This year BYU students broke records with both electric cars and water balloons. VIPs Mark Zuckerberg and Condi Rice came to take questions from students. See what else made the list of the 10 stories and videos that drew the most views on www.byu.edu.
Take 4,000 people, add 120,000 water balloons and stage the largest water balloon fight of all time while simultaneously shooting a music video for a popular recording artist and what do you get? Well, if you do it right, you become the first student-run ad agency to win a professional award from the One Show Entertainment awards. Nice work BYU Ad Lab.
Laina Walker was the other current BYU student competing on NBC's “The Sing-Off,” and her story inspired many visitors. She hopped on Facebook to thank all the readers who praised her for holding firm on her decision to dress modestly on the show. Laina’s group, “Delilah,” also included recent BYU grad Amy Whitcomb, and finished sixth on “The Sing-Off.”
Visitors to www.byu.edu came back regularly to track the progress of BYU’s male a cappella group on network television and watched video interviews with the guys that weren’t carried on the program itself. (If we counted all the visits for the multiple stories posted about Vocal Point, they would have been the #1 story). The celebrity judges and fans from around the country raved about the groups’ performances, and the members made the BYU family proud with way they represented their university and their faith.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s January remarks on democracy, faith, scholarship and education drew great interest from the BYU community. Not only did 18,000 people fill the Marriott Center to hear her speak at a special Thursday forum, another 24,000 went online in the following weeks to re-read parts of her address.
Admitting he had never “spoken in front of a stadium full of people before,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent an hour answering technology questions submitted by students. On behalf of the 156,393 fans of BYU's official Facebook page, thanks Mark!
If you enjoy this clip, watch the forum in its entirety here .
Video viewers shared in the jubilation when a team of faculty and students learned they had set the speed record for fastest electric car in its weight class. Cameras on the car’s cockpit and tail showed what it was like gliding quietly over the Bonneville Salt Flats at an average speed of 155 mph. The slender blue and white car, known as “Electric Blue,” caused a stir in the electric vehicle research world, and many visitors to the story and video came from outside the BYU community.
Saying “Chastity before marriage may have its uses after all,” The Economist magazine shined the spotlight on a study about how quickly (or not quickly) relationships become sexual. In an American Psychological Association journal, BYU researchers published evidence that couples who delay sex until marriage have more stability, happiness and sexual satisfaction. That caught the attention of 28,000 visitors to www.byu.edu and far more among The Economist’s 1.5 million readers.
Who doesn’t love to be told that they’re popular? We’re no different. For the second year in a row, and the third time in the past four years, BYU was named the most popular university in America by U.S. News & World Report. The “most popular” ranking is based off yield, which measures the percentage of accepted students who eventually enroll.
When you announce the construction of a 265,000-square-foot building, people notice. The new five-level Life Sciences Building will cascade down the south hill of campus when it is completed toward the end of 2014. When finished, the building will replace the Benjamin Cluff Building and the John A. Widtsoe Building, both of which will be razed.
News about the exploits of BYU’s famed Center for Animation is always popular, and this year was no exception. Web visitors loved watching clips of “DreamGiver,” which won College Television Awards for animation and best music composition, and interviews with student director Tyler Carter and composer Lance Montgomery. The 2011 honors give the Center 11 “student Emmys” in the past eight years.
We’re climbing the ranks of schools who launch their graduates into Ph.D. programs (10th in the nation over the last 10 years, 5th over the last five years). Adding to the trend in 2011 was Daniel Mortensen, a self-described academic “late bloomer.” Actually, he hated chemistry until a faculty mentor got him involved in research.
As 2011 drew to a close, the producer of the “Real Cougar” spots shown on ESPN responded to fans wanting to know how they did it. Pretty cool stuff.