The University of St. Thomas unveiled its new universitywide slogan Tuesday. Tommies are “All for the Common Good.”
Julie H. Sullivan, president of the university, said it has come time to establish a single message to represent the mission of all seven schools and colleges under the umbrella of the university, the largest private university in the state, with more than 10,000 students.
The new brand reflects not only the university’s mission, but also Pope Francis’ call for inclusivity, Sullivan said. St. Thomas has an established effort to increase diversity.
“We are concerned with creating an environment that lifts all people up,” she said. “We are concerned with creating a community that allows all to flourish.”
The class of 2019 is the third largest and most diverse freshman class in the university’s history, according to Dan Meyer, vice president for enrollment management.
The class includes 18 percent students of color, Meyer said. The university has a goal of representing the state in the next couple of years with an incoming class comprising 25 percent students of color.
“One of the things we’ve acknowledged is that St. Thomas needs to be more diverse in terms of its student body, faculty and staff representation,” he said.
The new brand is not a response to poor enrollment. Over the past 10 years, undergraduate enrollment has increased by 11 percent, and applications are up 19 percent, he said.
John Lawlor, principal and founder of the Lawlor Group, a marketing firm that specializes in private education, said this announcement is part of a larger trend in higher education to increase brand awareness.
“You want to get on the radar so people will consider you and select you, and from a business perspective, bring in tuition revenues,” Lawlor said.
A university “diffuses its impact” without a consistent brand identity, he said.
The new brand will be featured on the Metro Green and Blue Line trains, billboards, campus shuttles and online, among other places in the community. The school did not provide an estimated cost for the rebranding effort.
“This is a bolder and more compelling way to talk about what we do and what we care about,” Sullivan said. “We are not just concerned with our own success, we’re concerned with our organizations, our neighborhoods and our communities.”
Zoë Peterson is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.