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Liberty Journal

Connecting you

Summer 2012 : By Morgan Letterman

The Liberty family has seen rapid expansion in recent years — in enrollment, campus facilities, and academic programs. With nearly 100,000 students worldwide, Liberty Marketing, under the direction of Senior Vice President Ron Kennedy, saw a pressing need to create a sense of community. Students, alumni, donors, faculty, and staff alike are now staying connected through new technology and web features.

The most recent development is a comprehensive mobile application for smartphones and tablets. Liberty Today, the university’s official mobile app, features campus news, events, sports, streaming video, a photo gallery, and live radio and TV programs. The app is a free download and available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices, as well as iPad, Kindle, and other leading tablet brands.

Originally developed as a means for viewing the Liberty Journal on the go, the interactive application has something for everyone from alumni to prospective students, and fosters connection through the social avenues that people use most.

This application was developed with every member of the Liberty family in mind and will continue to provide instant access to the latest updates and happenings, all in one place.

With Liberty Today, students have access to social media and receive the latest university news. Parents can stay in touch through finding out what is going on around campus. Alumni are able to keep up with their alma mater and follow the progress of campus expansion. Online students have the opportunity to interact with Liberty as a whole and feel connected to their school.

For the past several years, there has been one thing that almost every college student has in common — Facebook. It remains the largest social networking site in existence. Liberty has taken this into consideration in a nontraditional way through the development of the “Year in Review” application, accessible through the university’s official Facebook page. Currently dating back to 2008, Year
in Review highlights the biggest news and events, allowing Facebook users to familiarize themselves with Liberty’s greatest developments and triumphs.

This year, SELAH, Liberty’s award-winning yearbook, has taken the needs of its consumers into consideration like never before. Through extensive research and planning, the yearbook staff made a decision to launch its first online yearbook. Among the many advantages of this publication is the fact that it is available at no cost. When readers log on to the LifePages website, they can set up an account and view the current yearbook as well as versions dating back to 1974. Its interactive features include virtual signing, streaming video, social networking, and advanced searching capabilities. Online yearbook users can also anticipate viewing upcoming editions. Log on and view the yearbook and past editions at www.lifepages.com.

The SELAH team continues to produce a 75-page print book, which can be ordered with additional pages to customize with personal photos on premade templates. Users can upload pictures from Facebook, Twitter, and various other social networking sites.

The online yearbook was celebrated at the annual release party on April 25. Yearbook and Liberty Marketing staff hosted this event, displaying the new edition and giving away free snow cones and cotton candy to students in front of the Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center. Students responded with enthusiasm as they learned that they could access the yearbook at no cost. On April 26, the day after the event, 700 new LifePages accounts had been created with Liberty email addresses.

Whitney Moon, SELAH editor-in-chief, said the books are “the best of the history that is made at Liberty each year.”

Making the edition available online for free “just sounded like common sense,” she said.

SELAH has consistently won design awards and was recently awarded a Gold Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

These initiatives, primarily developed within the university’s Marketing Department, were implemented in consideration of the needs of the university’s various audiences and to create ways to keep them connected.

“Understanding the needs of a school that has nearly 100,000 students and a myriad of alumni and supporters all over the world is the first step in developing connections,” Kennedy said. “Liberty is more than a university; it is a family, united by a goal to be Champions for Christ in every area of life. Liberty Marketing will continue to make strides toward fostering connections and allowing the entire Liberty family to share and celebrate together for years to come.”