Letters to and From the Editor

You might think that in a world awash with social media, where we can share personal and professional news immediately with very little effort, the Class Notes section of a magazine like the WPI Journal might be considered anachronistic. Yet industry reader surveys have indicated time and again that Class Notes is one of the most popular features of any university magazine, especially at small- to medium-sized institutions.

A look at Google Analytics shows that trend reflected in the digital WPI Journal: The Class Notes section receives the most page views of any feature—by far. Sometimes twice as many views as the next-most popular page in each issue.

Despite this popularity, we’ve been running light on this type of content lately. So, dear reader, here’s a plea to send in your news to keep your fellow alumni updated on what’s happening in your life. It doesn’t have to be a major milestone (although job changes and weddings are always good fodder). Perhaps you ran into a classmate and shared a fun memory, or you published a long-awaited book, or met a personal milestone.

Sometimes we’re alerted when WPI alumni are featured in traditional media outlets (often because they mention their alma mater), and that information is converted into a note. But there’s plenty of news we miss—if you know an alum who’s been featured somewhere lately, send a link to the story and we’ll check it out. They may even be considered for a larger profile in an upcoming issue.

Some schools use class agents or diarists to collect and write the news of their classmates, and the results can take up a huge chunk of each issue. Although that’s not the WPI tradition, you can help keep your fellow alumni informed by sending a quick email to an account specifically set up for this purpose: classnotes@wpi.edu. And as a bonus, include a photo, too (at least a 1MB file for use in the print version).

Wishing you health and happiness this summer.

—Kristen O’Reilly, Editor

MG or MGE?

A question from a proud alumnus

It is with sadness that I read of Todd Akin’s passing in the Journal. He was a friend and fellow classmate of mine in the management engineering degree program. I noted that you had titled his degree MG, which I believe was added several years after our graduation. Is this now the encompassing degree designation for all management-related programs?

Todd was proud of his WPI management engineering degree and if my recollection is correct was listed as such in his US Congress biography. Dave Emery EE was another from the Class of ’70.

I am proud of my WPI management engineering degree as are other students who undertook the same course and found it a springboard to many different careers.

The recent changes in the Journal are excellent and show a great deal of craftsmanship.

Kindest regards,

—Greg Backstrom ’70

Editor’s Note: MG is legacy coding for management engineering majors. The registrar, and therefore our alumni database, now uses MGE for that major.

Class Notes Black and white archival photo of six male students studying at a desk

Class Notes

Catch up with fellow alumni, then send your news to classnotes@wpi.edu.

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