Created: August 30, 2021  |  Last Updated: August 30, 2021  |  Category: ,   |  Tagged:

Founded Here: W&J’s new brand strategy looks to the future while honoring the past 


In 2018, W&J began work on a strategic plan to move the College forward, creating a responsive educational path for Generation Z and the generations that follow. College leadership, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students worked together to produce a comprehensive plan to ensure W&J’s continued competitiveness in the higher education market as a premier liberal arts institution.

The plan reaffirms W&J’s promise to provide a highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience, developing professionals of uncommon integrity who are prepared to lead in an ever-changing world.

As part of the plan, the College—led by the Office of Communication & Marketing—embarked upon an ambitious brand strategy to define our foundational attributes and create consistent messaging which evokes the essence of what W&J is. The comprehensive process assessed the current landscape of higher education, defining the College’s desired position, aligning the brand to the strategic plan, and establishing a platform to guide the embodiment of the W&J brand. The College surveyed prospective students and parents, school counselors, alumni, current students, and W&J employees in the research phase to define a brand platform that would both attract prospective students and reflect the values of W&J.

The resulting brand strategy clearly articulates the College’s mission and promise to students. The brand concept “Founded Here” showcases how incoming students will experience a revolutionary four-year, residential journey that will contribute to their development both personally and professionally. Their future will be founded here. Their community will be founded here. Their leadership opportunities will be founded here. And their success in their careers and professions will be founded here.

As defined through the brand and the strategic plan, the W&J student experience is tailored to develop our students’ broad-based knowledge. Whether in class, interacting with faculty, or engaging in internships, every facet of the student experience builds the academic, social, personal, and intellectual foundation for a President’s success.

A Revolutionary Student Experience

Customized Student Journeys: How W&J Guides and Supports Incoming Students

From the moment a student sets foot on campus until they cross the seal at commencement, they are in control of every step of the student experience. They craft their path to success by choosing the classes, professional pathways, activities, and interactions which align with their interests.

Starting at orientation, students are introduced to the academic expectations, diversity of the college, and ways to contribute to the campus community. While first-year students are still paired with faculty advisors and student success consultants, the newly integrated Center for Career and Professional Pathways will provide additional support. Alumni connections continue to be important, with former Presidents mentoring current students and sharing stories about their own leadership journeys.

No matter what program or path a student chooses, they will have help along the way. Throughout their four years, they’ll have a network of support, guiding and connecting them to the programs, people, and opportunities that maximize their time at W&J. A holistic approach to advising integrates academic, co-curricular, and career development support assuring successful personal and professional outcomes.

This intentional and focused approach enables a W&J student to become familiar and comfortable with their academic and student life experience, while allowing the flexibility to explore their areas of interest.

Intellectual Engagement: What You Will Receive as a W&J Student 

The W&J experience is both broad and practical – one which emphasizes the development of ethically committed leaders and continuous professional preparation.

The College’s comprehensive liberal arts curriculum has always provided a top-tier education that prepares students to lead. Our renewed commitment to this mission is highlighted by W&J’s new Center for Ethical Leadership. While serving as a hub for curricular and co-curricular programming, the Center for Ethical Leadership will ensure that students develop the competencies required to lead ethically—both personally and professionally—in a complex and rapidly changing world.

Building from a strong liberal arts foundation, students will pair the academic strengths from their double major or major/minor curriculum with extracurricular experiences. Faculty and pathway advisors will guide students to the practicum that most aligns with their professional aspirations. Research projects, internships, and Magellan Projects are just some of the ways our students become professionally ready during their time at W&J. Regardless of a student’s area of interest, they will leave campus with the intellectual acumen and hands-on knowledge that employers and graduate schools are seeking.

Professional Readiness: Leading in An Ever-Changing World

W&J graduates are prepared to succeed throughout their careers because their foundational student experience integrates the core tenets of the liberal arts with experiential learning. The College’s commitment     to developing professionally ready graduates empowers them to not only pursue further education at the graduate school of their choice or land their dream job, but also to thrive as a lifelong learner and accomplished professional.

Every aspect of the student experience at W&J, from academics to co-curricular activities to the residential community on campus, provides teaching moments to develop people of uncommon integrity and gives Presidents a strong start on their journey to becoming ethical leaders.

Living a life of uncommon integrity isn’t just the goal of a W&J education—it is embedded in our institution’s DNA. A liberal arts education and the development of ethical leaders defines W&J’s educational philosophy and residential student experience. This fundamental pillar empowers W&J graduates to succeed in all  facets of their lives and contribute substantially to the ever-changing world in which we live.

A New Look for Old Main

W&J’s brand is one of its most valuable assets. It’s who we are, what we do, and what we represent as an institution. The new W&J institutional mark is the foundation of our new brand. While honoring our 240-year history, the logo positions the brand for a brilliant future by evoking strength, unity, and the essence of our brand pillars.

The towers of Old Main continue to be a define our brand identity, while a dimensional design reflects the multi-faceted aspect of the student experience. An updated sans serif font, Interstate, is a clean, modern approach that resonates with Generation Z and future generations. This institutional mark replaces all previous logos and will be used as our college’s primary visual expression in all marketing and communications, both internal and external, across the College.

The Leaders of Tomorrow: Founded Here

The new W&J brand strategy brings together the brand value proposition, brand pillars, brand personality and brand identity in a creative forward-thinking campaign. More than a simple marketing slogan, “Founded Here” authentically captures and represents the College and its attributes.

While playing off the founding fathers of Washington & Jefferson, our “Founded Here” platform seeks to define and empower our student experience. It serves as a natural sign off and is flexible and customizable, allowing W&J to share the many unique stories of its student success with a wide variety of audiences.

Founded Here boldly positions W&J as the preferred institution to launch a student’s professional future.

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