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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 13, 2005

UH seeks alumni for directory

By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Education Writer

The names and addresses of 204,000 University of Hawai'i alumni have been turned over to a Mainland publishing company, Harris Publishing of Norfolk, Va., to potentially be included in the first UH alumni directory to be published as part of the 2007 Centennial celebration.

UH directory

$69 soft cover, plus $9.95 shipping

$79 hard cover, plus $9.95 shipping

$79 CD, plus $7.95 shipping

$89 soft cover plus CD, with $14.95 shipping

$99 hard cover plus CD with $14.95 shipping

The University of Hawai'i Alumni Association, in cooperation with the UH Foundation, launched the project to offer graduates a networking opportunity and the chance to feel pride in their school. Harris is one of the largest firms producing alumni directories for high schools and colleges.

Although Harris said the response has been one of their best ever, some alumni have been calling the UH alumni office to say they don't want to be included in the directory that's being sold at $99 for a hard-bound copy plus CD, not including shipping charges.

Only alumni who "opt-in" to the directory will be included. Graduates must call (800) 366-7167 to be included, and will have the chance to tell a representative what information they wish published, everything from home and work addresses, phone numbers and e-mails, to children's names and degrees achieved.

Emily Fay, director of alumni programs, said there will be opportunities for alumni to purchase a directory later, especially before it goes to press, by contacting her office through the end of April.

But once the process is over, reordering won't be possible, she said.

"It certainly is not a hard sell," said Susan D'Agostino, senior vice president of Harris Publishing. "We certainly wouldn't be in business 42 years if we operated that way."

Fay said she has had alumni board members make anonymous test calls from the office to Harris to examine their telemarketing techniques.

"We said 'No we didn't want to buy the book,' and they said 'Thank you for updating your information,' and there wasn't a single bit of pushing. They handled it really professionally."

D'Agostino at first told The Advertiser alumni must opt out in order not to be included in the directory. The majority of Harris projects are opt-out projects. But after a call to Takamori, D'Agostino said the UH Foundation specifically wants alumni to choose to be part of the directory.

Reach Beverly Creamer at bcreamer@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8013.