Alumni Communications

How We Got to Here

A Story by Tison Smith King, ’67

I love this generation – the BOOMERS!  I love the pride, the decorum, the friendliness, faithfulness and work ethic.  We stick together and love to share our experiences on the phone, by text or email and above all in person whether it be a large group or coffee with a friend.  Jim, Cynthia and I have made it our personal mission to help expedite this togetherness.  My part is digital – this story describes the evolution of the ARC Multi-Class Alumni COMMUNICATION Project.  Thanks for your support!

Overworking AOL

A little over a year ago I began to see calls for help from Cynthia Ballas Moorehead, ’64 about her email woes.  She had graciously been sending notifications to her “1,000 closest ARC friends” using her personal AOL account for over 15 years to announce Alumni deaths, major events and other ARC news.  Many, many thanks for all her steadfast efforts.  Also, a huge high-5 to Billy Newman, ’65, for maintaining that published Cynthia’s AOL list, as well as photos, and events.  Last year AOL began to limit bulk emails to 60 email at a time, called a BLAST or Bulk Email. That became w-a-a-a-a-y too much work.

A New Way to COMMUNICATE – Google on Steroids

So, I got in touch with Cynthia and offered to help find a cost-effective way to solve the problem of sending Bulk Email. Most of these services charge a monthly fee based on email volume and frequency.  One popular choice, Constant Contact is $20/month minimum. After some research and cost comparisons, I recommended a Google Business Suite account to keep the current list of graduates affectionately called “THE LIST”. We setup the domain name,, with its main email address,  Many people have a free personal Gmail account and are familiar with its features. The Google Business Suite has those and much more.  It is private, allowing only designated USERS and CONTACTS access. It has a secure repository for files, photos, meetings and calendars.  There is an Administrative Dashboard to control all its services.  It’s like having our own private server in “the cloud”.

How Does THE LIST Work?

Months of work went into creating, learning and managing, THE LIST in Google Business.  This is how it works.  If you were on Cynthia’s AOL list, you are on the new list. If you are an ARC graduate in any class before 1970, and you’re not on the list, send Cynthia Moorehead, your first name, maiden name, last name, email address and graduation year. Once verified, we will create a Contact for you and add you to the appropriate groups: one large group for classes 60-65, one large group for classes 66-69 or one group for any earlier classes.  Your Contact will also go into a specific group for your class year.  We use these groups to send Bulk Email Blasts.  After that, your information goes on a spreadsheet – THE LIST – that is shared only to these groups.  Remember, you must be ON THE LIST to view it.

Google Business Users, Contacts and Groups

Only one user ($6/month) was required to open this business level account.  Currently we pay for 2 user accounts for – Cynthia Moorehead and Tison King.  The Contacts are approaching 1,300 and is expanding daily. We have divided the Contacts into custom groups for Bulk Blasts.  Some groups are large with 400-600 contacts.  Some groups are smaller, like a single graduating class or a special event, etc. Total annual cost:  2 users:  $144.

Multi-Class Reunion Evolution

All of this is designed to help ARC Alumni, especially those who graduated over 50 years ago, communicate with one another and gather.  Over the last 75 years these “silver fox” alumni have come together for single-year class reunions, to enjoy their shared memories and lives.  Reunions are a ton of work. Unfortunately, most classes stand alone, reinventing the reunion process each time.  Few are willing at this stage of our lives.  The Classes of the 60’s has successfully refined this process to a decade of classes – sweet!  We have expanded their model.

Multi-Class Reunions

In 2018 Jim Pardue, ’65 et al put together a Multi-Class Reunion for “legacy” graduates and had it at the school.  It included a huge gathering in the gym, a guided tour of the school and lunch in the lunchroom. There turnout was an amazing, but when it was over he had a stack of paper over two feet tall.  The preparation for this year’s reunion, the “2020 ARC Alumni Multi-Class Reunion” was digitized.  Held on March 7 at West Lake Country Club it had its own web site:  We used THE LIST from Our Google Business domain,, to promote the event and send notifications.

You are THE KEY!

Our goal is to make all COMMUNICATIONS and GATHERINGS easier.  Our ARC Alumni Multi-Class organization now has its own domain name, domain email service, business bank account, EIN number, PayPal account, and registered trademark.  Again, only $12/month.  Cynthia sent out an email this winter asking for financial support for this entire process.  The response has been phenomenal!!  Part of the proceeds prepaid 2 years of our Google account and some has gone for the cost of this new Web Site.


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Thanks to the many, many volunteers from a host of reunions who are blending their ideas and efforts to improve “face-time” for our Alumni.  Some have said our “silver fox alumni” can’t handle all this new technology.  I don’t believe it.  Prove me right:  check out THE LIST now.  If you get an access error message, please let Cynthia know at   — Tison Smith King, ’67