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Stanford Celebrates You Yearbook Publication

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Stanford logo with squares that have different years written on them (40, 10, 5, 25, 50)

As one of the personalized components of the university’s staff service recognition program, the yearbook publication is awarded to honorees completing five or more years of service (in five-year increments), in participating schools and units.

For participating schools and units, managers and colleagues of honorees may submit online comments and photos to be displayed in your honoree's yearbook. All comments and photos submitted by the given deadline will be printed in the yearbook and presented at your local recognition ceremony. The yearbook commenting process begins 10 weeks before your local recognition ceremony when your local HRM validates the list of honorees reaching a significant milestone. Nine weeks before the ceremony all managers of honorees will receive an email from their leader and follow-up communication, tips, and tools from their local HRM. 

Congratulatory messages from colleagues. “The yearbook is wonderful. The comments from my friends and colleagues were very touching.”

Seven weeks before your local recognition ceremony managers of honorees will receive an invitation from our vendor, OC Tanner. This invitation begins the commenting process:

Instructions on how to sign digital yearbook

Need help figuring out what to write in your congratulatory comment? Check out our tips on writing meaningful messages and templates to get you started.

Meaningful Message Tips and Templates


What is the yearbook publication?

The yearbook is a printed commemorative publication that is presented to staff celebrating a service milestone at a school/unit service recognition event and is part of the Stanford Celebrates You: Recognizing Staff Careers program that began in 2018. It contains standard text and photos, is personalized with the honoree’s name and years of service, and now also include the option for managers and colleagues to leave congratulatory messages.

How does the process work?

You’ll receive an email invitation (from “”) containing a link to a secure portal, where you will enter comments (you can also upload photos or a video) and the email addresses of colleagues of the honoree, who will then receive and email invitation to leave a congratulatory comment and will also be able to invite more colleagues to comment. Any comments entered after the deadline will only appear in the digital version of the yearbook.

Why is the yearbook publication now going to include manager and colleague submitted comments and photos?

This enhancement is based on feedback from honorees that the print yearbook publication, while very nice, wasn't personalized enough (other than name and number of service years). So now we have added the ability for managers and colleagues to enter congratulatory comments and submit photos (and even a video for the online version), and those comments and photos will be printed in the yearbook. 

What is my role to ensure this new approach is successful in our school or unit?

Your role is critical to enter your own congratulatory comments and invite others to share their comments (and photos or a video). If you recall receiving a school yearbook in your past, you know how meaningful it can be to see personal messages, memories, and congratulations—we want staff to feel truly honored for their service to Stanford’s mission, and this is a tangible way to symbolize our institutional appreciation and recognition for that service.

If I have a question about this new process, who do I ask?

Contact your local Human Resource Manager.

What if I have an employee who does not want comments in their commemorative yearbook?

If you have an employee who wishes to opt out of receiving a commemorative yearbook, notify the Stanford Celebrates You Team at ASAP and we will ensure their yearbook does not go through the commenting process.

What if I have an employee who wishes to opt out of receiving a commemorative yearbook all together?

If you have an employee who wants to opt out of receiving a commemorative yearbook, notify the Stanford Celebrates You Team at ASAP and we will ensure they do not have comments in their yearbook.

What will appear in the printed yearbook?

The printed yearbook includes a message from the President and Provost, Stanford images hand-picked for each milestone year, and comments and photos submitted by the honorees manager and colleagues by the given deadline for your school or unit. Any comments or photos submitted after the deadline will only appear in the honoree's digital yearbook.

What is the difference between the printed yearbook and the digital yearbook?

The printed yearbook will only include comments and photos provided by the due date your team has been given, and will be presented at your school/unit local recognition ceremony. The digital yearbook will include all comments, photos, and videos - even if they were submitted after the due date. Honorees will receive an access code to their digital yearbook when they receive their printed yearbook. 

Inviting others to leave a comment

What if I receive a large number of invitations to write in multiple employee's yearbooks

Here are some options if you or your team are receiving large quantities of invitations:

  1. Send a communication to your team letting them know that it is ok to graciously decline to comment in someone’s yearbook.
  2. Let your team know that brief one sentence congratulations messages are all that is needed.
  3. Streamline the comment process by limiting the number of invitations for each honoree; for example, 1 leader and 4 colleagues
What is the lead time to for managers and colleagues to share congratulatory messages and images in time to have them included in the yearbook?

The yearbook commenting process starts approximately seven weeks prior to your local service recognition event and could be slightly longer depending on the timing of your local event. Once the manager of the honoree receives the initial email, the manager and colleagues have three weeks to submit their comments and invite others, Once the three weeks have concluded, it takes four weeks to print and ship the yearbooks to your local Human Resources department. Any comments or photos submitted after the deadline will only appear in the honoree's digital yearbook. 

How many people should I invite to comment?

You can invite as many as your want. Ideally we would like yearbooks to have at least 5-10 peer comments.

What is the best way to know which colleagues to invite?

There are three options for figuring out who to invite to leave a congratulatory message in your honoree's yearbook.

  1. You can invite 5+ colleagues and encourage them to also invite additional colleagues. Note: unlike your (manager) invite, colleagues invited to leave a congratulatory comment can only do so after they leave a comment.  
  2. You can identify an individual that knows the honoree well and who can assist with gathering names and emails to invite colleagues of the honoree.
  3. You can send the honoree an email requesting names of colleagues they would like to leave comments in their yearbook. Note: We have provided you a template email if you would like to go with option #3
How do I find a colleague's email address to invite to comment?

You can look up a colleague's email address on StanfordWho. Remember to authenticate in for full access view. 

Can I enter an email distribution list and all those on the list will receive an invitation to enter comments?

Yes, however, keep in mind that most local email distribution lists probably include the email of the person being honored. If so, make sure you give the honoree advance notice that they will receive an email about sharing congratulations and should disregard it.

Commenting and photos/videos

How many photos and videos are allowed to be submitted?

Managers are allowed to submit up to three photos, colleagues can only submit one photo. Photos will printed in the yearbook and also be available in the online version of the yearbook. One video is allowed per submission and will only appear in the online version of the yearbook.

What if the comments submitted are really brief, or are really lengthy?

It won’t matter, because the pages in the yearbook are set up to adjust accordingly; if comments are brief, there’s more space for photos. If comments are lengthy, the standard photos are deleted so there’s more space for the comments. That said, manager comments are limited to 750 words and the peer comments are limited to 350 words.

What if an honoree's managers doesn't enter comments (or photos) and/or doesn't invite others in the workplace to enter comments (or photos)?

If no comments are submitted by the deadline, the yearbook will print out pages with standard congratulatory text and photos and no pages for comments or photos will be inserted.

How do I know how many comments my honoree has?

Contact your local Human Resources Manager to know how many comments your honoree has received.

What if I enter a comment or photo after the deadline?

Any comments or photos entered after the deadline will only appear in the digital version of the yearbook. 

What if my honoree's yearbook arrives damaged or lost?

If your honoree's yearbook arrived damaged or lost, contact your local Human Resource Manager right away.