Dear ETSU community,

The Committee for 125 has recently submitted its final report to the university for consideration and review. One of the central tenets of the report is the need for ETSU to conduct a holistic review of its visual identity.

At ETSU, our visual identity is primarily represented through three forms: the traditional university seal, the mountain logo, and the athletic (“Bucky”) logo. These images are used in a variety of forms such as business cards, letterhead, printed and graphic media, our website, and countless other representations of the institution. In addition to these three primary images, we also use more than 120 separate/secondary university logos to represent various colleges, departments, units, and clubs. This landscape is further confounded by a lack of clarity in the official colors for ETSU, which range from blue and gold to yellow and light blue, as well as shades of grey. As noted in the work of the Committee for 125, this lack of consistency has led to questions about the visual identity of ETSU.

As we seek to grow and diversify our enrollment, it is critical that we develop a consistent visual identity. In the dynamic higher education landscape, there is much discussion pertaining to an organization’s “brand,” and that brand is the perception immediately associated with an organization upon seeing its logo or visual mark and colors. Brand perception for our university should be strong across the region because of the rich qualities that define ETSU: faculty and staff who are committed to teaching, research, and service; world-class academics; the natural beauty of our campus; a sense of history; and a feeling of family that defines the spirit of the university. Over the course of the past year, members of the student body, faculty and staff have studied this issue and discussed possible solutions as part of the overall planning work associated with the Committee for 125. They have made steady progress, and I thank all who participated in this effort. This process and conversation will continue throughout the fall semester, with the hope that by the spring we will identify possible solutions to our current challenge. These conversations may yield a new logo for ETSU, or they may also result in slight changes to our existing logo.

Regardless of the primary logo that we identify to strengthen the ETSU brand, we will also need to develop visual standards for how that logo can be used. These standards will include the development of procedures for colleges and departments. As we move forward, there will be multiple opportunities for the university community to raise questions and provide input. In the coming weeks, we will develop a series of initiatives to study this issue. I encourage your participation and welcome you to become part of this process. I look forward to hearing from you and encourage you to send your thoughts, comments, ideas, and suggestions to . We will answer your questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible, and I will provide consistent updates as this process progresses. Thank you for all that you do for our great university.

Brian Noland
President