McGill University Relations Office launches its first treasure hunt on the web.
For the first time ever, McGill University is running a Web-based contest designed to promote the wealth of knowledge and invention available at this great institution. The McGill Treasure Hunt on the Web can be played by anyone with a computer, a Web browser and a modem. Contestants must answer a total of ten questions about the University, its people and its history. All of the answers will be found on McGill Web sites with helpful clues pointing players in the right direction.
"Following last years very successful 175th anniversary, the University realized that the public was keen to learn more about what we do at McGill," says Principal Bernard Shapiro. Pointing out that the Open House 96 event alone attracted over 65,000 visitors, he adds that by unveiling this Treasure Hunt on the Web, the University hopes to reach even more people and make McGill as accessible during its 176th year as it was during last years historic events.
"We thought it would be interesting to use our tradition as a springboard into the future, to go in a sense from the parchment of the March 31, 1821 charter to the hypertext of the World Wide Web," concludes Shapiro.
Although played in a virtual world, the contest will benefit students in a very tangible way. While anyone can play and receive a Treasure Hunt certificate for completing the contest, first-time registered students in any full-time degree program at McGill will be eligible for one of several terrific prizes. The grand prize, sponsored by the NEC Computer Division and the McGill Computer Store, is a deluxe package consisting of computer hardware, software, and Internet tools. Two second prizes, $1,000 gift certificates for textbooks offered by the McGill Bookstore, are also expected to draw a flood of contestants to the Treasure Hunt. The contest begins on May 15, 1997 and runs throughout the summer. Contest guidelines will be posted on the Web, and more details about prizes will be available by early May.
"Our first goal in thinking up this Treasure Hunt on the Web was to create an inexpensive and entertaining way for potential students to take a look at McGill. At the same time, we want to build upon the success of the 175th anniversary celebrations with something that points to the future," says Kate Williams, director of the University Relations Office and initiator of the project.
"On the one hand, the Web is expanding so quickly its challenging universities to keep pace, particularly with current budgets. On the other hand, since so many McGill departments and individuals have shown real ingenuity with limited resources, we thought it would be fun to invite the public to wander around and see for themselves whats happening on our home pages. Ideally, visitors will enjoy the contest, bookmark sites that interest them, and return again and again as we develop our capacity to offer useful and engaging information."
Contest questions will range from asking for personal information about the Scottish fur trader and founder of our University, James McGill, to a query about current research into the character and personality of U.S. president Bill Clinton, especially as they influenced foreign policy in Haiti, Somalia and Yugoslavia. All in all, the information will be fun, informative and representative of the character of McGill. Stay tuned for further details.
"We want to preserve the sense of mystery and adventure which normally shrouds any search for treasure," says Ms Williams, "even in cyberspace."