Nobel Prize or New Puppy: The Art of the Class Note


The class of 1952 just celebrated our sixty-fifth reunion. For sixty-five years the Alumnae Quarterly has arrived in our mailbox every three months! We have progressed from ink wells and blotters to smartphones. We still read our class notes. (As it turns out, class notes continues to be the most popular section of the Quarterly!) For five years I have volunteered as my class scribe. It is a pleasure to remain in contact with those bright young women we knew in 1952.

Here are some common questions that I hear and what I’ve learned along the way:

Why should I write in?

To write a class note all you need to know is that we want to hear from all members of the class. A fifty-word message has a good chance to appear in its original wording. Most of my editing is done to meet our word limit, set by the Quarterly staff. I love to read long letters. And I hope my classmates will keep sending them. But I will have to select just a few thoughts for my column. Sometimes, if there isn’t much news, an individual’s class note can be quite long.

How can I submit a class note?

Contact information for each class scribe appears at the head of each class notes column.

  • Learn the name of your scribe and send an email directly. Scribes love email.
  • Letters in cursive sent by USPS are perfectly acceptable.
  • The telephone is available, also.

What should I write about?

I dream of a message from a ’52 who, together with her daughter, class of 1980, has just returned from Oslo or Stockholm with her Nobel prize. While there, they had a delightful conversation with another ’52, whose son also received a prize. In fifty words, please.

But I love to hear from any of my classmates about anything—retirement, grandchildren, travel, a new puppy, a new hobby, a recent mini-reunion, or even a personal achievement or challenge.

When should I send my news?

Scribes submit their columns at specific deadlines: currently July 15, October 15, January 25, and April 15. Most of us compile news well ahead of our deadlines, but you can send your news at any time! You’ll receive a reminder email from the Alumnae Association several weeks before our deadlines. Magazines are mailed three months after the deadlines, so it’s helpful to keep this timeline in mind when sending in your notes.

By Inez Chase Zimmerman ’52Inez Chase Zimmerman ’52 lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, in the house she and her husband bought in 1957. Her three children live in Massachusetts and appear in an instant when she needs help. Her half-acre lot has two brooks, a shagbark hickory, black walnut trees, and Jack-in-the-pulpits. She has served as scribe since 2012.

This article appeared as “The Art of the Class Note” in the summer 2017 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.

Are you a maven?

Pitch us your area of expertise at quarterly@mtholyoke.edu.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.