Our brand platform provides the framework for how we talk and write about St. Edward’s and the evolving student experience on the hilltop.
Over the past two decades, St. Edward’s has embarked on a series of strategic plans that have identified the university’s goals and objectives and defined our vision for the future. With each new version of the strategic plan, our brand platform is updated to support the plan’s priorities and provide a foundation for consistent messaging.
Strategic Plan 2027 brings a bold new vision and set of goals that position St. Edward’s as a Destination University for a More Just World. Our brand platform provides our community guidance and examples for speaking in a united voice about the university as we work together to achieve our goals.
We encourage you to refer to the brand platform when you are developing a presentation, submitting a grant application, crafting an email or speaking to prospective students. Refer to the brand platform when creating:
- Social media content
- Print pieces
Benefits of Prioritizing Key Messages
- Creates consistent, quality impressions of our university across multiple channels
- Strengthens our brand and reputation in the marketplace
- Establishes trust and credibility across audiences
We know what makes the St. Edward’s community special, and we share our story to build meaningful engagement with our audiences. In order to achieve this, we must know how best to appeal to each audience: undergraduate students, graduate students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, trustees, and partners and donors.
St. Edward’s University, a Holy Cross, Catholic institution, will improve lives and transform communities by providing an excellent education of distinguished quality that prepares students to create a more humane, just and sustainable world.
University Brand Promise
St. Edward’s offers an outstanding university experience driven by academic excellence and dynamic experiential learning opportunities. We foster passionate innovators and problem-solvers who improve our communities and create a more just and sustainable world.
Take On Your World
Our tagline communicates our brand promise in a succinct and memorable phrase. It is used in select cases with the St. Edward’s University logo, as a stand-alone statement or as a powerful ending punctuation to our stories. We avoid using our tagline in headlines. We use it sparingly in copy.
These brand attributes are the core characteristics that inform the brand essence and help capture our university’s unique qualities and personality as a whole.
- Creative thinkers
- Agents of change
- Ethically minded
- Community focused
- Globally aware
With every touchpoint, relationship and interaction, we see the impact St. Edward’s has on our community members and our partnerships beyond the hilltop. Our brand tenets reflect these experiences, and they serve as the core principles that propel our university forward.
- Academic Excellence and Distinction
- Vibrant, Inclusive and Justice-Seeking Community
- Austin Impact and Innovation
- Achieving at the Highest Level
Learn more about our Brand Tenets and how to use them effectively.
Voice and Tone
As the St. Ed’s community works together to achieve Strategic Plan 2027, it’s essential that we present a purposeful, clear and unified voice to our audiences around the world. By keeping tone in mind when creating communications, you’ll contribute to a higher standard of consistency and uniformity that will enhance the university’s reputation and brand.
Our tone is:
- Friendly / conversational
Refer to our Editorial Style section for common questions about grammar, proper forms of university-specific terms, locations and descriptions, and guidelines for style and writing effective copy.
The creative concept is an emotional translation of the positioning and key messages. This is not a tagline or a headline — think of it more like a campaign. One example is Nike. The brand and tagline — Just Do It — is long-standing and well-known, but several creative campaigns over the years (Find Your Greatness, Seen It All, Unlimited You) have propelled their products and position forward through different changes in the marketplace.
At St. Edward's, students can pursue their goals, achieve at the highest levels, experience unparallel academics and thrive in an inclusive community committed to social justice. All while having a mutually beneficial relationship with the dynamic city of Austin. Essentially students get a full college experience at St. Edward's, a destination university where they can live fully.
Guidance for Use
"Fully" should be tied to an action verb that supports the brand pillars. Adjectives can be used with bolder statements:
Language around the creative concept, such as "live fully" or "go full on," should be limited in a piece — they should only be used 1-2 times. These should not solely be used for headlines but rather be woven into supporting copy. For example:
- "At St. Edward's University, our students go full on once they step through the Red Doors, with internships, experiential learning and vibrant campus traditions."
Remember to utilize language and key messages from the brand platform to support the creative concept.
Messaging in communication pieces should be supported by proof points. These are essentially how we back up the things we say about our brand. Proof points can be achieved through:
- Breakout profiles of students and alumni
- Relevant, personal content
- Visuals, such as photos, videos, maps, etc.
Guidance for Use
- Proof points should be relevant to the audience
- Proof points should be as evergreen as possible
- All proof points should be fact and source checked
- Proof points work best in succinct, easy-to-understand formats
- Think creatively when gathering proof points. For example, could a testimonial be a static quote as well as an audio clip from a student?
Visual examples of proof points in use
Hilltopper Successes and Achievements Submissions
The St. Edward's community is rich with stories that demonstrate the highly personalized university experience, transformative opportunities for students and the innovative ways that faculty, staff and our alumni are impacting the community. If we decide to use the information you provide for marketing content or success reports, we may contact you for additional details. Thank you!