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WMU News

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

The University's centennial celebration in 2003 and successful completion of the $162 million Centennial Campaign

Construction of major facilities for art, athletics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and health and human services

WMU's national leadership in campuswide wireless computing service

Conference championships in nine different varsity sports, as well as All-American and Academic All-American honors for individual student-athletes

President George W. Bush's 2001 economic address at WMU

Establishment of the WMU chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, among the first 100 chapters granted to a public university

Creation of the Business Technology and Research Park and the Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center

Multiple awards of Fulbright, Gates-Cambridge, Truman, Udall and other prestigious student scholarships and fellowships

WMU's ranking as a top-100 public university by several independent sources

Consecutive Best Design awards and top-six finishes for Sunseeker, WMU's solar racecar, in the transcontinental North American Solar Challenge

Ten years of Down Beat magazine awards for WMU's jazz studies program, plus national and international honors in choral music, theatre and other arts

National championships by the Sky Broncos and WMU's team in the national Air Race Classic

The campus community's responses to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech

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, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400