Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Telling our story: The Power of AND

What an exciting day here at UW-Eau Claire as we officially unveil our new university brand: The Power of AND!

Don't get me wrong: This day is not about announcing a new slogan to slap on our printed materials and Web pages. This is about all of us telling our story in a compelling, authentic way to those who need to hear it. It's about sharing with each other and with prospective students and their families, as well as with others in the region, state and beyond, who we are as a university and what makes this place so special.

There are as many Power of AND stories as there are students, faculty and staff, Blugold alumni and friends of our university. But the common thread through all these wonderful stories is the fact that at UW-Eau Claire, we are successfully following our mission to serve the public good. Our new brand gives us a framework for telling the countless individual stories that, collectively, demonstrate how we provide students with both the learning and personal experiences that prepare them not only for a good job but also for a life of purpose.

There's no time like the present to be more effective at telling our story. As we all well know, changing demographics and other societal factors at play mean it's getting more difficult to be heard by prospective students, the news media and legislators. It's time to better distinguish ourselves, and The Power of AND is how we'll do that.

Many thanks to all Blugolds — students, faculty and staff, alumni, and our many friends and partners in the community — who participated in the many surveys, focus groups and phone interviews and answered questions like "What does it mean to be a Blugold?" "What sets this university apart?" "What are we good at?" "What can we do better?" We listened to what you had to say, and the result is The Power of AND. I think it fits us to a tee!

What do we do now? We think about how we see The Power of AND in our departments, in ourselves, in our fellow students, in our colleagues. Then we use this new platform to audaciously tell our story! Some great AND stories already are posted on our new brand website,, as well as a brand manual with "how to's" for sharing more of them. Go forth and share your extraordinary, expansive, surprising and powerful Blugold stories, and let the world know about UW-Eau Claire's Power of AND!