A year ago in this column, I expressed excitement in joining my son’s alma mater. Since then, the Communications Division and the College have devoted significant time and resources to conducting focused market research and developing messages grounded in that research, along with a new graphic identity system. We also have rebuilt the College’s web site with a structure, content, and focus that reflect our new messages and new look. We are now recasting our admissions publications and next year will begin work on alumni and development publications, including Lafayette Magazine.
Why? The competition for students is intense, and there are many competing demands for the time and resources of our loyal and generous alumni. Informed by research, our communications strategies must clearly define who we are and how we stand out among our peer institutions and must communicate Lafayette’s value to all constituents. Our identity strategy focuses on the opportunities students have to cross into majors other than their own through working in teams with faculty and peers to solve problems.
When the 19-year-old Marquis de Lafayette asked the King of France to finance his journey to assist in America’s fight for freedom, the king refused. Lafayette secretly purchased his own ship, adding the words Cur Non (“Why not?”) to his family crest to serve as his motto. The Latin phrase Cur Non guides Lafayette College today in challenging students to move beyond the comfort of their familiar environment and experiences.
At Lafayette, learning is collaborative and high-impact. It’s about actively exploring interests and making dynamic connections between ideas and among people, locally and globally. Students and faculty collaborate beyond traditional academic boundaries to tackle intellectual challenges and solve real-world problems.
This is made possible by a faculty of committed teachers and scholars, active researchers who are dedicated to teaching and mentoring students, and by a beautiful campus with extraordinary facilities that are well-suited to new curricular initiatives and to the evolving demands of research as an important part of undergraduate education.
This is all for the benefit of involved, focused, active students, who are highly motivated and highly successful in pursuing advanced study and securing top careers.
As we tie our story to our history, we can speak authentically while remaining true to our mission. The Lafayette story will serve as our foundation as we talk about the College through the experiences of our students and faculty.
I hope you identify passionately with what you read and see in the months ahead. As always, I am open to your feedback and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cur non?
Robert J. Massa, Ed.D.
Vice President for Communications