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Alumni Directories in the 21st Century

I just got off the phone with somebody from Cornell who was calling me on a quest to update my information for the Cornell Alumni Directory. I gladly obliged, and figured it would be useful, especially as I am set to move addresses in a couple of short weeks. We also had a nice little chat about Ithaca, I commented on how I donít get to go back to Upstate New York nearly as much as I would like.

But at the end of the conversation came the inevitable: I was asked whether or not I wanted to pay $69.95 for my very own bound copy of the directory, to be published by the Cornell Alumni Federation at the end of 2006. I gracefully turned down the offer, explaining that I was a young alumnus without a lot of disposable income (after accounting for my beer money, of course), and that if I ever needed to look up any long-lost Cornellians not on facebook.com, I would probably just head over to the online alumni directory, which is provided by the Alumni Federation free of charge.

But I certainly hope that these are volunteers calling me on behalf of the Alumni Federation, and not paid phone operators. If they are paid, just think of all of the additional resources that could be provided to making the alumni magazine free, or at least free for young alumni. Somehow I suspect that alumni who receive a free alumni magazine might be more likely to update their alumni directory information on their own. Oh, and give more money back to the University too.

Besides, who would ever use a bound directory these days? Doesnít the alumni federation realize that there is this new great thing known as the Internet that Cornell played no small part in helping to develop?

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on June 10, 2006 (#)

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