Class Communications

My class is holding an event in a few weeks. How do I get the word out to my classmates?

Your AYA staff liaison, working with the Alumni Services department, can handle all aspects of any mailing to your classmates, whether for an event or for another purpose. All you need to do is send an electronic copy of your letter (or mail/fax a hard copy) to your AYA staff liaison with your instructions. Because these mailings are processed by the same department that handles mailings for most Yale offices, at busy times it can take 7-10 days to send your mailing from when AYA receives the information.

Increasingly, classes are choosing broadcast email and other electronic means to distribute information about class events. Using email has the advantage of immediacy and cost-effectiveness, but there are also some disadvantages. Yale has email for many alumni, but not all, and some alumni have indicated that they do not wish to receive email from Yale. In addition, email is not the best way to distribute detailed information. If you have the ability to post schedules and reservation details on your class website, you can keep the email announcement brief and punchy, while pointing classmates to that site for more information.

AYA has a broadcast email tool and we encourage class officers and volunteers to make use of this rather than sending mass emails themselves. Your internet service provider (ISP) may restrict your ability to send email to multiple recipients, and using AYA's tool takes advantage of the most up-to-date email addresses on record in Yale's alumni database. In addition, we can provide guidance on limiting the volume of emails you send to avoid overwhelming classmates with messages. Please allow time for discussing the email's text with your staff person, who may have valuable suggestions based on past experience. Once final text is approved, we need about one additional week to prepare and send the message to your classmates.

If you do decide to email all classmates directly, and you plan to do so with any frequency - as you prepare for a 5-year reunion, for example - please clearly note that in your first message. You should then provide classmates the opportunity to "opt out" of future communications. It's a good idea to include these reminders in each subsequent email. Again, be aware that many ISPs have restrictions on bulk emails; you should contact your ISP directly for more information. If you choose to send an email to more than five (5) of the alumni listed on your class list, it is strongly recommended that you include their email addresses in the "BCC" field (rather than "TO" or "CC" fields) of an email message. This both protects the privacy of your classmates' addresses and shortens the length of your message, since the recipients will not need to scroll through the long list of recipients to read your message.

Please feel free to discuss your communications options with your class liaison at any time.


I am responsible for the Class Notes column in the Yale Alumni Magazine. What should I do if I can't make a deadline? Am I the only one who can write the column?

If you know in advance you won't be able to meet a deadline, we suggest you ask another officer or classmate to "guest" write for you. We know from feedback over the years that classmates are very disappointed when a column is missed. For more information about YAM class notes, please contact Ellen Cole (432-4109,, YAM Associate Editor (YAM is independently published & separate from AYA).
I am not signed up for the class mailing list; how do I join?

Simply go to and click on the "Online Resources: Mailing Lists" link in the left-hand column for complete instructions, as well as information on how these lists work.


My class webpage is out of date! Or we'd like to start a class webpage.

AYA provides server space to host class web pages, and the maintenance of class webpage content is the responsibility of the class. Classes can enlist classmate volunteers or hire an individual or company. To view a sampling of what other classes have done, go to For more information about creating a class webpage or uploading developed pages, consult your AYA staff liaison.

In particular, please note that if you are inclined to put classmate information or class notes on your website, you must password-protect this section of the site. The AYA can provide some technical assistance to your webmaster, and we will also be happy to work with you to publicize the password to your classmates.

Note: The AYA staff maintains the main AYA webpage and its subsidiaries (, including reunion information and registration ( Please let your AYA staff liaison know if you find an error or information that needs updating on these sites.