Date: January 15, 2021
Welcome to the brand new VTS website. A website is like the traditional shop window. It is the vehicle for sharing the inside of the Seminary with the world. VTS needs an excellent website. And as you explore this space, I am sure you will feel that this is the best possible website.
Elizabeth Panox-Leach, the Seminary’s communications manager, noted on Wednesday to the staff: this site, although “live,” is still in a “soft launch.” Not everything is necessarily in place yet; some pieces are still being tested; there is still a punchlist of work to do. We are in a stage of review and patience.
While a revamped VTS website had been in discussion for years, the process officially began during the summer of 2019 when Elizabeth led a digital audit of vts.edu. Assisting her on this exhaustive work was Joshua Paget ’21, who went through the 500 (or more) pages that had grown out from the previous website. Along with Curtis Prather, director of communications and marketing, and Christin Lazo, communications assistant, they collaborated with Seminary departments on ways to improve the content prior to a design phase – each taking on key aspects along the way.
After presenting the findings to senior leadership in December 2019, Elizabeth began an RFP process that ultimately resulted in the discovery of Ironistic in May 2020. A company that embraced a fresh vision for our website presence, the designers and programmers at Ironistic helped Elizabeth and Curtis focus on four key strengths that I had set out as priorities: recruitment, identity, philanthropy, and resources for the Church.
I will have more to say later in the month on the importance of this new site. For now, I want to celebrate this achievement. And I want to honor Elizabeth, Curtis, and the communications team on an extraordinary accomplishment. Even during a “soft launch” it is clear this is a very impressive website.