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About Us ...

 

The ClassWorld Story

In mid-2000, ClassWorld founder Chip Chapin volunteered to create a web site for his high school graduating class that would promote their 30-year reunion in 2001. The initial format was simple, and consisted primarily of pages scanned from the yearbook.

The site soon sprouted new features, such a list of "missing" classmates with a form for sending in contact information, a list of classmates' email addresses, and an "Honor Roll" of the deceased. An email discussion list was created. In due course there was a page of information about the reunion, and finally an on-line registration and payment form.

Response to the web site and email list was fantastic. Not only was there a big improvement in attendance at the reunion, but attendees were already primed to see the old friends and classmates with whom they'd been exchanging email. Many who could not attend were still able to participate through email and posted photographs.

It seemed clear that just about any reunion could benefit from effective use of the Internet.

After developing and maintaining the web site for a year, Chip had a long list of ideas in mind for how to "do it right". The San Dieguito High School 30-year reunion took place in August 2001, and the enthusiastic words of his classmates convinced Chip that this was something the whole world needed. He immediately got busy with a total rewrite of the Mustangs71 class web site, incorporating the basic ideas that became ClassBase™. Within a few weeks he had implemented all of the most important improvements, including

  • The introduction of a member login capability for privacy and security
  • Aunified server-side database to store all the classmate information
  • Synchronization with Reunion Planner, a popular PC software product written by another classmate, James Jack.
 

Who We Are ...

ClassWorld founder Chip Chapin is a veteran computer scientist and engineering manager with 25 years in the computer software industry. A native of north San Diego County, Chip has a BS in computer science from the University of California, San Diego, and holds an MS in computer science from Stanford University. In the mid and late 1970s he worked at UCSD, and later SofTech Microsystems, on the development of the UCSD Pascal operating system and compiler. After participating in several small startup companies (including one of his own), Chip became an engineering manager in the compiler groups at Digital Research and later Hewlett-Packard, where he spent 13 years. Upon leaving HP he served as Director of Engineering for Cygnus Solutions (now part of Red Hat) for 2 years. Chip currently lives in San Jose, California, with wife Evelyn. They have four children.

Acknowledgements

Chip Chapin writes, "ClassWorld would not exist without the ideas and encouragement of a number of people. David Holmerud, the leader of our reunion planning committee, saw the possibilities in a class web site and gave me the 'official blessing' to proceed. Several of the original features were his idea, such as the 'Missing List'. I stole the basic design of the original web site directly from my brother-in-law, Steve Stevenson, who had produced one for El Segundo High School. And it was serendipitous to discover that my classmate, friend and fellow bass-player Jim Jack was already in the reunion planning business with Reunion Planner.

"But the biggest factor in moving ahead with ClassWorld was the response from my classmates. Several have told me that they would not have come to our 30-year reunion without the class web site and email list. Many of those who attended pointed out how much more fun it was after months of renewing old friendships, making new ones, and sharing memories via the Internet. And a number of those who couldn't make it to the reunion have been able to participate remotely."

 
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