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Major Project to Update Alumni Names in CATracks Completed

Posted Date: 25 Mar 2016

Effective Date: 25 Mar 2016

Over the past year, Northwestern Information Technology’s Alumni and Development Enterprise Applications team and Alumni Relations and Development (ARD) worked on a major project to ensure alumni are addressed correctly in print and email communications, in mailing lists, and on Our Northwestern, the University's online community connecting alumni, students, faculty, parents, and staff.

The project, which was completed in January 2016, involved updating and customizing functionality in the CATracks Alumni System to follow new guidelines on addressing alumni. These guidelines were created by representatives from ARD, Feinberg School of Medicine, the Law School, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University Library, and Athletics.

Information reviewed in CATracks included:

Improved reports for alumni mailing information are also now available and accessible to CATracks users.

End User Impact

Mail and email communications to all alumni, including donors and trustees, will now be more accurate and consistent.

Notably, the update resolves confusion around communication to married alumni. Before the update, a Northwestern alumna with no first name in CATracks married to John Wildcat might have received email beginning “Dear John,”. Now, communication to this alumna will be addressed to Mrs. Wildcat.

The update also clarifies the order in which married alumni are addressed on mailing labels and in letters. For example, mail to a woman with a PhD from Northwestern and her husband with a BA from Northwestern will be addressed to Dr. Jill Wildcat and Mr. Joe Wildcat, listing the professional title first, instead of Mr. and Dr. Wildcat.

In addition, CATracks users can now access improved reports for alumni mailings.

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