Q: When are the deadlines for class notes?
About a month before each deadline, the magazine editor will send you a reminder letter, along with any clippings or news items we have received in our office. You should combine these notices with any news you have gathered to compose your column.
Many class secretaries find it helpful to send out a mass e-mail two or three weeks in advance of the deadlines above to solicit news from their classmates.
If a class notes column is not received by the deadline, we will phone or e-mail the secretary to confirm non-receipt for that issue.
Q: What if I miss the deadline for my class notes column?
If you can't make the deadline for your column, please contact the magazine editor for assistance or to make other plans for submitting your column. In selected cases, we can extend the deadline, but generally we can't guarantee the publication of class notes that are received after the deadline.
Q: How do I get an updated address list of my classmates?
Contact Alumnae/i Relations at (508) 286-8207 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to identify yourself as the class secretary and specify if you want the list printed out and mailed to you or sent electronically as an Excel file. Please allow at least two weeks to receive your printed list.
Q: Is there anything I shouldn't write about in class notes?
In general, you should avoid news of forthcoming events, such as a classmate's impending wedding, parenthood or career change. It's not a big deal to report a classmate's future plans to spend a few weeks at the beach, but it could be embarrassing or hurtful if we've written about a major life event--like a wedding or the birth of a child--that doesn't occur as planned. Therefore, you should incorporate news of these events after they have occurred.
It's also wise to use discretion in reporting news that came to you from secondhand sources. ("Joe Schmoe heard that Wendy Wheaton will be moving to Florida in May.") In such a case, you may want to contact the original source (or the alumna/us in question) to verify the news.
Q: If a classmate's child (or other family member) is engaged or expecting a baby, can I write about that?
Please wait until after the event has occurred.
Q: How do I submit a picture for the class notes section?
Photographic prints: The Quarterly accepts all sizes of photographs, but we prefer them to be at least 4x6 inches in size. Both color and black-and-white prints are acceptable. Mail your photos: Wheaton Quarterly, Wheaton College, Norton, MA 02766.
Tips for sending photo prints: The photos you send to the Quarterly should be sharp and clear. Photos that are out of focus, or that have harsh shadows, over-exposed areas, or "red-eyed" subjects may not be usable.
Digital photos: To submit a digital photo, attach it to an e-mail message addressed to email@example.com. Please note that for print reproduction of digital photographs we need high-resolution files (a minimum of 300 pixels per inch or 300dpi) in as large a format as possible. Photos that have a lower dpi are usually not acceptable. Digital photos should be saved in the JPEG format. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS FROM FACEBOOK or any other social media without the permission of those in the photo. Also, please note that photos that appear in social media often are not high enough in resolution for us to publish in the magazine.
For all photos: Please supply a brief description of the event and all the names and class years of the alumni who appear in the picture.
Often we receive more photos than we can use in any one issue. When this happens, we will select photos that represent a variety of class years and timely events.
Q: May I include a classmate's e-mail address or telephone number in my class notes column?
In most cases, you should not include this information. One exception is listing the contact information (including e-mail addresses and phone numbers) for Reunion organizers or class officers. This information is already published on the Wheaton web site and thus is permissible in class notes.
It's trickier when classmates ask to have their e-mail addresses published as part of their updated news. In the past, we have occasionally allowed this information in class notes ("Winona Wheaton writes that she would love to hear from her classmates. Her new e-mail address is...."). But because we want to limit the publication of alumni addresses for privacy reasons, it would be better to say, "Contact me for Winona's address."
Q: How do I notify the college of an alumna/us or family member's death?
The college appreciates receiving notification of the death of any member of the Wheaton community. Deaths should be reported to Alumnae/i Relations at (508) 286-8207 during business hours or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. ; When you submit your class notes column, please note deaths of alumni and their immediate family members in a separate section labeled "In Memoriam," using the following formats:
Alumni: Jane Anderson Doe '35 died February 23, 2003.
Relative: Anthony Q. Sample, father of Stephanie Sample '87, died March 1, 2003.
Keep in mind that in order to have a death acknowledged either in class notes or the "In Memoriam" section of the Quarterly, we must have an "official" (printed or verifiable) notice that the death occurred. This is because deaths have been misreported in the past, generating understandable dismay for the alumna/us and family members involved.
If a classmate reports a family member's death as part of a general update for class notes, you may want to ask him/her to send an obituary to the Alumnae/i Relations office. If the classmate has written of the death in a letter or e-mail message to you, please forward the letter (or the e-mail)--as well as the obituary, if you have one--to Alumnae/i Relations.
If you learn of a death via secondhand or thirdhand reports, call the Communications Office at (508) 286-8235 or send e-mail to email@example.com and we'll try to verify the report for you.
Q: How do I handle a classmate's (or family member's) death in class notes?
It's fitting to acknowledge the death in your class notes, even if it's just to include a simple message of condolence to the classmate or the family. Such a reference also serves as a signal to readers to look at the "In Memoriam" page, where they may find an obituary if the deceased was an alumna/us.
After the death is reported in the Quarterly, classmates may write to you to offer an anecdote or favorite memory about the person who died. You are welcome to incorporate these sentiments into your column as you see fit and as length allows.
Q: Something I wrote in my class notes column was changed. Why?
The magazine editor does revise the columns for length, clarity and readability. Most of the time, your column will be changed very little--and in some cases, the editor will seek your approval before revising your text. Minor grammatical or stylistic changes, however, (e.g., changing MA to Mass., or 2nd grade to second grade) are done at the editor's discretion and are required for uniformity in the publication. Typically, you will not be consulted about these minor revisions.
Q: Something I'm writing about hasn't happened at the time I'm preparing my column, but the event will be over with by the time the column is published. How should I handle that?
You can handle it simply by writing about the event in the past tense. Or, you could use some appropriate contextual language, illustrated in the following two examples, to let your readers know that you're writing about the event in advance.
"As I write this column in March, I know that everyone is eagerly anticipating our upcoming Reunion at Wheaton..."
"By the time you read this, we will have been together for our mini-reunion in Florida. I look forward to sharing the details in my next column."
Q: I have an idea that I think is publication-worthy. Should I submit the idea to the Quarterly?
Yes! We are always interested in your ideas for feature articles or profiles of alumni. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: A classmate of mine reported a new address when she sent me her class notes. Should I forward this information to the college?
Yes. You can report name and address changes to Alumnae/i Relations at (508) 286-8207 during regular business hours. Changes also may be sent by U.S. mail or by e-mail to email@example.com.
And if classmates share updates about a relocation they've made but haven't listed their new address, kindly ask them to report their new address to the college.