Interactive timeline chronicles UCF history
Published: Sunday, July 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2012 11:07
Patrick Burt, web communications director for UCF marketing, has been with the department for seven years and is currently working on the university’s designs for the upcoming 50th anniversary as well as an interactive UCF timeline. He’s been involved in the redesign of UCF.edu and is working on a redesign of the Nicholson School of Communication among other projects. Burt shared the process of planning 50 years of history into a simple design.
Central Florida Future: How did the 50th anniversary design come about?
Patrick Burt: We presented a couple of ideas to the college presidents as well as President [John C.] Hitt himself for the 50th logo project. We do variations and take feedback and ideas from the entire office.
It was designed by Tom Hope, a former UCF Marketing employee. The importance was more or less selecting something that could appear universally. Something that looked good big and small, something that really symbolized that this is an interesting time at UCF. We are celebrating being a relatively young university. UCF has seen tremendous growth in the last 50 years.
CFF: How did the timeline come about?
Burt: There had been some previous stuff for the 40th anniversary. We have the university archives. They collect and take in items. Dr. [Trevor] Colbourn, he was a historian and had his own timeline that he collected of the process.
When we spoke to a lot of folks, they said UCF is moving so fast. We don’t often talk about our history. Students and faculty enjoy historical happenings. It was about compiling information and getting it verified that it actually happened.
The timeline is challenging because it needs to talk about the last 50 years. Great idea, who do you go talk to? We have a number of employees who are still around, Dr. [Charles] Millican just passed away last year but since we are relatively young, the people who helped found the university are still here. We have a lot of folks who became employees after.
CFF: How are you making the timeline?
Burt: It’s a piece of code that someone else wrote, and we’re modifying it for our own uses. There are lots of ways to do a timeline. You can do a basic list, or integrate photography. It is a more interactive way to navigate some of our history. We are going to do our best to incorporate video.
CFF: How long did it take to make it?
Burt: It’s been in prototype for a while. It took about 50 hours between design and programming, but it’s definitely going to be ongoing. We look for ideas and inspiration in a lot of different places. We are still working on the timeline corraling information. We want students and staff to contribute. To hear every history is expansive, and UCF is going to have to pick out key points. Each president is going to offer their own insight. There is always more conversation, and it will keep building.
CFF: What do you want students to walk away from this with?
Burt: One of the goals is to allow people to walk away with a great sense of appreciation for UCF history and their place of work and have Orlando feel pride in its hometown university.
We hope to collect stories from students as well. Things that were happening and how they felt. College is one of those fun times in life. It is one of those rites of passage in some respects. You can almost never go back to it. When you were there, there was a moment frozen in time.