Engaging Minds. A Message from the President

Your Opinion Matters!

One of the goals in Shaping Our Future: The Strategic Plan for Southwestern University 2010–2020 focuses on “Building Far-Reaching Visibility and Recognition.” In the increasingly competitive recruitment environment of higher education, strong and widespread recognition is essential. While Southwestern has made headway in enhancing awareness of its reputation, incidents of mistaken identity still occur. Over the years, alumni and others have expressed their frustration when employers, high school and graduate school counselors, or the media are either completely unfamiliar with Southwestern or mistake it for another institution.

Before Southwestern initiates a broad-based visibility effort, we will conduct research to better understand the value of the University's brand and how it relates to the University’s reputation and answer questions, such as:

  • In what ways does the name—Southwestern University—support and reinforce the liberal arts experience that the University provides? In what ways does it hinder those efforts?
  • Is the name—Southwestern University—broadly recognized? Regionally? Nationally? What associations does it prompt?
  • In what ways is the name—Southwestern University—an asset? In what ways might it be a detriment?

Funded by the Amon Carter Foundation and other gifts, the University retained the Chicago firm Lipman Hearne to oversee the research effort. Lipman Hearne specializes in marketing and communications exclusively within the nonprofit sector, especially higher education. During the last week of September, Lipman Hearne will conduct an online survey distributed to all of Southwestern’s alumni with e-mail addresses. Click here to update your e-mail address so that you can participate in this critical initiative.

Transparent Process

Southwestern wants to keep you informed, answer your questions and listen to your concerns. Click here to easily access Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), as well as the research timeline, through the University’s strategic planning website. Once the survey findings are vetted by the Board of Trustees, a report will follow early in 2011. In the meantime, if you have questions, you may contact Associate Vice President for University Relations Cindy Locke at lockec@southwestern.edu.

Thank You

Your participation in this important survey will help answer questions surrounding the University's brand. Then, as we advance the University's recognition as a place that engages minds and transforms lives, we will do so with sound information.

Jake B. Schrum ’68