The past begets the future. The building blocks of those who came before shape what is and what is to come.
The Office of Marketing and Communications team at the University of Louisiana Monroe, led by Chief Communications Officer Lisa Miller, found solace in that thought, and inspiration as well, as they worked on the daunting task assigned by ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno.
“Dr. Bruno told us he wanted us to come up with a concise and consistent message about what we are,” Miller said Monday as she presented a new marketing strategy for the university at “The Big Reveal” at Brown Auditorium.
“For us, it was about what the community feels about us and thinks about us,” Miller said. “We believe we have come up with a symbol and a campaign that will resonate to all.”
“We heard lots of stories and history,” Miller said. “But it seemed we kept coming back to ‘the experience,’ – what you felt when you started on the campus for the first time.”
After studying all the seals, logos and symbols of the university’s 86-year history, a new logo was created with the theme, “Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.” The round shape harkens to the days of NLU, as does the stylized “L” which looks like a feather. The feather symbolizes a quill for knowledge, with six notches for the six names the university has had - Ouachita Parish Junior College, Northeast Center of Louisiana State University, Northeast Junior College of LSU, Northeast Louisiana State College, Northeast Louisiana University and today’s ULM.
The profile of a Warhawk is designed after the bronze Warhawk statue in the center of campus.
The new logo will be the centerpiece of the marketing campaign that will make use of a phrase that has been true since the founding of the institution, “The Best is on the Bayou.”
It’s the bayou, Miller says, “that connects us all.”
The new marketing campaign will be on billboards, a display at the Monroe Regional Airport, flags that can fly from streetlamps and huge banners draped over the side of parking garages and buildings.
As Miller pointed out, ULM is no longer a small regional university. Earlier this year, U.S. News and World Reports changed ULM’s status to a national university.
“We have become stronger in stature,” Miller said. “We have students representing 47 states, 50 different countries and every parish in Louisiana.”
Miller says the time was right to explore a new logo, since the university has changed significantly in recent years, with the strength of the institution rooted in its past.
Among the strengths of ULM cited by Miller: A College of Pharmacy where the average starting salary for graduates is $120,000 annually. Health sciences that offer 11 different degree programs, with a 94 percent passage rate in licensure exams. The College of Visual and Performing Arts offers the community more than 150 events each year.