Passing the Baton

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It’s hard to believe that, in the 4 years since our last reunion, we’ve lived through a pandemic and so many losses around the world and in our own communities. This has been a time to reconsider what’s most important in our lives.

That is why I have decided that, after 15 years producing the website, managing our mailing lists, administering social media accounts, and coordinating the most recent alumni reunion, it is time to pass the volunteer baton to the next generation. There is so much more I’d like to do, but so little free time to do it.

We are looking for one or more alumni/ae volunteers to take the batons in three roles: as reunion coordinator, content producer/editor, and/or digital developer/designer. I have included an overview of the work, below, and I have created a form so you can express your interest by October 15. We’ll get back to everyone in November and I envision a transition into 2023.

Due to the time it takes to get familiar with our diverse, multi-generational community — and the communication platforms we use — I hope the next volunteer(s) will make a commitment of at least 3-5 years to this work and be independent learner(s), since I expect I will have limited time for support.

As for me, even though I only worked at GBH for about 5 years, I have truly enjoyed getting to know so many alumni from all generations: from the 1950s to the 2020s.

Thank you for all of your support over the years!



Reunion coordinator

  • Recruit and coordinate team to plan reunion. Team roles:
    • Develop program/schedule for the day.
    • Serve as liaison to the station/venue.
    • Coordinate caterer.
    • Work with GBH for videos, graphics, lanyards, etc.
  • Define and track tasks, owners, and deadlines along critical path.
  • Approximate time commitment: 5-11 hours per month in the 18 months before reunion, 3-7 hours per week in the month before reunion, 12-15 hours on day of the reunion, 3-5 hours per week in the 4 weeks after the reunion.

Content producer/editor

  • Architect the website for alumni engagement and ease of use (WordPress).
  • Request and receive submissions for alumni stories. Edit for clarity and style.
  • Update alumni profiles, as requested.
  • Research, commission, select, and prepare images and graphics to accompany posts.
  • Coordinate transcription and editing of long-format interviews (
  • Monitor and edit comments. Edit and approve comments from those who’ve not commented previously.
  • Administer social media accounts. Write, edit, and/or monitor posts and comments.
  • Maintain digital and paper records of alumni resources.
  • Respond to requests for personal correspondence between alumni.
  • Approximate time commitment: 3-7 hours per month.
  • Future: Expand communications to Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, more.

Digital developer/designer

  • Manage and maintain web hosting and production stack: cloud server, CMS, plug-ins, templates, back-ups, security. (Current WordPress instance can be transferred to a new developer’s hosting account or they can build a new site. The DNS entries will then be pointed to the new host server.)
  • Define and apply interface design patterns: fonts, palettes, shapes, responsive interface for tablets and mobile.
  • Update and apply taxonomies, including categories, automatic tagging, series, and related posts.
  • Develop online forms and manage file storage and sharing (Google).
  • Maintain mailing list (MailChimp).
  • Current approximate time commitment: 3-5 hours per month. 25-45+ hours if new platform is selected and configured.
  • Future: Integrate posting between channels, add self-service profile editing.

Photo: Tableatny via Flickr Creative Commons 


  1. Bob Nesson on October 21, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    Oh Jay, you have been such an incredible asset to all of us “old timers” — who could possibly fill your shoes? Thank you for all you’ve done over the years. We will truly miss you and your wonderful support. Bob

  2. Deborah J. Gillespie on September 30, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Jay, thank you so very much. You have created a marvelous and seamless
    enterprise that so many have enjoyed!

  3. Christy George on September 30, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    I can’t believe you were only there for five years! You made the mark of a lifer! And your service here has been spectacular – thanks!

  4. Paul Solman on September 30, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    Yes, Jay, a wholehearted thank you. The comments accurately reflect how much you’ve done for so many of us.

  5. Jay Collier on September 24, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Thank you all for these very kind words! It has been an honor serving such an inspiring community. I only wish we could find funding to allow me to continue. I hope new producer(s) in the wings will notice the appreciation one receives for supporting this alumni network!

  6. Deedee Morss Decker on September 23, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Jay, thank you. I was only at GBH from 1965-67 but to this day I have dear friends from those years. And my training at GBH was invaluable when I moved to NYC. I love reading every email about the alums over the years. Deedee Morss Decker

  7. Lo on September 23, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    OH NO…MR JAY! Please say it ain’t so? Actually, You have more than earned it Jay. You have been a cornerstone of media information to all of us. And you’ve helped me countless times out of questions and messes. THANK YOU!

    Hope you find replacment(S) so you can finally sit back and enjoy the WGBH Alumni Site you created. THANK YOU AGAIN!

  8. Don Hallock on September 21, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Jay. You’ve done us proud by reminding us so admirably of what we GBHers can feel proud of, and through managing a handsome web site and an admirable association of peers to be proud of as well. The 15 years of your stewardship have gone by entirely too fast (though probably not from where you sit). You’ve brought an impressive intelligence of content and design to the effort. During that decade and a half the WGBH Alumni Network has looked and felt professional, erudite, committed and compassionate. This wasn’t only faithful to its original intent, but has been an accurate reflection of the workplace we’ve all been so pleased to feel part of.

    Keeping us all connected – and with clarity, good humor, insight and technical expertise – has been a huge task. I wish we had a medal of honor to bestow. I’d pin it on you myself.

    We all have much to thank you for.

    I do hope we can find persons to fill your very large and very high class shoes. You’ve made it an important job.

    So happy to be able to call you my friend. Aloha, Don Hallock

  9. Sam Tyler on September 20, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Jay, when I arrived at WGBH almost 50 years ago, your (almost) namesake, Phil Collyer, took a genuine interest in helping me better understand how this production/broadcasting product I was to sell actually worked. In the past few years, working with you on a couple of projects, I came to see the same caring, deliberate, thoughtful approach. Very grateful for all you have done. Sam

  10. Jack on September 19, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    Jay, you have chosen to leave your current post, but you can never leave GBH. You are among alums, you are one of us. In your five years at the station, you learned about the folks who created the trailblazing history we and you have chronicled. Thanks Jay. On to the next chapter.


  11. Amy Meyers on September 19, 2022 at 7:58 pm


    Thank you for your years of dedication to those of us who share the incomparable ‘gbh experience. My years on Western Avenue (‘73-‘78) may have been short but the values, lessons, memories and, friendships are treasured. I appreciate all you have done to ensure the emotional and intellectual ties endure.

    It will be wonderful if there are volunteers willing to take the challenge of carrying your batons. After all, these programs are made possible, in part, by viewers, listeners and readers like you/us.

    Be well.


  12. Michael Ambrosino on September 19, 2022 at 6:19 pm


    Thank you for the hours and years of creative, diligent and thoughtful effort to make the Alum Site a real treasure that we check often and holds the WGBH Clan together.

    I remember those early days in one half of a defunct roller skating rink where we made live programs with little cash but lots of spirit in this new mission called “educational broadcasting.

    WGBH lives on in our hearts because it challenged us to do our best in local and national programming.

    Michael Ambrosino

  13. Carol Obertubbesing on September 19, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks very much for all of your work in keeping us in touch with each other, both online and in person. It has been sad to read about the colleagues who have passed, but that’s all the more reason why communicating with and seeing each other is so important. I greatly appreciate your efforts in facilitating this.


  14. Dan Beach on September 19, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    Jay – I can’t believe it’s been 15 years. You’ve created a world-class site. It is a wonderful research tool and documents so much of ‘GBH and its history. Best of all, it has really facilitated our keeping in touch with cherished friends with whom we shared our years at The Mother Ship. Your ability to knit this all together is beyond amazing. Great job! Well-deserved break. Many kudos.

  15. Paula Apsell on September 19, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    Jane: let’s be in touch! Paula

  16. Jane Arsham on September 19, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    Jay– that it will take 3 people to replace you pretty much says it all! Your service has been truly appreciated!

  17. Benny Krol on September 19, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Jay, your driving force, commitment and dedication to making the WGBH Alumni so successful will not be forgotten. Your shoes will be hard to fill and I feel that you will be missed dearly. Thanks for everything you do.


  18. Laurie Everett on September 19, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Bravo Jay. Thanks for your amazing work, for setting the bar high and for keeping us connected through these times.

  19. Jill Philipson on September 19, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you, Jay, for keeping us all in touch with each other! You did a great job. (Thank you, too, for always having my back in the control room!!)

  20. Ralph E Schuetz on September 19, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    Five years at WGBH seems like a long time to me, having been at WGBH for only three years myself. In both our cases, it was enough to generate a tremendous since of pride and loyalty to the institution. You’ve offered an immeasurable contribution to all the rest of us, So now you say we need to find three people to replace you? Good luck with that! I know we’ll all be forever grateful, Jay.

  21. Jeff Hutchins on September 19, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    Let me echo others’ sentiments: You’ve done us all a great service, and done it with kindness, good humor, and patience. I’m grateful to you and glad I got to meet you at the last reunion. Good luck in your “retirement.”

  22. Margo Garrison on September 19, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    Oh no! Say it ain’t so! I totally understand your need to move on but you will sorely be missed. I can’t believe you only worked at the station for 5 years. You are ‘GBH Royalty! Your legacy will have been to foster a sense of family and connection for all of us. Thank you Jay.
    -Margo Garrison

  23. Bill Charette on September 19, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Jay, I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort you put into making the website and the reunions a seamless experience for all of us. You have been kind and responsive each time I have interacted with you over the years. A job well done. Thank you so much.

  24. John B. Gray on September 19, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Jay, many thanks for keeping us in touch. Much apprciated!

  25. Russ Fortier on September 19, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Thank you Jay, for doing such a great job with this, and for never losing your temper (at least so no one can tell) :-)

  26. Chas Norton on September 19, 2022 at 11:27 am


    A shout out of thanks for your stewardship of our collective past; you have set a very high standard.

    Thanks for all your well-directed effort.


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