The fall semester of 2014 kicked off a lot of new ideas and projects for Springfield College and President Mary-Beth Cooper’s administration to work on.
At the beginning of that semester, President Cooper addressed the students and faculty members with her five strategies for institutional improvement. These strategies (safety, enrollment, diversity and inclusion, non-tuition revenue generation, branding) would be the focus and points of emphasis to work on through out the next few years.
“These five priorities came from faculty, students, staff and trustees through suggestion boxes, open forums and surveys,” stated President Cooper, during an open forum held this past Wednesday, April 22 in Fuller Arts Center.
“When people ask me about ‘my’ priorities, I remind them that these are [the college’s] priorities. The great thing about priorities is that they may change next year and are not set in stone.”
One thing that was solidified during her open forum however was the establishment of Springfield College’s new brand.
Its pretty simple, yet oddly unique. Consisting of three lines, the new logo is something we can call our own. Seriously, Springfield College owns the font.
The first line displays, with a familiar amount of pride, ‘Springfield’, while the second line continues with ‘College’. What lies below these two words, however, seems to be the most important.
There is nothing special about the triangle displayed on the last line but it sticks out nonetheless. The triangle, as most Springfield students know, represents so much more; spirit, mind and body.
“It was clear to me when I came to campus there was a bit of confusion about our logo,” continued Cooper. “In fact we have been using the campus seal as our logo.”
Most colleges or universities have two separate things, a logo and a seal. Typically the seal is used for official documents, letterheads, etc. and the logo is used for sports teams or apparel.
Springfield College, on the other hand, threw all that out the window and has been using its official seal on trashcans, t-shirts and everything in between.
President Cooper continued by reminding the crowd the difference between diplomas and bulletin boards and how seals and logos should be separate.
Steve Roulier, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, and his team of fellow branding committee staff took this problem head on in September and have been running with it ever since.
“What we needed to do was have some clarity around our message so that people knew who we were and to make sure its relevant or current looking,” said President Cooper.
The basic meaning behind it was to separate the seal from the logo. But the over arching meaning was to tell our, Springfield College’s, stories. There is only one Springfield College and we should promote that and everything that comes with it.
With the branding initiative underway and starting to spread, President Cooper and her administration addressed the other priorities set in the beginning of the year.
Overall Cooper seemed happy with the progress of everything but most notably the diversity and inclusion aspect. As of recently, diversity and inclusion has been pushed to the forefront of campus activities and news.
Highlighted by Tom Waddell day, which honored his time here as well as his life accomplishments like inventing the Gay Games, and planting the Peace Pole, by Manjunath Burdekar.
“Manj kept asking for the peace pole and typically when those questions are asked the answer is no,” commented Cooper with a smile. “Instead we said yes and I am so happy we did.”
Enrollment has taken a huge step forward, as well, as the college switched over to the common application, thus allowing more perspective students to find and apply to Springfield College. So far almost twice the amount of students have applied to Springfield College as compared to last year, due to the common application.
With so much progress already made, many students are left wondering; what’s next? The future development and evolution of the college is in the student’s hands. They decide what the priorities are and determine what needs improvement.
Although the path way to change constantly changes, one thing remains stable; Springfield College is in the right hands, both Cooper’s and ours.