Geneva College


Geneva College is a Christian liberal arts college located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The college maintains an enrollment of about 1,800 undergraduate students in over 30 majors, as well as approximately 250 graduate students. Geneva College’s mission is "to glorify God by educating and ministering to a diverse community of students for the purpose of developing servant-leaders, transforming society for the kingdom of Christ." It is the only undergraduate institution associated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.


Prior to migrating to Cascade CMS, Geneva College was using an effective content management system called iOn by EM3, developed in the mid-nineties. While the product worked well for Geneva College for some time, it was sunset and EM3 was no longer able to effectively support users. As a result, Geneva College came to the conclusion that in order to embrace modern web technologies, a new content management system would have to be procured and implemented.

One of the key challenges for Geneva College was finding a CMS that enabled it to have complete flexibility and customization of templating, content types, and data input fields.

The ability to output a single piece of content in many different formats and to many different destinations was a major requirement. Geneva wanted to reuse various types of content throughout its website without copying existing pages. Additionally, in order to expedite the migration process, Geneva College needed a system that supported XSLT, the language used in the existing template. Finally, the system of choice would have to be an affordable solution that provided efficiency and a modern, intuitive interface.


Cascade CMS was the first solution that Geneva explored. The College’s search process was rigorous and exhaustive, with over 20 different CMSs under the microscope. After close inspection of the top two choices, Cascade CMS was deemed the winner. According to Michael Duncan, webmaster at Geneva College, “The passion and excellence of the development team at Hannon Hill was on another level. The support was exceptional and it was obvious that they loved what they did and were constantly improving upon the product.  They listened to our needs and provided a sandbox with our template and content within Cascade within a couple of hours. Such personalized attention made it feel like a family. Their experience with higher education makes Cascade the perfect fit for any educational institution no matter the size.


Geneva College was able to integrate its templates into Cascade CMS and migrate over 10,000 pages into the system in under six months. The use of web services allowed every piece of content to be instantly imported with all custom data fields intact, saving a tremendous amount of manual labor.

A short time after migrating its massive site into Cascade CMS, Geneva College went through a complete redesign to make its site responsive. Cascade CMS made the process so easy that Geneva College’s small in-house team, consisting of one full time and one part time resource, was able to accomplish this task in only eight weeks.

Cascade CMS enables Geneva College’s content delivery to be much more efficient. Because Cascade CMS supports both Velocity and XSLT, even on the same page, the system provides maximum flexibility and makes web development exponentially faster.

With Cascade CMS, sharing content across multiple pages and sites is exceptionally easy. Geneva College’s news releases and event calendar handle both athletic games and campus events, and are deployed throughout multiple areas of the website as well as RSS channels.

Geneva College also uses Cascade CMS to update its .htaccess file so that vanity URLs can be created with ease right from within the CMS. Geneva also rolled out a blog that is completely powered by Cascade CMS and has boosted the site’s SEO tremendously. The latest blog story is automatically pulled into the homepage as a featured story. Additionally, HTML5 audio player has been deployed on the weekly Chapel Podcast. Furthermore, Geneva College powers its Athletics apparel store in Cascade CMS, as well as its Annual Donor list that utilizes PHP with Cascade to pull in the names dynamically.

FinallyGeneva College has made dynamic templates within Cascade CMS for its email marketing campaigns, which automatically pull the latest content from the website into the email design, shaving days off historical timeframes.

Cascade CMS has enabled Geneva College to save time and money by maximizing efficiency. Templates can be set up quickly to automate and customize content delivery, making the webmaster’s job easier and more productive—and allows the content to shine.

Working with Hannon Hill

Michael Duncan, Manager of Online Marketing at Geneva College, had this to say about working with the Hannon Hill team: 

“I am continually amazed at the level of support that Hannon Hill continues to provide. At times, the CEO of the company will call to get feedback or tell us about upcoming product features. This is unheard of. Hannon Hill listens to the customer. If I make a suggestion that would make using the interface more efficient, within weeks they will have worked the idea into the product. As a customer, I feel as much a part of the company as those that work at Hannon Hill. Being part of the higher education community of Cascade users has inspired many ideas and enabled us to get the most out of Cascade. The user conference is an excellent way to bring us all together and share ideas. It also shows their commitment to their product and  customers. The Idea boards are a place where current customers can vote on functionality improvements and share other Ideas. I still can reach out to the Services Team to receive immediate solutions to programming questions that arise.”