MIT has added to its electronic services for graduates with an online alumni/ae directory.
The secure directory is available to Institute alumni/ae who have registered with Alumni Network Services. In 1997, ANS launched its E-mail Forwarding for Life service, where graduates can more easily stay in touch by getting up to five permanent "@alum.mit.edu" e-mail address. ANS forwards those messages to the user's most current "real" e-mail address, so alumni/ae need only inform ANS when they change addresses.
The directory, which is synchronized with the alumni/ae records database, contains continually updated alumni/ae contact information, as well as degree year, courses studied, MIT activities and current employer. Someone seeking an old classmate can search using any orall of these criteria.
"For example, if you want to know what alums live in Indiana and graduated between 1995 and 1998 or were in varsity fencing, you can do that," said Maggy Bruzelius, ANS director. She emphasized that alumni/ae may choose to have certain information hidden if they wish.
ANS also offers online discussion forums where alumni/ae can discuss topics of interest, post class notes, plan events or hold meetings. Users can create forums open to everyone or only to those in a certain class year, club or committee.
Many alumni/ae who use ANS have written to express their appreciation. "I never realized when I applied to MIT that it would be a part of my life forever. I have found an MIT Club almost everywhere that the Air Force has sent me. And now, thanks to EFL, I won't have to change my e-mail address every time I move," wrote Teri Centner (SB 1989).
"Thanks to your new feature of forwarding to multiple e-mail addresses, I did not lose any messages. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the MIT Alumni/ae Association for the quality of the EFL service. In almost two years that I have been using EFL, it has been 100 percent reliable," wrote Javier Bonet (SM 1968).
As of last week, more than 23,400 MIT graduates had registered with ANS (about 28 percent of all living alumni/ae), and more than 5,000 had used the web site to update their personal information.
Users can register with ANS, update their own information and access the alumni/ae directory by going to http://ans.mit.edu/.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 32).