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the last word
You've Got Mail
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Ok, I admit it. I'm a mail junkie. I am one of those folks who actually looks forward to the two-foot-high pile of mail waiting when I come back to work after vacation.

At home recently recovering from surgery, the true high point of my day was the mail. I do a lot of catalog shopping so I am usually guaranteed a pretty hefty daily stack. (On those infrequent days when the mail is limited to one or two puny pieces, I wonder if the mail carrier is new and left some at the post office.) Lots of catalogs, but tucked in between them, a gem. A blue or bright yellow square envelope with my name handwritten on it. Not a bill, no impersonal mail merge, but a get well greeting from a friend or colleague to let me know someone was thinking about me while I was gone.

My childhood memories of rushing to get the mail every day are so strong that I send my tiny grandchildren their own magazine subscriptions so Hunter, Hayley and even baby Gavin will each have one piece of mail for their very own every month.

E-mail is awesome. "You've got mail" are words that send a thrill through me. I actually like to get even the campus messages that report the new cafeteria hours for the summer. I feel connected, a part of the community. And of course, e-mail has the advantages of ease and speed. No more hunting for a stamp.

A phone call is not the same thing. As gratifying as it may be, it is by its nature ephemeral. I can make a note of a conversation, but I cannot pull it from a drawer and mull it over. It does not warm the heart like rereading the note that my boss sent me for a job well done, or a card from an old friend, an Albright grad, reconnecting after a couple of decades when she saw my name on the masthead of The Albright Reporter.

A letter can also be shared with others.

As the editors of The Albright Reporter, we have a vested interest in getting mail from our readers. Our job is to produce an interesting magazine for some 18,000 readers, primarily Albright alumni. Our goal is to connect you to the College, to tell you what you want to know about what is happening with the College and with your fellow alumni. Naturally we love to get mail that tells us that we are doing a good job. But that is only half of the equation. We also need to know if we are off the mark.

That's where you come in. Our "Mailbag" section needs your letters and e-mails. You are the other part of the dialogue. We have conducted focus groups and surveys to make sure we are meeting your needs. But we truly do want to hear from you. Write and tell us what's on your mind. Tell us if you loved (or hated) an article and why. Give us suggestions for future stories. Take the opportunity to respond to stories or issues.

By snail mail or cyber mail, we are waiting to hear from you.

Barbara Marshall is the editor-in-chief of
The Albright Reporter and director of
college relations.

Send your letters to:
The Albright Reporter
College Relations Office
Albright College
13th and Bern Streets
P.O. Box 15234
Reading, PA 19612-5234

or e-mail barbaram@alb.edu.

 
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