We all remember what it was like during our first year at Oberlin. Adjusting to college life, stressing as first big projects loomed, and looking forward to fall break. Within the anxiety of the period, it can be easy for students to forget that they are part of a wider Oberlin community that will always be a resource for them.
You can make a difference in the life of an incoming student in just a few minutes with Oberlin M.A.I.L.! From now until Wednesday, October 7, the Alumni Office will be collecting postcards from alumni across the world with words of encouragement for students. As midterm week approaches, we will send each incoming student a postcard. It’s a simple but powerful way to connect with the next generation of alumni and make a difference for a stressed-out student.
Miss out on Oberlin M.A.I.L. 2014? Read the behind-the-scenes story. You can send in postcards now for the Class of 2019!
How to Participate
- Acquire a postcard (or postcards!). We want to showcase the geographical reach of the Oberlin community. Choose a postcard that depicts where you are writing from if possible, or from somewhere you've traveled.
- In a few sentences, share a moment from your first year at Oberlin or a bit of advice you wish you had heard during your first year.
- Sign legibly with your class year. Include your email address if you would like to be contacted by the student.
- Mail your postcard to:
Dale Preston '83
Ward Alumni Center
65 E. College St. Suite 4
Oberlin, OH 44074
Thank you to everyone who participated in Oberlin M.A.I.L. 2015! This map shows all the places from where we received cards!
- 24 states and Washington, DC
- 5 countries
- 3 continents
Can I submit more than one postcard?
Absolutely! We have close to 800 new students this year and we want to make sure each student gets a card. In 2014, one alumna wrote 31 postcards!
Can't I just send a postcard to my old OCMR?
The mailroom will not deliver mail to any OCMR without the name of the intended recipient. Our office is working with the registrar to compile a mailing list of all new Oberlin students to ensure delivery.
How will I know if my postcard has been received?
The Alumni Office will confirm receipt of your postcard(s) to the office. Once the postcards are sent through campus mail, the hope is the student(s) receiving your postcard will be in touch! Make sure you include your email address if you want to hear from the recipient(s).
Will Oberlin provide postcards?
No, we would love for you to send a postcard from your area or somewhere you've traveled, rather than an Oberlin postcard. The hope is that students will get a sense that alumni live all over the world, and that no matter where they go, they will be able to access the alumni network.
Should I stamp and address the postcard to the Alumni Office, or put it in an envelope and mail that?
Either way will work fine! If you would like to send a longer message or multiple postcards, it may make sense to send the postcard(s) in an envelope. If you have a cool stamp you'd like to show off, you might want to send the postcard in itself. Please be sure to leave room for an address label to be applied to the postcard.
Can I pick which student will receive my postcard?
To make sure that every incoming student receives a postcard, we are not assigning recipients ahead of time. You may want to start your message with "Dear first-year student," or "Hello, new Obie!" or "Welcome to Oberlin!"
Why didn't I get Oberlin M.A.I.L. when I was an incoming student?
Fall 2014 was the first year we tried Oberlin M.A.I.L. It was wildly successful, with over 185 alumni writing 804 postcards. We're delighted to continue the program for 2015!