By Rebecca O'Halloran
After a two-year process, the Alumni Directory will be shipped on Dec. 10 to each alumnus who ordered it.
Data compilation for the directory began when the University hired Publishing Concepts Inc. (PCI), a national corporation based out of Arkansas that specializes in everything from gathering information to laying out the design.
The process commenced when PCI mailed out polls to the 85,000 active alumni. The company later followed up with postcard mailings and phoned participating alumni to confirm the contact information.
The last time Alumni Relations released a directory was in 1996 and Director of Alumni Relations Tara Vasallo, said there were approximately 8,000 to 10,000 alumni who ordered that directory. Polls for this directory, however, received responses from 20,000 alumni who wanted the directory.
The directories will be mailed out three months later than scheduled and Vasallo attributes the delay to frequent turnovers at PCI, as well difficulties with alumni adapting to the new Banner system introduced at the University. Also, it took longer than expected for Alumni Relations to edit every record PCI entered into the system.
"One of the reasons it took longer than we would have liked is because of the overwhelming response," Vasallo said. "I would rather it go out a little late and be more accurate."
Many alumni paid for the directory two years ago when PCI was still gathering data.
Alumni had their choice of a softbound directory, which cost $72.42 including tax and shipping, or for $75.67 including tax and shipping, the alumni could have chosen either the hardbound directory or the CD-ROM. There was also a package deal, which included the softbound directory and the CD-ROM for a total of $97.32.
"We have a deal with PCI that [Alumni Relations isn't] a royalty on the directories that are sold," Vasallo said.
Instead, she said outside of covering the cost of publication, any royalties that are made will go to the Alumni Endowed Scholarship fund.
Vasallo said alumni would also be able to contact former classmates through the Alumni Portal, which will be created before summer 2005.