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 the college and Bates Magazine, you help sustain Bates relationships and connections.

The aggregation of news in Bates Magazine helps alumni know what their friends and classmates are up to, to feel shared Bates pride in the community’s accomplishments, and to reach out to each other.

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, from which notes for the magazine can be selected.

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.

Try to put together up to 10 notes. If you have a Class Letter in the works, the magazine will use those notes.

What makes a “good” class note?

Class notes are like a status update, just with a wider lens. 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?

These staff in Alumni Engagement help you reach out to classmates to solicit news:

Classes of 1934–1965: Grace Bell,  207-755-5975
Classes of 1966–1985: Cristin Bates,  207-755-5991
Classes of 1986–2005: Nina Emmi ’10, 207-755-5993
Classes of 2006–2015: John Harvey ’09, 207-786-6239

How do I gather news items?

Your staff contact (see “Who Is My Contact?” above) can work with you to initiate a “Call for News” to your classmates or give you other tools to contact classmates.

How do I send my news to Bates?

Class Notes: Email your text 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 your staff contact (see “Who Is My Contact?” above) in Alumni Engagement.

When should I do a Class Letter?

Typically, each class produces a Class Letter annually. 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 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.
  • Deaths: if you learn that a classmate has passed, and you have a published obituary or a Web link, please email the news to 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.

In Memoriam

In partnership with Alumni Engagement, we maintain and update a Bates College 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.