It’s the hope each student brings to the college experience. To be known by name. To be understood, valued, encouraged and uplifted. At George Fox, to be known means that professors and staff connect with students in authentic ways – personally, academically, spiritually – recognizing that we all come to this place with different backgrounds, life experiences and dreams for the future. To be known means that students not only learn new ideas, they share their own. To be known means to be heard. When a student feels what it’s like to be known in this way, they become inspired. And that’s when real change happens. Knowledge moves from the mind to the heart. Careers turn into callings. Faith turns into action. And that’s why we begin with a simple promise, that each student will be known.
The photo of every incoming freshman – all 655 of them – was pasted on oversized “Be Known” letters in the quad during the first day of orientation.
George Fox University introduced its new brand creative strategy this fall, which communicates the university’s promise in two powerful words – Be Known. The promise unites the university’s programs and people under its most powerful brand asset – our desire to know our students personally, academically and spiritually.
As a Christ-centered university rooted in the Friends tradition, we believe George Fox is uniquely designed to foster authentic and meaningful relationships that lead to personal transformation. Making these types of connections, inside and outside of the classroom, sets us apart.
In the last few years, the university has considered its future, particularly in light of the changing environment in higher education where online methods of education are on the rise. After deliberating on our core strengths and mission, the university concluded that a predominately online model is inconsistent with our goal of providing Christ-centered education for the whole person.
“Against the tide, we are strengthening our commitment to high-touch education that educates the whole person and provides the greatest potential for personal transformation. This can only be fostered by genuine relationships in the context of a Christ-centered community focused on loving God and people,” explains president Robin Baker.
Faith touches every facet of the educational experience at George Fox. Faculty and administrators, who are all professing Christians, integrate faith and learning, and are passionate about helping students grow spiritually and discover their vocational callings.
Incoming freshmen, along with orientation leaders, explore downtown Portland before spending the evening at an indoor ice rink at the Lloyd Center Mall. This group made its way to Voodoo Doughnuts.
The need to help prospective students and our supporters readily distinguish these strengths led to the work of building a new brand creative strategy – a compelling way to strengthen our reputation and help people make better decisions about which university would be the best fit for them to attend or support.
Creation of the brand creative was a university-wide effort, guided by the understanding that good marketing is not about creating something new, but about clarifying what already is. The process included the participation of more than 300 faculty, staff, board members and donors who shared opinions about what makes George Fox unique and special. A strategic university committee introduced the Be Known concept after a seven-month assessment process. The brand creative strategy focuses on connecting George Fox’s passion for personal relationships in powerful ways to the desire college students have to be known on campus.
The next steps are to communicate our promise in engaging ways, strengthen our promise, and especially to live our promise – so more students will benefit from a college education that integrates faith and learning, and develops them as whole persons who become outstanding professionals in their fields.