Hey GMS Alumni!
I am Matt Winans, the GMSAA Webmaster, here bringing you all a fun little present... just in time for Christmas 2018: a Brand New AMAZING Website!!!!!! I know, right!? This is the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!!
As some of you might know from my visit to the 2016 Reunion, my Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) "Graphic Communications" Professor Mike Ruth, GMS Class of '69 initially got me on board as a graduating student freelance intern to do this website back in 2011. He was our Interactive Multimedia expert who actually named my own degree... and I guess knew how to pick out great talent! ;) HA! I hadn't worked with Content Management Systems much before getting into this job, but I knew it would be a necessity for your association and found Drupal - though having a bit steeper of a learning curve than WordPress or Joomla - to be the best route for the job... and thankfully I was right. It has worked fantastic for our use! Drupal is regularly maintained and kept secure by the open-source community. Since the initial launch in 2011, we have continuously implemented upgrades, utilizing over 130 modules in an effort to make this website as useful as possible for all of you GMS alumni.
The biggest breakthrough from the onset was to make as Herb calls "The Lifeblood of the Association" a.k.a. the Cadet Database of over 6k records finally available to YOU, the public, in a secure state. Then of course came the Cadet Store, Reunion Registration implementation, Donation Form, Official Board of Directors, News / Newsletter integration, ability to create the Name Tags everyone wears around their necks at the reunions, the generation of the CASS Certified Mailing Labels that provide the association a discount through the Postal Service on every mailing...... and I'm not sure why I started listing features because this is going to get long, but my point is... it's been quite the fun and exciting journey.
This new version of the website is definitely my finest to date and it is one I am truly proud of. It is a responsive, device compatible theme with cool graphics and a hand full of new/upgraded features. Please take some time to click around! I would like to know what you think, and will continue to work on updating minor things until I am completely 100% satisfied-- a hard goal for me to achieve. I'd like to thank Mike, Herb Pearis, Tony Sadler, Bob Boles, and Perry Woodside for being a part of the GMSAA Web Committee. You guys have been awesome! Also I'd like to say Thank You to WVSOM for providing this association awesome dedicated hosting for our filesystem and database (right on the campus of GMS)-- especially Wes Ward in their IT department for being there for me at all times, even in the evening! Wes is an incredibly hard worker and one of the smartest people I've ever interacted with. There are so many others in this association I have begun to consider friends over partners. The GMS Alumni Association has been a really fun group for me to get to know, work with and I appreciate all of you. Thank you for the opportunity to let me help you guys out and please... enjoy the New Website and Merry Christmas!