Years of Jesuit tradition and institutional heritage shape Loyola’s brand
The first breath of fall is in the air. Students and parents mill about under strings of green and white balloons arching above campus walkways. They move slowly, soaking in the sights and sounds on the Quad on a pristine late September day as they stream toward Reitz Arena. Inside, a buzz is building. The Loyola Jazz Ensemble tunes its instruments. The stands are filling with students, parents, staff, and Greyhound athletes in their warm-up suits. Faculty and administrators in full academic regalia line up outside, awaiting the procession.
The Loyola community is gathering for a special convocation—not the annual event for new students who are starting their academic career, but one opening an entirely new chapter in Loyola’s history. The seal illuminated above the stage reads “Loyola University Maryland.” Today Loyola officially takes a new name. And with this designation change comes a new brand, a statement of intent that establishes this day as both the beginning of a new era and a recommitment to an enduring identity.
INTRODUCING A NEW BRAND
Since 2006, Loyola’s leadership has been developing and executing a strategic plan for strengthening the University’s position in the ever more competitive landscape of higher education. Its goal: to establish Loyola as the leading Catholic comprehensive university in the nation. To help accomplish that goal, the voices of current and prospective undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of Loyola’s community have come together with those of University leaders and top marketing experts to transform the way that Loyola presents itself to the world—through the implementation of a new brand.
“A brand is the sum total of your experiences with an institution,” explains Darryl Cilli, chief creative officer of 160over90, the Philadelphia- based branding company that worked with Loyola to develop the new strategy. “When you put a brand out to the world, it has to be honest and transparent. A strong brand speaks to all of its audiences in the same tone, the same voice.”
TRUE TO LOYOLA
But what is the importance of a new brand to Loyola, and why now? Talk to those familiar with the University, and they will tell you that Loyola is, at its core, the same as it was on the day of its founding in 1852. “We are in a fortunate position of strength where Loyola has been an excellent institution for many years,” says Marc Camille, vice president for enrollment management and communications. “The heart of that excellence rests in our Catholic, Jesuit identity.”
The issue, however, lay with how to convey this identity to the greater public. With the decision to make the historic designation change to reflect more accurately all that the school has to offer, came the need to convey just as accurately the fundamental truths about Loyola University Maryland: how it produces well-rounded students who are engaged with the world both morally and intellectually, how the motto “Strong Truths, Well Lived” informs its community as much now as it ever has.
“The idea of ‘Strong Truths, Well Lived’ is literally built into the ethos of the school,” says Cilli. “It’s built into the campus, into crests, etched into stone on buildings. It’s a foundation for the University and the brand.”
“With the new brand, we’re simply reaffirming our heritage and all we stand for,” says Sharon Higgins, assistant vice president for marketing and communications. “We’re not saying anything that isn’t 100 percent true to Loyola, past and present. The goal is to say it better, more effectively.”