) of the spouses, and any other information or update.
  • Group wedding photographs: Email high resolution JPEGs of Bates group weddings to Bates Magazine. Please include names and class years of all persons as well as the wedding date, location, and any other news. Weddings photos are printed in the order they arrive.
  • Births or adoptions: Forward the child’s full name, date of birth and adoption, and parents’ names. Parents are invited to publish photos of their children at the Bates Online Community.
  • Deaths: if you learn that a classmate has passed, and you have a published obituary or a Web link, please email the news to the Office of Alumni Engagment, who in turn will alert class officer of classmate deaths. By policy we cannot publicly announce the deaths of members of the community without first confirming the information by means of a printed obituary or direct notification from a relative.

What news is inappropriate for class notes?

The main rule is to avoid reporting hearsay — that is, news that an alum might tell you about another person.

Sometimes notes appear in my magazine class column that I did not send. Where do they come from?

Alumni often send news items directly to the college, and we also receive press releases from businesses or other organizations announcing alumni achievements. While Bates does not actively search for alumni news online, we do subscribe to online clipping service that yield news items about Bates alumni. Items such as these are edited and placed into the appropriate class section.

How do I put my notes together? How do I alphabetize? What do I bold?

There are four important rules we hope you’ll follow:

1. Put alumni names in bold. E.g.:

Alum in your class: John Astin is in graduate school.
Married alum outside your class: Sally Subtract Add ’99 is friends with John Astin.
Married couple, one a non-alum: John and Sarah Add Subtract have moved to San Diego.
Married couple, both alums, one outside your class:
John and Patty Duke Astin ’89 are retired.

2. When referring to married alumnae, always include their Bates/maiden name as well as their new last name: Jane Smile Day.

3. Alphabetize your entries by an alum’s maiden/Bates name, so Jane Adams Smith is placed with the A’s, and Sally Zen Alpha would go with the Z’s.

4. Use figures for ages and place in parentheses: Husband Rick and I have a daughter, Rose (3), and two sons, Leon (1) and Brian (6 months). Otherwise, spell out numbers under 10 and use figures for 10 and higher.

What prompts will I receive as a deadline approaches?

About a month before your deadline (listed above), we will e-mail you a reminder. This reminder will also ask you to verify your address information for the magazine.


Email Bates Magazine

In Memoriam

In partnership with the Office of Alumni Engagement, we maintain and update a memorial page of Bates people who have passed away.

Bates Style

Here is the detailed Bates style guide. Consistent style allows the reader to concentrate on content without being distracted by variations in abbreviations, spelling, capitalization, punctuation and the like.

The More Things Change

Here’s a photo published in the Class of 1906 letter, after their 10th Reunion, showing classmates and their children in the Alumni Parade. In the Class of 1909’s letter published in 1918, Ralph Kendall talks about attending a Red Sox World Series game at Fenway Park with classmate Albert Johnson.

Value Added

Here’s an essay from the 1920s about the good feelings created by class secretaries. What was true then is true now.

It’s News to Us

To alert Bates about an important alumni news item, happening of any kind, you can always e-mail the Office of Alumni Engagement, postal mail to 2 Andrews Rd., Lewiston ME 04240, or phone toll-free 888-522-8371, fax: 207-786-8242.