A MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING
As the flagship university of the First State, with a traditional fight song celebrating our “daring spirit bold,” UD holds a special attachment in its history to the words dare and first.
Now, an ambitious initiative to honor those roots while creating a new brand that captures the personality, ambition, vision and reality of the University today has resulted in a core message that articulates our unique identity to the world:
Dare to be first™
A brand is the public expression of what makes an institution like UD significant, telling the story of who we are, what we are and what we stand for. “Dare to be first” is the tagline—an expressive line used to dramatize a brand’s benefits—that resulted from our extensive re-branding process. We feel it reflects our core strengths and also positions us to attain the vision we have for the future.
Our goal in re-branding the University was to explore the perceived image and reputation of UD, both internally and externally, and to develop a clear, unifying identity—one that can be communicated with consistent messages. UD’s new tagline is based on six chapters in our brand story, six pillars identified in the re-branding process as our key attributes. These core brand messages position the University as an exceptional academic institution so that we can continue to attract high-quality and diverse students, recruit and retain exceptional faculty and staff and achieve our enrollment, fundraising, research and community partnership goals.
“Dare to be first” invites prospective students, donors, faculty, staff and University partners onto our strategic Path to Prominence™ while, in the process, showing how such prominence is possible.
We’ve based this brand identity on the University’s strategic plan, its internal strengths and its external perceptions of who we are in the minds and hearts of our key stakeholders. The brand brings our strategic priorities to reality, defining what we stand for and the essence of the UD experience. It highlights our internal strengths—the distinctive values and characteristics of our colleges, programs, people and initiatives—that provide the substance on which our core messages are based. And it takes into account the way external perceptions help to shape and differentiate our identity from that of other institutions.
“Dare to be first” and the University’s brand platform form the foundation of how we will communicate to students, parents, alumni, prospective families, partners and the larger community. Through stories that reflect these core message pillars, we will tell all our achievements in enriching the educational experiences of undergraduates and graduate students, increasing the quality of our student body, recruiting and retaining faculty and staff, conducting successful research and adding positive economic value to the state and the region.
Creating a charismatic brand that exemplifies the University helps to fulfill one of the principles that guides progress on our strategic plan: Impact, defined as “making a difference in the world and assuring that UD’s innovation, excitement and accomplishments are publicly known throughout Delaware, academia and across the nation and the world.”