UPDATE: I added more info and bumped this up. Informed commentary welcome.

Should I be surprised that the Alumni Directory knows the date and location of my wedding?

In response to some of the comments below, I did send in a wedding photo which reported the date and location of my wedding. Impressive if the Alumni Office recorded and kept track of that information! But those of us who have dealt with the Alumni Office on technology issues would be, uh, surprised by that.

Just as a cross-check, here is the info for the first three graduates from the 60’s with last name Jones as listed in the directory.

Marriage Date 08/31/1968
Marriage Place Darien, CT
Marriage Status Married

Marriage Date 06/26/1965
Marriage Place Milledgeville, GA
Marriage Status Married

Marriage Date 03/09/2008
Marriage Place Bermuda
Marriage Status Married

Comments:

1) Obviously, I will not be reporting anyone’s name or other identifying information. I just wanted to provide a (random?) sample of the data that any other alum could replicate if she wanted.

2) First three Jones from the 60’s is not the world’s greatest sampling plan, but it will do for my point.

3) The third marriage could have easily entered the database via a self-report. And kudos on the choice of Bermuda for marriage location. Very pretty!

4) But just how did the first two marriages end up in the database? I honestly don’t know. Perhaps the College saved the paper report that was submitted along with any pictures from the 60’s and then entered that data by hand when the alumni database was computerized 20+ years after those weddings. Perhaps the College surveyed for that information during a 25th reunion. The first seems to me impossible and the second doubtful.

My guess is that the College has contracted with a firm that provides this sort of data for a fee. Not that there is anything wrong with that! Marriages are a matter of public record in the US. Someone has already gone to the trouble of computerizing them.

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