The University of Mary Washington unveiled a new university website and brand personality at its first ever campus-wide pep rally on Friday, Oct. 7 in the Anderson Center. Led by newly inaugurated President Richard Hurley, the spirited gathering offered the first look at the innovative website and marketing initiatives. Also featured were the winning entries in a student video contest.
“We’re not changing who we are. We’re just re-thinking how we present ourselves to the outside world,” Hurley told the crowd of more than 600 students, faculty and staff.
“What does it mean to be University of Mary Washington?” he said. “It means small interactive classes taught by master teachers. It means a community that values and instills honor and integrity. It means intellectually curious students who seek rigorous academics. It means a rich array of out-of-classroom experiences such as internships, athletics, research opportunities and service projects. It means graduates who have real world experience and are articulate critical thinkers. It means people who are civically engaged and who act upon their beliefs.”
He listed the University of Mary Washington’s personality traits as innovative, passionate, intellectual and genuine.
Through a video featuring scores of students and staff members, Hurley revealed the phrase that will start to accompany the university logo: “where great minds get to work.” Earlier this year, UMW hired the Colorado-based marketing firm Educational Marketing Group Inc. (EMG) to develop a fresh approach to the manner in which UMW presents itself. EMG conceived the tagline after conducting extensive research and collecting input from more than 2,500 stakeholders in the university, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. The tagline, along with new images of the university, will be part of an upcoming marketing and advertising campaign to increase the visibility of the institution on a local, regional and national level.
Months in the making, UMW’s web redesign effort is a daring institutional experiment where the real-time activities of faculty and students are the top priorities. Building on the success of the burgeoning UMW Blogs WordPress community, students, faculty and staff now have familiar tools for public web content. UMW’s pioneering implementation of WordPress as the platform for the new website is a scalable, multi-network content management system. This remarkably open and user-friendly environment promises to transform the university’s life on the web.
During the pep rally, President Hurley announced the winners of a student video contest with the theme of great minds at UMW. The three winning videos were chosen from 14 videos, contributed by 37 students. Grand-prize winner Nathan Dawes received a $500 prize for his video, “A UMW Mind” and runner-up Ria Firth received a $250 prize for her video, “A Dream in the Life of One Mind’s Neuron.” Second runners-up, Caroline Ebrill, Kat Schenck, Ashleigh Buyers, Lauren Horton and Matt Lamb, received a $100 prize for their video, “I Have a Great Mind Because.”
The university encourages the campus community and the public to interact with the new website at www.umw.edu. For more information about the web redesign project or the university marketing initiative, contact the Office of University Relations at (540) 654-1055.