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New apps connect Bennies past, present, future


The CSB Connect and Walk CSB apps are available for Apple and Android devices | Reed Osell

Bennies, grab your smartphones.

CSB has launched two new applications: Walk CSB and CSB Connect, in honor of the CSB Centennial celebration. Each application is available for free, compatible with both iPhones and Androids. Both apps celebrate what makes CSB unique: the century-old campus and the Bennie connection.

Walk CSB is a guided virtual tour of the CSB campus and highlights the buildings, statues, and natural history. The app starts users at the Main Building and heads east through the Henrita Academic Building and Haehn Campus Center, and back through the Benedicta Arts Center and Gorecki Dining Center to end at the Sacred Heart Chapel. Users can then take separate tours of the statues and natural history of the campus or can simply add them all into one informational tour.

The app was created and designed by the CSB library staff to honor the CSB Centennial. College walking apps are increasing in popularity, especially with prospective students who want a sneak peak before stepping foot on campus. The walking tour app was in the works for several years with the goal of launching Walk CSB to honor the Centennial year, and hopes of a similar walking tour of SJU to follow in the near future.

“As a recent prospective student, I would have used the walking tour app before visiting,” said first-year student Kaja Vasilj. “Especially for colleges far from home, being able to see the campus without having to spend hours in the car would have saved me a lot of time.”

In conjunction with IT Services, Communication and Marketing Services developed the CSB Connect application for current Bennies, alumnae, and friends. This picture application allows users to upload their photos and apply the Centennial dots–or “hubs”– on the photo. The hubs represent the connections Bennies make, and are part of the logo for the Centennial. The photos can then be shared on the user’s Facebook and the official Centennial website.

“The CSB Connect app is a fun way for Bennies to be involved in the CSB Centennial,” said Director of Electric Communication Barbara Hein.

Launched this past June, Hein has already seen over 600 submitted photos, nearly a dozen each week since the launch. The app has been downloaded 570 times, according to Hein, and has been accessed across the country.

Hein has even seen global connections with CSB Connect.

“One alumna was on a flight to Paris and met a fellow Bennie alumna,” Hein said. “So they snapped a photo and uploaded it to the app. You run into Bennies no matter where you go.”

The launch of the CSB Connect was in conjunction with the CSB Centennial Reunion. From Bennie-Johnnie weddings to Bennie cabin weekends, the CSB Connect app demonstrates the lifelong bond Bennies share even after graduating.

Now that school is back in session, developers hope to see more current students upload and share their own photos.

Senior Christina Pollock is excited to start using CSB Connect.

“I love this app because it allows Bennies to showcase their photos and also gives users a way to see how others are celebrating the Centennial year,” Pollock said. “I like how you can move the hubs around on your photo to match the Centennial logo around campus.”

Vice President of Student Development Mary Gellar, who has conducted most of the marketing for the CSB Centennial, showed off the new apps to the St. Ben’s Senate last week. She also explained what else she has in store to honor the Centennial, such as a time capsule and a series of speakers to highlight the CSB Centennial year.