PrintShareE-Mail This Page

Become a Class Correspondent

Class Notes is one of the most popular sections of Knox Magazine, thanks to the dedication of class correspondents.

We have gathered a list of the correspondents' most frequently asked questions and provided answers below. If you have questions, please contact Cheri Siebken, Class Notes Editor, Knox Magazine, by e-mailing csiebken@knox.edu or calling 309-341-7550.

What are my responsibilities?
Class correspondents gather news items from classmates and compile this information in a column for publication in Knox Magazine, which is published twice yearly. Correspondents are asked to submit a column for each issue.

When are my deadlines?
June 1 -- Fall Issue (published in September)
December 1 -- Spring Issue (published in March)

You will receive an e-mail at least one month prior to deadlines.

Why are the deadlines so far in advance of the magazine's publication?
Your columns are due three months in advance of the magazine's publication and two months before the magazine goes to the printer (the magazine is sent to the printer roughly one month prior to its publication). Class Notes is (on the average) 24 pages long and mentions more than 500 alumni, faculty and friends of the College. It takes a lot of editing and proofing in order to make sure names, class years, and other relevant information is correct. When you factor in time for editing, design, and final proofing, it takes two months to make sure Class Notes is ready for publication.

How do I submit my column?
Columns are submitted to:

Cheri Siebken, Class Notes Editor
Knox Magazine
Box K-230
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401
csiebken@knox.edu

Column submissions are accepted via e-mail and regular mail. You can include the text of your column in an e-mail, or you can send an attachment. Please make sure attachments are PC compatible. If a column is submitted via regular mail, we prefer to receive columns on CD. Again, please make sure your column is written in a PC compatible program. If you send a hard copy, please make sure it is readable -- either typed or written in a legible hand.

How can I get information from my classmates?
As you browse through the Class Notes section, you will notice that some classes have more than a page of notes, others have only a few paragraphs, and others have no notes at all. The length of your column is mostly dependent upon how much communication there is between you and your classmates. The more they hear from you, the more likely they are to send you updates.

Here are a few ideas on how you can keep in contact with your classmates:

  • Ask the editor for classmate contact information. Send a general e-mail asking for updated information and submissions to your column. Or mail a letter asking a few prime questions of your classmates.
  • Attend class events, such as Homecoming. If you can't attend events, ask a classmate to update you on any news and/or great stories heard at the event.
  • Many Class Notes editors receive information about classmates through Facebook and other social networking sites. Some have even set up Facebook pages specifically for the class. Please be sure to confirm the accuracy of any information you receive through these sites.

How can Knox help me gather this information?
The Office of Advancement can help you gather information for your column:

  • We are more than happy to send you up-to-date class lists, including e-mail and street addresses.
  • We will send you press releases, clippings, and updates on your classmates that are received in the Office of Advancement.

What information should I include in my column?
Like other college magazines, Class Notes are the primary means through which alumni keep track of classmates and friends. Unlike other college magazines, our Class Notes do more than inform alumni about their classmates -- they reflect the personality of each individual correspondent and individual classes. Because you, the correspondent, are writing the column, do not be afraid to add a bit of your own personality. Always keep in mind, however, the following words -- clear, concise, timely and relevant.

Following are some basic tips for writing your column:

  • Think of yourself as a class reporter.
  • Ask yourself what information is most relevant to your column. What do you want to know about your classmates? Leave out information that's not of interest to you -- if you don't want to know about it, your classmates won't either.
  • Keep the five W's in mind as you write your column -- who, what, when, where, and why. If the information doesn't answer any of those questions, leave it out.
  • Think of yourself as an editor. As an editor, you have a right to edit notes for grammar and length. Feel free to cut extraneous information from submissions. If major edits or changes are needed, please be sure to contact the person who submitted the information.
  • Variety, variety, variety. Knox alumni look to Class Notes for news of their classmates and friends. For this reason, try to include items about as many different people as you can.

Is there a word limit?
Each class is allotted 1,000 words per column. We have a limited amount of space for Class Notes in Knox Magazine. If your column is longer than 1,000 words, we will ask you to edit your submission to fit the word limit.

Just because you have 1,000 words, you don't have to use them all. Write the best column that you can with the information that you have -- don't fill in with extraneous information just because you haven't reached your limit. The more clear, concise, and relevant your information is, the more enjoyable your column will be to read.

Are there any editing guidelines or other rules that I need to follow?
It is extremely important that Class Notes are accurate and up-to-date. If you include a classmate's e-mail or address in your column, please be sure to get that classmate's permission. If you report information that did not come directly from the source, especially a marriage, divorce, birth, death or illness, please be sure to confirm that information.

Timeliness is just as important as accuracy. Please include only that information that has happened within the last calendar year or that has not been printed in past columns.

Also be aware of when the magazine will be delivered to classmates. Even though the deadline for class notes is December 1, it won't be seen until March, so wishes for a happy holiday season will look dated.

Following are a few style guides to use when writing your column:

  • Write complete sentences, each with a subject and verb.
  • Bold all alumni in your column. Do not bold class numerals.
  • If you report on a person who is not in your class, please include his/her class year, i.e. Megan Scott '96. Class numerals are treated as part of a person's name, with no comma before them. If you do not know a person's graduation year, simply put a question mark next to the name, and we will find the correct year.
  • If an alumna is married and has taken her husband's name, please be sure to include both her maiden name and married name in your column, i.e. Jane Doe Smith '75.
  • If you report on a couple, please use the following format: John '72 and Jane Doe Smith '75.
  • We suggest the following guides for basic grammar and usage rules: The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White and The Chicago Manual of Style.

How much will my column be edited before publication?
If all style guidelines are followed and the word limit is met, we will simply edit your column for grammar and accuracy. If your column exceeds the word limit, we will edit it for length. Please note that we will not omit information or make significant edits without your approval.

Can I send in photographs?
We do not generally accept photographs for inclusion in Class Notes, except for wedding photos. If you submit a wedding photo, please make sure the photo is of good quality. If you send an electronic photo, make sure it is a JPEG or TIF and that it is at least 300 dpi.

How can I submit story ideas?
If you have a story idea or if you come across a classmate that you believe is worthy of special attention, please contact Cheri Siebken.

Is there a sample column that I can use as a reference?
See below:

From Boise, Idaho, Janice Kysor Van Schuyler writes: "My husband, Lt. Col. Philip Van Schuyler (USAF ret.), and I are supposedly old, but no one has told us. We are still skiing in the winter and sailing in our boat on the lake. I have retired from being the local costume designer and actress and now paint and show watercolors. We have ceased to go to Europe, have sold our airplane, and do the U.S. instead. Life is fun and good."

Betty Madison Gunther, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, says she regrets missing the 60th Reunion but is thankful she can still enjoy dividing her time between Arkansas and Wisconsin. She reports keeping in touch often with Gloria Lillyblade Blakley, Phoenix, Arizona. Betty is looking forward to a cruise vacation in early 2005. Her e-mail is bgun@cox-internet.com.

Maury (aka "Hoppy") Hopwood says, "In my later years I became a racquetball nut. Entered several Senior Olympics in different cities and came away with the 'Gold' . . . now I'm limited to less strenuous activities. Great memories of Knox days."

Pat Rogers Gagliardi and husband, Dr. Ray, of Birmingham, Michigan, were enthusiastic committee members, volunteers, and galleryites for the 2004 Ryder Cup matches. Although disappointed with the results, they were proud that their country club, Oakland Hills, had been chosen for the prestigious event. You can reach the Gagliardis at Raygagliardi@bellsouth.net.

Barbara Parks Wilson reports from Peoria, Illinois, that she and Bob enjoy visiting with their daughters and five grandchildren -- and traveling, especially some "most interesting" cruises.

Howard Schewe, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, is "still limping" after a hip replacement operation. He says his best memory of college days is of his flight training, which led to service as Marine Corps pilot in both WWII and Korea, flying more than 170 combat missions. Howard's e-mail is lschewe@cox-internet.com.

Pete Peterson, Elmhurst, Illinois, continues his interest in assembling "classnotes" about his many friends of '43, and he has forwarded several items of special interest: Ken Wright, Barrington, Rhode Island, keeps busy swimming, gardening, walking his dog Pepper (unique half greyhound, half chihuahua), traveling (New England and Narraganset Bay), and enjoying annual Bermuda vacations with Marie. Barbara Ford Kahlenberg and husband, Al '44, Elmhurst, Illinois, are active in church work, golf and visiting their children. Barbara's e-mail is akalbar@aol.com. Bev Ellis Dunkel is living with her daughter in a new home in Las Vegas, Nevada. As for Pete and Ginny (Virginia Burrell Peterson '44), they're enjoying their home ("which fortunately isn't falling down and hopefully won't for our duration"), fitness clubs (and reading) for Pete, bridge clubs (and gardening) for Ginny.