Alumnae Quarterly Reader Survey Results

After each issue we send a survey to a random group of 2,000 alumnae to evaluate reader response. It had been sixteen years since we conducted a comprehensive survey of a representative sample of the entire alumnae population, so in anticipation of our centennial year, we decided it was time.

Using resources from Mount Holyoke’s Office of Institutional Research and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, we crafted a short but targeted survey to gauge readers’ overall attitudes toward the magazine, its content, design, and delivery.

The survey was open November 7 through December 15, 2016. More than 1,500 alums responded. What follows is a high-level summary of results.

Ways alumnae acquire “all or most” information about Mount Holyoke College:



Format alumnae prefer:

Reading habits:




Sections alumnae rate as “excellent”:


Actions taken as a result of reading the Alumnae Quarterly:


Alumnae are “interested” or “very interested” in the following topics:


We received more than 1,000 comments, and here are a few takeaways:

Some patterns emerged:

  • Overwhelmingly readers prefer the print magazine over reading content online.
  • You go to class notes first, and feedback on historical/nostalgic content consistently rates as preferred and/or favorable.

As expected, reader opinions also varied widely, especially when it came to telling alumnae stories.

  • Some of you asked for more stories of “superstars.”
  • An equal number asked for more stories of “everyday alums.”

Overall, more comments were positive, and we’re grateful for that. But we learn from the negative as much, or more, than the positive. And we are especially appreciative of those critical suggestions around all aspects of the magazine, including content, design, and readability.

Many of you want to see yourselves in the magazine—whether in class notes or a feature—but don’t always know how to share updates and ideas.

We are working to take into account all of the feedback we’ve received, and we hope that over the next several issues the magazine will reflect some of that feedback.

Most important, thank you to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts. Please reach out at any time, at

—Jennifer Grow ’94, editor

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