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Sharing our story: Mountaineers Go First.

February 2, 2015

Dear University Community:

This spring semester has started with a wonderful burst of energy. We have added new leadership to our team. We are partnering with our students to create culture change on our campus. And we are working alongside our legislative leaders in Charleston to develop new ideas to elevate the state. Together, we will all lead West Virginia University to new heights.

We have so many exciting things to share about our institution. Our faculty, staff and students are doing great things, and it is time we share that story. Creating a consistent and powerful brand is a way for us to share our story with a unified and confident voice. It is imperative that as an institution we begin to think, speak and act as one – and it is important that we do it in a way that best represents West Virginia University.

The landscape of higher education is a very crowded one. Universities with strong brands stand out in the marketplace for three reasons. First, a strong brand defines the institution’s core values. It allows us to be strategic in our focus and reminded of our purpose. By defining our core values, we begin to understand who we are, what we do and how we make a difference.

Second, a brand allows us to differentiate ourselves from other institutions. We have unique qualities, attributes and offerings at West Virginia University that no one else has in higher education. We need to leverage those qualities and help others understand that what makes us different makes us a great university.

And third, by creating a strong brand we build relationships. It is the relationship that makes a person return time and time again. And the most important asset of our brand is each of you. How you speak about the University, how you interact with others and how you portray the institution matter. All of our independent acts combine to create a unified, brand experience.

So, today we launch a new creative campaign that will bring West Virginia University’s very essence to life. Over the next few months, you’ll see banners, posters and fun activities on social media. I encourage you to attend workshops being offered by University Relations to learn more about our brand vision, the research behind it, as well as how to implement the new creative campaign in your messaging.

Most importantly, take time to think about what it means to you to be a Mountaineer. What is it that you love about this University? What is it that makes us unique? Then take a moment to watch the brand video below. Now is the time for each of us to believe that Mountaineers Go First.