Alumni Association Web Site: A Work in Progress

In the fast-paced world of computer technology, keeping up-to-date is a constant challenge.

This spring, the Alumni Association conducted a comprehensive review of its Web site to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of alumni, students, parents, and friends. 

A committee of 12 Washington University graduates participated, chaired by Tom Feichtinger, B.S.C.S. '86.

A global director for common systems architecture at General Motors Corporation, Feichtinger serves as vice chair for careers and technology on the Alumni Board of Governors at Washington University.

"Our alumni Web site serves a lot of different constituents, so there is no one answer for everyone," Feichtinger explains. "Students and younger alumni may be most interested in careers and networking. People who live outside the St. Louis area want to feel connected to the University community and with clubs and events in their area. Many people are interested in specific services and information, or links to other programs at the University, such as the Alumni and Parents Admission Program.

"We considered all the available options," he continues. "Then we asked ourselves: What would be of the greatest value to our users? Which features would encourage people to visit the Alumni Association Web site regularly?" To ensure a comprehensive review, the committee consisted of alumni from schools across the University and from every generation. The group was diverse by design, including members representing different volunteer interests and varying levels of computer savvy—some use online services regularly, some rarely.

"We employed a three-step process," Feichtinger says. "First, we reviewed the Web sites of other leading universities. We looked at the features they offer, how easy they are to navigate, how accessible and 'user-friendly' they are.

"Second, we surveyed a random sample of Washington University alumni for whom we had e-mail addresses. Questions ranged from their use of our Web site to their interests, age, geographical location, and other demographics. Then we compared the answers with data from previous surveys.

"The third step was reviewing the Alumni Association Web site. After conferring by e-mail and conference calls, the committee presented a set of recommendations to the Alumni Board of Governors in April."

Visit the Alumni Association Web site soon and click on the link to participate in the survey; then watch for changes to come from this work in progress.



Save the Date!

November 5, 2005
Plan now to join us at the America's Center on Saturday, November 5, 2005, to celebrate the 152nd anniversary of the founding of Washington University.

Keynote speaker Rudolph Giuliani, 107th mayor,
City of New York









Did you know
... that on the first working day of each month, Washington University sends an electronic newsletter to all alumni, friends, and parents for whom the University has e-mail addresses?

Since October 2002, @Washington University in St. Louis has provided an informative, convenient, and timely look at important University news—a sample of some of the cutting-edge research and significant scholarship taking place on the Hilltop and Medical campuses and other topics of special interest. Its purpose is to keep alumni, friends, and parents better connected to the University.

To receive your copy (e-mailed in text-only format with a convenient, quick link to an online version replete with color and graphics), go to Click on the "@Washington Newsletter" link, provide your name, mailing address, and e-mail address, and you're all set! It's that simple, and it's free.

@Washington University in St. Louis is produced by the Special Development Communications Projects staff. For more information about the newsletter, send an e-mail to marvin_meinz@ or call 314-935-9837.