By Molly Kathleen McCarthy, Writer-Editor, Le Moyne College Office of Communications
“Greatness meets Goodness.”
At Le Moyne College, these three words are more than a tagline. They permeate everything we do, including the way we educate our students, respond to letters from parents, and interact with the broader community of Syracuse, NY. This phrase is a reflection of our values and ideals, and is rooted in our Jesuit identity. In short, “Greatness meets Goodness” shapes people’s perception of the College and helps to distinguish Le Moyne from other institutions. Beyond that, it reminds us who we are and who we aspire to be.
At the start of the 2016-17 academic year, the College launched a new marketing campaign centered on this theme. The message conveys Le Moyne’s mission to educate men and women who not only have the capacity to succeed, but the will to use that success to aid the wider world. It is exemplified by individuals like Jeanette Epps ’92, a NASA astronaut who will travel to the International Space Station next year to conduct research for the benefit of everyone on Earth; Andrew Lunetta ’12, who used his passion for entrepreneurship and social justice to found A Tiny Home for Good, which provides formerly homeless individuals with a safe place to live; and classical actor John Douglas Thompson ’85, whose portrayal of Shakespeare’s Othello brought that character to life for rapt audiences – and earned him a prestigious Obie Award.
“Our brand is an umbrella under which everything else falls,” explains Peter Killian, associate vice president for communications and marketing at Le Moyne. “It encapsulates everything we are and everything we do. The brand is a promise and, as such, it is woven into everything from our mission, to our marketing, to our storytelling, to our strategic plan, to our merchandising.”
The campaign was developed by the Brooklyn, NY-based creative agency Baiocco and Maldari, whose chief creative officer is Le Moyne alumnus Rob Baiocco ’85. It was crafted in close consultation with the staff in Le Moyne’s Office of Marketing and Communications, Office of the President, faculty members and key administrators. The campaign is centered on four themes: values in action, think forward, meaningful success and become you. It was designed to be memorable, adaptable and concise, and emphasizes the College’s highest priority – to prepare men and women to live generously and compassionately. At its core is the idea that integrity and success are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact in concert with one another.
The marketing and communications team is sharing that message daily through videos posted to the College’s website and stories published online and displayed on campus. Told in a tone that is genuine, warm and confident, they feature students, faculty and alumni in the classroom and out in the community putting their education to work to make a positive impact on the lives of those around them. Among other things, they highlight the thousands of hours of community service that Le Moyne students do every year and the opportunities they have to learn in far-flung places like Iceland and the Galapagos Islands. These stories are designed to provoke emotion and inspire people to action.
Beyond that, the Le Moyne brand has also been highly visible in social media campaigns. The College regularly uses the hashtags #greatnessmeetsgoodness, #dolphinseverywhere and #dolphinswork. Last year, the College took part in First Lady Michelle Obama’s College Decision Day campaign using the hashtag #dolphins2020 and #reachhigher. Students who declared their intention to attend Le Moyne were encouraged to share that news on social media using the hashtag #dolphins2020.
Perhaps most meaningfully, the message that Le Moyne is truly a place where “Greatness meets Goodness” is conveyed during visits to campus. Prospective students learn that Le Moyne is a place where they will discover who they are and what they value. Students and their families have the opportunity to speak to faculty members one-on-one and to share their dreams and their concerns with them. They discover the myriad opportunities that Le Moyne provides for its students to give back – as near to campus as the Syracuse Rescue Mission and as far away as the Working Boys Center in Quito, Ecuador. They also learn about unique programs like Manresa, which blends learning, meaning, calling and career over the course of a student’s four years at Le Moyne. Visitors are welcomed to campus with banners featuring images of students accompanied by one of the four brand themes – values in action, think forward, meaningful success and become you.
“The world is changing rapidly, and the need for sustained, innovative and agile thinking has never been more pronounced than it is today. That is what we do here,” says Killian. “What it boils down to is simple. We live the brand.”