Alley 'Cats

Venturing into Silicon Valley

Celebrating the Alumni Connection

Untangling the Web

Sesqui-Bashes in D.C., Chicago

Extra Credit

Centennial Class Returns


Regional Clubs

Special-Interest Clubs


Kellogg Graduate School of Management

School of Law

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Lights, Camera: Access!

Getting Her Due

A Question of Ownership

Music Man
















Untangling the Web

Changes to the Northwesten Alumni Association Web site will ease the way for browsers while offering more options than in the past.

Like any of the Web pages on the Internet nowadays, the Northwestern Alumni Association Web site must stay up-to-date or it will be left behind. Accordingly, when alumni log on to the NAA Web site in the near future, they'll be in for a new look and features that will greatly enhance their Northwestern connection.

The most noticeable improvement will be that all alumni-related information will be reachable through one Web address (www.alumni.northwestern.edu). It's one-stop shopping: Alumni who click onto the site will be able to do anything from receiving updates on the latest Northwestern news, sports and local club events to gaining access to the online version of Northwestern magazine to finding the mailing and e-mail ad-dresses and telephone and fax numbers of other alumni.

"We received a lot of feedback that the multiple sites offered by the NAA were confusing," says Elizabeth Smith, associate director of marketing and communications in the University's Department of Alumni Relations. "Alumni didn't understand the role of nualumni.com — which was the former portal page [a news-oriented Web site that could be customized] — versus the role of the NAA Web site. Added to that issue was confusion over how the two Web addresses were related to our directory for contacting classmates. Our goal is to make the Internet experience as easy and enjoyable as possible."

In a Web-based survey conducted from mid-March to mid-April, 55 percent of alumni respondents said they most enjoyed the Northwestern news portion offered by the portal page. And 78 percent were interested in regular updates on Northwestern people and activities. Accordingly, the revamped site will serve up the latest information about alumni, the University and NAA events.

Totally new features being integrated into the NAA Web site are automatic registration for the online directory, Internet bulletin boards allowing alumni to communicate easily via the Internet, organizational tools for NU club presidents (such as mass e-mail applications and event-tracking) and the opportunity for Web-only deals and discounts. Alumni also can now register and pay for events online, including reunions and regional NU club activities.

"I think there are two benefits to hosting event registration and payment on the Web," says Smith. "It not only makes the process faster and easier for alumni, but it also allows our staff to be more effective in serving the alumni who use the Internet."

With these improvements also comes a change in the type of e-mail service the NAA provides. Instead of Web-based e-mail with an nualumni.com address, alumni will have the opportunity to register for an NAA e-mail forwarding service, which will provide them with an alumni.northwestern.edu-address for life.

"We want to make sure that the information — whether it's sports scores, the prices of Northwestern mementos or the dates of the next reunion — is there and readily available," says Susan Kraus Jones (J71, GJ72), co-chair of the NAA communications committee. "I'd like our site to be a first-choice destination for alumni to find out what is going on at Northwestern. It's the best way we can serve them."