Answer Me This

Answer Me This is a forum for addressing questions about working at Seattle University and campus life. The Commons invites faculty and staff to suggest possible topics for questions or specific questions for consideration by e-mailing theem@seattleu.edu.

Branding initiative

AerialCampus_MainQ: What is SU's branding initiative about?

A: Seattle University has undertaken a university-wide initiative to bring greater clarity and impact to the telling of our story, who we are, what we stand for and how we position ourselves as an institution.

The effort is being led by the Brand Leadership Group, which has selected 160over90, a branding agency with significant experience in all sectors, including higher education. Based in Philadelphia with a west coast office in Newport Beach, Calif., the agency has worked with such institutions as the University of Notre Dame, UCLA and the University of Dayton.

Representatives from 160over90 visited campus in May for a two-day immersion in which they met with faculty, staff, students, administrators and trustees to gather information on the university. The agency will next conduct external research. Those findings, the feedback from their visit and other research and studies on the university that have already been completed will lay the groundwork for the new branding initiative, which is expected to roll out in late fall.

The initiative will focus particularly on prospective students, and its timing is well-suited to the university's upcoming capital campaign, said Scott McClellan, vice president for communications. "We are grateful for all the time that members of the campus community have invested in this initiative, especially when 160over90 visited last month. We have a great story to tell; we just need more people to hear it. This is the first step."

McClellan added that the Brand Leadership Group is planning to offer opportunities for faculty and staff to be involved in the roll-out of the initiative when it is introduced this fall.

In addition to McClellan, the Brand Leadership Group includes Marilyn Crone (Vice President for Enrollment Management), Mary Kay McFadden (Vice President for University Advancement), Melore Nielsen (Dean of Admissions), Bill Ehmann (Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Education), Barry Mitzman (Professor of Strategic Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences), Matt Isaac (Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Albers School of Business and Economics) and Marketing Communications staff, Francesca Lukjanowicz (Director of University Marketing), Mary Olson (Brand Design Director), Eli Christopher (Web Marketing Manager) and Mike Thee (Online Editor).