Ten years of WMU News on the Web
May 3, 2007
KALAMAZOO--WMU News, the official Web news service of Western Michigan University, has been online continuously for 10 years, one of the longest-tenured and most-comprehensive Web news services of any college or university in the world.
When WMU News went online May 3, 1997, many colleges and universities had little or no institutional Web presence. Internet giants Amazon, eBay and Yahoo were in their infancy, and Google did not exist.
The first story published in WMU News announced that the University's Sky Broncos precision flying team had captured third place in that year's National Intercollegiate Flying Association Championships held at WMU's "School of Aviation"--not yet a college--in Battle Creek, Mich. That story and each of the more than 7,000 that have been published to the Web since are still available online and can be found by keyword search or by date of release.
The news site constitutes more than 10 percent of all the Web pages on WMU's main Web server. Throughout most of its history, it has been updated 365 days a year, and it is perennially among the two most-visited Web sites at the University.
In its first year, WMU News was visited fewer than 500 times per month. Web statistics of the past few years document a minimum of 60,000 visits each month.
WMU News is one of the 4,500 worldwide news Web sites indexed continuously by Google News and by other major Web news search engines.
Among the earliest stories reported in 1997 was the decision by then-President Diether H. Haenicke to retire the following year. WMU News recorded the selection of three of the University's eight presidents, most recently the appointment of Dr. John M. Dunn, who officially takes office in July.
Among the top news stories since WMU News went online
During its history, WMU News has chronicled the awarding of degrees to more than 55,000 students, now alumni of Western Michigan University.
Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org