The Old Scholars Database is the glue which holds the Association together. Its main purpose is to enable us to mail old scholars with magazines, reunion invitations and letters. Sometimes it can also be useful in reuniting old scholars who have lost touch. Mailings cost time and money and it is therefore essential to keep database up-
When I first took over the database from Albert Harrison in 1998 it was as a Microsoft Cardfile. This was a freebie that came with early versions of Windows. I converted it to Microsoft Access which I’d become familiar with from work. Later it became a Microsoft Works database and also an Excel spreadsheet but, now that it is back with me, it’s Access again.
Currently there are over 630 records on the database. However the mailing list excludes goneaways (those who have moved without telling us where), the deceased, and those who no longer wish to have contact with the Association. In August the mailing list stood at 475 records. We were uncertain as to how many of these included valid names and addresses. I therefore wrote to everybody asking them to confirm their details. I attached a return address label on the envelope so that Royal Mail could return the “goneaways” and enable us to remove them from the mailing list (but leave them on the database).
102 completed questionnaires were returned, 92 were returned as goneaways, 16 as deceased and 13 as no contact required. The mailing list was thereby reduced by 120 or so.
We still needed to investigate the missing 250 and so a reminder was sent. 32 completed reminders were returned, 23 as goneaways, 5 as deceased and 5 as no contact required. The mailing list was thereby reduced by a further 33.
Currently there are 323 old scholars on the mailing list but this includes 181 who did not reply to either the questionnaire or the reminder. It is quite possible that these old scholars will not be mailed in future.
Update 5 June 2012
As anticipated, the Committee decided to remove from the mailing list all those old scholars who had not replied the questionnaire and reminder. There are now only 166 old scholars on the mailing list.