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Oct. 6, 2011 Volume 33, No. 7

Faculty, staff and students collaborate for Homecoming iPad app


App showcases coming home evolution

The University of Missouri Homecoming Centennial celebration is Oct. 15, and thanks to the collaboration of Mizzou faculty, staff and students, a new iPad app allows users to see the last 100 years of Homecoming in a vast array of photos.

“MU Homecoming: 100 years in photos” became available for free download from the iTunes App Store Sept. 27 and contains more than 140 photos, as well as historical tidbits from Homecomings past.

The iPad app project was the culmination of the collaboration between the School of Journalism and MIZZOU magazine, published by the Mizzou Alumni Association, said Mike Jenner, Houston Harte endowed chair. The brainstorming began in spring 2011 and grew into a reality last week.

Jenner and Rhonda Prast, MU journalism faculty member, came up with the idea of a photo gallery to show the evolution of Homecoming through an iPad app. They brought Karen Worley, editor of MIZZOU magazine, into the fold, and partnered with The Columbia Missourian’s Vox magazine. Several graduate students also helped, some sifting through hundreds of photographs, others working the technology end.

“It was a good match between the content and the audience,” Jenner said of the collaboration. “We’d never done this before. So there was a lot to discover in that. It was a little bit of nail biting. There were a lot of moving parts to it and we thought it would be a little simpler. But in the end, we got it done.”

Graduate student Caitlin Carter and MIZZOU photographers Nic Benner and Rob Hill found hundreds of photographs for the iPad app before the final ones were selected.

“No matter what year you went to school here, you’re going to find something you’ll like,” Prast said, adding she was most surprised at the abundance of Homecoming photos from 1911 and 1913.

“It’s exciting to see that it’s done,” Prast said. “The students worked really hard on it, and now they have something great for a portfolio.”

The app is available for iPads only, and a live demonstration will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at Lee Hills Hall Rotunda.

To download the app, go to the iTunes App Store and search for MU Homecoming.