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New campus graphics showcase successes, instill institutional pride as SU prepares for public launch of its largest-ever capital campaign
New campus graphics showcase successes, instill institutional pride as SU prepares for public launch of its largest-ever capital campaignOctober 30, 2007Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Reflecting a great university, they recall the trailblazers of yesterday, acknowledge the achievers of today and proclaim an important promise for those yet to arrive tomorrow: We will ensure you have the means to learn here, grow here and then venture forth boldly to change the world.
They are very visual — and highly visible — graphic representations of Syracuse University and its vision of Scholarship in Action, which have begun appearing across campus and in the community in coordination with Friday’s public launch of The Campaign for Syracuse University, the most ambitious capital campaign in the institution’s 137-year history.
Colorful Scholarship in Action/Insights Incite Change signage adorns dozens of campus light poles. Sidewalk appliques note important years and occurrences in SU history. Several large banners will soon unfurl on the faces of Bird Library, the University Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center and The Warehouse. And 13 attractive murals, artfully depicting SU’s schools and colleges, as well as the University’s study abroad and athletics programs, will be installed in prominent public spaces in University buildings.
It’s all about generating increased pride in the institution, according to Nicci Brown, associate vice president in the Division of Institutional Advancement and the person responsible for shepherding the various imagery. “All of these pieces have been designed with the intent of showcasing who we are and who we’ve always been,” she says. “And like the Scholarship in Action vision, this artwork is very much intended to build on the University’s history and unique strengths.”
This is especially true of the timeline artwork, which highlights major occurrences in SU history — such as the dedication of the Hall of Languages in 1873, the fielding of the first varsity football team in 1889, the establishment of one of the nation’s first schools of journalism in 1934, comedian Bob Hope serving as Chancellor for the Day in 1966 and the tragedy of the Pan Am 103 bombing in 1988. Segments of the timeline appear in the sidewalk appliques and in other applications like the large banner for The Warehouse — displaying a handful of notable events from the University’s start in 1870 to the founding of the School of Architecture in 1945 — and a timeline for the atrium in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center that runs from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Another timeline recognizes notable alumni like renowned art critic Clement Greenberg ’30, prominent American composer Carlisle Floyd ’46, G’49, television producer and host Dick Clark ’51, artificial heart inventor Dr. Robert Jarvik ’68 and bestselling author Alice Sebold ’84, to name a few. It’s being installed on the windows in the second-floor Panasci Lounge in the Schine Student Center. “We thought it made sense to put the notable alumni timeline in the Panasci Lounge because it’s a gathering place for students, and it would be fun for them to read about all of the accomplished people who have come here,” Brown says.
Along with the large institutional and alumni timelines, individual schools and colleges have been encouraged to come up with their own unique timelines, Brown says.
The striking murals are designed to stand alone — one each for The College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Human Services and Health Professions, the College of Law, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Maxwell School, the Newhouse School, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the School of Information Studies and the Whitman School, plus SU Athletics and SU Abroad — in individual buildings across campus and also to link together as one composite telling a visual story of Syracuse University. This linked version will be installed in the Schine Dining Center.
The first murals are being put in place this week in the Hall of Languages, Schine and the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama complex on East Genesee Street.
Descriptions of the murals can be viewed at http://sunews.syr.edu/images/uploaded/murals/index.html.
The murals, banners, light-pole signage and sidewalk art are all elements of a graphic system designed especially for the University by noted branding conceptualist and SU alumna Adrienne Weiss ’71, founder of the Adrienne Weiss Corp., a Chicago-based “branding think tank.”
Weiss’ client list reads like a who’s who of the entertainment (Steven Spielberg, ABC Television, Walt Disney Studios), retail (Wal-Mart Stores, Kmart Corp., Brookstone), sports (Madison Square Garden, BankOne Ballpark, Sydney Olympic Games), food and beverage (Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Arby’s) and consumer products (Microsoft, Westinghouse, Fruit of the Loom) industries.
University representatives interviewed several qualified design firms across the country to provide branding support for the capital campaign. According to Brown, Weiss stood apart from the others: “Not only was she excited about working on a project of this nature for her alma mater, but she also showed a firm grasp of what we were talking about in terms of the University’s vision and she described how we could go forward to describe this visually.”
Weiss will be back on campus Nov. 6, speaking on “The Zen of Branding” as a guest lecturer for a brand management summit hosted by the Whitman School (http://sunews.syr.edu/story_details.cfm?id=4464).
Much of Weiss’ work will be seen as part of the campaign kickoff celebration this Friday (Nov. 2) from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Schine Student Center’s Ann and Alfred R. Goldstein Auditorium. While the event is open to all SU students, faculty, staff and alumni, those planning to attend should R.S.V.P. at http://insights.syr.edu.
An ambitious, multi-year capital campaign, The Campaign for Syracuse University seeks to raise unprecedented levels of support in five key areas:
- Cross-Connections to advance interdisciplinary teaching, research and community engagement initiatives, particularly in the areas of technology and science, social policy and community and economic development, the public humanities, public communications and the arts;
- Student Access and Support to significantly increase the number of scholarships and fellowships in endowed and current-use funds to attract students of merit from all walks of life who demonstrate financial need;
- Faculty Excellence to endow deanships, chairs and professorships to attract and retain world-class scholars and to provide funds for professional development activities;
- Building Futures to enhance teaching and research facilities and provide state-of-the-art technology on campus and at SU’s domestic and study abroad centers; and
- Annual Support gifts to the Fund for Syracuse, including gifts to Deans’ Discretionary Funds in each of the schools and colleges to provide flexible resources that can be used where they are needed most.