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by Michael Pinto, Marketing and Communications intern

elizabethtown alumni association logoThe Elizabethtown College Alumni Association website has been revamped. The prior website was six years old; the redevelopment brings the online community up to current best practices.

This reporter spoke with Mark Clapper, Director of Alumni Relations and Jacob Keeler, Associate Director of Alumni Relations about the process.

According to Clapper and Keeler, one of the drawbacks to the old website was that it was nearly impossible to access any information unless a user was logged in: when a used clicked on a link any link, they would be redirected to a login page. This prevented those without login credentials – a parent or alumni who did not yet register, for example –from seeing anything.

"If someone did not have login credentials, they were pretty much out of luck," said Clapper.

The new website is filled with more dynamic content such as photo albums, videos, news feeds, social media links and more. The site offers a plethora of information on the homepage. And, as noted, much of the information is available to anyone—prospective students, current students and parents—rather than only alumni with login information.

A more visually appealing design was one of the major goals of the redesign. In preparation, Clapper and Keeler asked alumni what websites they frequented and what they enjoyed about them. This allowed the creative team to take elements that everyone enjoyed from their favorite websites and mesh them together for the new alumni website, resulting in a user-friendly experience for first-time visitors

The new website also prominently features the new alumni slogan, "Blue Jays Always." Elizabethtown College has always been proud of its alumni and wants to show it, says Clapper. Alumni can use the website to keep up with each other as well as see and register for events. Also, the alumni email newsletters will also match the new website

Clapper and Keeler said that since the launch they have received a large amount of feedback, all of which has been overwhelmingly positive. However, they would be open to any criticism as well.

"If someone finds something wrong with the website or something they don't like, we'd like to know so that we can fix it," said Keeler.

The new alumni website is an enormous leap ahead of the old design, and one that Keeler and Clapper hope to keep improving to help keep Blue Jays in touch with their old nest. Gets Overhaul
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