We are now in the sixth iteration of our class website that spans 20 plus years and three webmasters. The initial effort to take our class online was the idea and effort of Mike Holden while he was teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School. The first effort went live in November 1998 and was initially written in raw HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and hosted on servers at the fledgling Monterey Bay Internet startup. The initial site was designed to let Classmates send in basic contact information as well as personal comments to allow others to find them.
In the ensuing months, Mike got help from the Alumni Association to obtain and post our first comprehensive list of ’78 alumni. Blanks were soon being filled as word-of-mouth efforts by company reps and classmates got the gouge out on the website. Entries started coming in more and more rapidly. Mike wrote a couple programs in the now-venerable “C” programming language to automatically take incoming email from classmates and fill in the “classmate information” blocks on the website.
In 2003, when Mike’s schedule prevented him from dedicating the time he wanted to devote to the website, Rob Cloutier stepped up to take over. With advancements in technology, Rob was able to upgrade the website with more images and the website started to look a lot more like the websites you see today.
In 2008, Rob was nearing the finish of his PhD and found himself in the same situation as Mike five years earlier, not enough time between working full time, finishing his PhD and having a family. Rob turned it over to Matthew Elias.
Matthew Elias’ approach was different than Mike and Rob’s because he lacked the technical skills to be the actual webmaster As a result, he outsourced the website to Landon Gaus, a 15 year old Dallas high school whiz kid who was the younger brother of a 2008 grad. At the time Landon had a template that he was using to manage the websites of almost 150 nonprofit organizations and churches. As a result of his connection to the Academy through his sister, Landon was very generous with his time and talent and helped bring the website even further. Landon managed our website for the rest of his time in high school and college but after graduating from college and starting his career stepped back from the web design business. We were informed there would be no more improvements to the website.
In 2017 the class contracted with a developer to upgrade the website retaining the class directory but expanding other areas of the website. The new design went live in time for our 40th Reunion with the knowledge that we hadn’t yet achieved the functionality for our photo sections. In 2019, we contracted again with a developer to further update the website and achieve the objective we were seeking from the beginning, a website that would serve as the portal to and repository for our class news, history, and directory and could be maintained by the class without programmer skills. This update upgraded the photo section to allow photos to be labeled, catalogued and searched for, added multiple new subsections under the Class History section and added a new section for our sponsored ship, the USS Porter, DDG-78.
That is what you see now with incremental improvements being made and more photos and information populating the website every month. We continue to be open to new ideas and suggestions on how to capture the accomplishments and history of the class.
Past Class Homepages