New Campaign Celebrates Putting Needs of Students First

Friday, August 19, 2011

At Fairmont State University, students are the first priority. A new campaign this fall with the theme “be First” helps share that message. The first campaign launch event took place Monday, Aug. 15, at the fall welcome meeting for faculty.

“While our opening session meeting was full of information and updates, there was a different feeling and air about this year’s session than in previous years. The enthusiasm was directly linked to the unveiling of our new marketing campaign,” said Dr. Maria Rose, FSU Interim President. “The theme ‘be First’ is a fresh, bold, exciting way to express the spirit of this University we all love.”

Campaign presentations also were made this week to the FSU Board of Governors and new FSU students participating in Welcome Weekend. Additional events are being planned for FSU staff and the community.

The public is invited to attend the first Fighting Falcons home football game, which will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at Duvall-Rosier Field. The “be First” campaign will be featured at that game. In an attempt to repeat last year’s first place in the nation Community Engagement Initiative, the Department of Athletics has planned a variety of activities to help bring downtown Fairmont to the field. More information on that event will be available soon. Check and FSUNow for updates.

Over the summer, Rose charged a creative team in the Office of Institutional Advancement with the challenge of finding a way to make FSU more relevant to today’s students and to create a brand for the University that represents its student-centered focus and dynamic campus community.

“Fairmont State is friendly, vibrant, diverse, bright, colorful like the seasons, and full of rich architecture. Fairmont State is rooted in history but also remains modern. At FSU, our focus is our students and the experiences this unique environment provides for them,” Rose said.

In preparation for the campaign, the FSU logo has undergone some maintenance.

“It’s a great mark that has served us well, but brand identity best practices call for the renewal of a mark every few years. The refreshed logo has a more contemporary feel,” said Devanna Corley, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “FSU will always be maroon and white, but the addition of gold as an accent color will help our visual identity stand out in the cluttered higher education marketplace.”

Another part of the challenge was coming up with a flexible and inspirational campaign theme.

“The theme ‘be First’ reflects the reasons why we know students choose FSU – the personal attention they receive here from our dedicated faculty and staff and our smaller class sizes,” Corley said.

Fairmont State has many firsts to celebrate:

  • The University’s roots reach back to the first private normal school in West Virginia in 1865.
  • Two theatre honoraries and the International Thespian Society were established here.
  • The Department of Athletics Community Engagement Initiative from fall 2010 was named the best in the nation.
  • FSU offers the first degree in National Security and Intelligence in the state.

Fairmont State’s main campus is located in Fairmont, which is a city of firsts:

  • The first pepperoni roll.
  • The first celebration of Father’s Day.

FSU provides an environment where students can create their own firsts like:

  • Tell their first ghost story and earn credit.
  • Take their first flight lesson.
  • Paint the victory bell for the first time.
  • Be one of the first in line to protect the President of the United States.
  • Cure bee diseases through firsthand research.
  • Be the first in their family to graduate from college.

“Without the creativity and expertise of Amy Pellegrin, Director of Marketing and Branding, and Tammy Holden, Director of Creative Services, this campaign would not be possible. The entire IA team worked long hours and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making this campaign a reality,” Corley said. “Our team is very excited about the new campaign and the positive response it is receiving from faculty, staff and students. We treasure the ‘firsts’ that Fairmont State has helped us create in our own lives and look forward to collecting the personal stories others would like to share.”

For example, here is the story shared by Nursing student Liz Boord:

The day her nephew was born inspired Liz Boord to pursue her dream at Fairmont State University. It was August 1, 2009. In the hospital delivery room that day, she had her “wow” moment. Boord was allowed to be the first to bathe the new baby boy. “The nurses were so cool,” she says. That was the first time the Kingmont mother and wife seriously considering quitting her position at a utility company call center to answer a higher calling. In a letter written for her nephew’s baby book, Liz wrote: “At only a few moments old, you touched me in such a way as to change my entire world. You inspired me to take a leap of faith and get on with my life.” Liz expects to graduate from the School of Nursing and Allied Health Administration in the spring of 2013. She’s looking forward to the day she helps her first patient.

What does “be First” mean to you? To share your “be First” story, send an e-mail to