President Joseph F. Sheley’s annual address this morning will be remembered not only for the way it brought attention to the ongoing successes at California State University, Stanislaus, but also for the way it laid the groundwork for the University’s enhanced identity.
In last year’s address, Sheley called for a rebranding of the University in an effort to clarify the way it is perceived through the adaptation of a new logo, a new naming convention and a new motto. He used Wednesday’s address to unveil all three.
“All of this is aimed to help people see us more clearly and advocate for us more actively,” Sheley said.
The address, delivered to a near-capacity gathering inside Snider Recital Hall, gave Sheley an opportunity to tout the University’s achievements of the past year, as well as trumpet the national recognition it recently has received for academic excellence and overall value. He also expressed measured enthusiasm for the passing of a state budget that allowed the University to grow its enrollment by 4.7 percent.
But what most in the audience will remember is the unveiling of the University’s three-tiered brand.
“Our community has to know we’re here, the state has to know who, what and where we are, the CSU must see our incredible strengths, and the branding process is a huge first step toward that becoming a reality,” Sheley said.
The University’s formal name, as explained by Sheley, will remain California State University, Stanislaus and will continue to be used in all official matters, including documents and diplomas. But in an effort to bring consistency to the wide-ranging ways people inside and outside the region refer to the University, “Stanislaus State” has been adopted as the informal name, while “Stan State” will serve as the nickname.
Likewise, the University seal is not being replaced and will continue to be used on official documents. The new branding effort adds a University logo that the President believes will become as recognizable through the region as any commercial brand.
The third arm of the branding tree was the development of an official motto for a University that never before had adopted one. The chosen motto is “Engaging. Empowering. Transforming.”
“When I saw this, I was pleased … and proud,” Sheley said. “That is who we are.”
Having unveiled the logo, naming convention and motto, Sheley encouraged the audience to play an active role in carrying the brand to the region.
“The brand is not the logo,” Sheley said. “The brand is not the motto, and the brand is not the name of the University. Our brand is and always will be the positive impact we have on our students and our region. What we want to emerge in the minds of the people we serve when they see our logo, name or motto are the strengths, aspirations and values of an institution — our University. California State University, Stanislaus, Stanislaus State, our beloved Stan State.”