Elmhurst College: Top 10 News Stories of 2016

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Top 10 News Stories of 2016

It’s been an eventful year at Elmhurst College, which welcomed and inaugurated a new president, moved up even further in several national college rankings, received a major gift from a longtime trustee and proud alumnus, and hosted several popular cultural events on campus.

Here are the 10 most viewed Elmhurst College news articles posted this year.

10. Restaurateur Dick Portillo Talks About His Life and Career (January 8)

During “From Hot Dogs to Top Dog: A Conversation With Dick Portillo,” the popular restaurateur spoke in front of a capacity audience about what it was like to open his first eatery—a hot dog stand—in 1963, and turn it into the enormously successful Portillo’s restaurant chain. Although he spoke at Elmhurst College in November 2015, this story became one of the most viewed in 2016 with the posting of the video from the event.

9. Animal Conservationist Jeff Corwin to Speak at Elmhurst (March 19)

Emmy Award–winning television host, author and biologist Jeff Corwin presented “100 Heartbeats” before another capacity crowd in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. His talk was part of the always-popular Roland Quest Lecture Series at Elmhurst College, which was reflected in how well the story did on the web.

8. Trustee and alumnus Russell Weigand pledges a $2.25 million gift to the Center for Professional Excellence (October 24)

President Troy D. VanAken announced this generous gift from longtime Trustee Russell Weigand ’64 and his wife, Joyce Slone Weigand, during his inauguration ceremony on October 22. Both events contributed to the popularity of this story.

7. 49th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival Begins February 25 (February 5)

One of the oldest and best collegiate jazz festivals in the country, the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival always draws large crowds. In the days leading up to the event, it also generates a buzz and sense of anticipation that was reflected in web viewership.

6. Elmhurst College Announces Inauguration Week Events (September 25)

The inauguration of a new president is cause for celebration, anticipation and pride. During Inauguration Week, the College hosted a variety of events on campus to commemorate this historic moment. For most of the events—from theater and music performances to social gatherings and a home football game—the focus was on students, helping to make this the sixth most-viewed story of 2016.

5. Elmhurst Ranks Sixth in Illinois on Money's Best Colleges List (July 18)

Money magazine's Best Colleges list focuses on public and private colleges and universities that “deliver the most value—that is, a great education—at an affordable price—that helps students launch promising careers.” Elmhurst College ranked sixth among all colleges and universities in Illinois on that list, a finding that resonated with visitors to the Elmhurst College website.

4. Elmhurst Jumps to No. 4 in U.S. News Rankings for Midwest's Best Value Schools (September 2016)

As more proof regarding the popularity of rankings stories, Elmhurst College’s strong showing in rankings by U.S. News & World Report made this the fourth most-viewed news story of 2016. Elmhurst ranked fourth in the Midwest among colleges and universities that offer the best value for the money; and 10th in the Best Regional Universities category.

3. Elmhurst to Host Recycling Extravaganza on April 16 (April 11)

While it might be news to some that a recycling event would be the subject of the third most popular news article on our website, it’s no surprise to the Elmhurst College staff and students who have run the event for the past few years and helped thousands of people recycle and repurpose tons of electronics, bicycles, clothes and other materials that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.

2. The First 100 Days (July 8)

President VanAken spent his first 100 days in office welcoming students, digging for fossils, hanging out with a python, attending barbecues and bike races, and learning all about Elmhurst College. This closely followed collection of photos and stories came in as the second most-viewed article in 2016.

1. Elmhurst College Names Its 14th President (February 16)

The Elmhurst College Board of Trustees’ much-anticipated announcement that Dr. VanAken had been selected to serve as the College’s 14th president made big news—the biggest news, as it turns out—as this was first on the list of most-read news articles on our website.

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