Research-driven, sustainable and versatile, new brand identity communicates University’s momentum, bold spirit
April 20, 2016 — As Stony Brook University continues its ascent as one of the nation’s preeminent research universities, students, faculty, alumni and staff now have a new compelling and consistent communications framework from which to tell their stories, to describe their life-changing experiences, and to reflect their pride: FAR BEYOND.
This comes at a time when Stony Brook’s momentum is on the rise, and honors are growing in number and prominence. Just recently, Stony Brook faculty and students have been recognized for numerous prestigious honors, including three National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards, three Goldwater Scholars, and 11 NSF graduate research fellowships. The University continues to be recognized for its strengths across college rankings, most recently by Money and Essence magazines as one of the top 50 colleges offering the best value for African American students. The Stony Brook men’s basketball team won a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time and, as a HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 University Champion, the University is gearing up for more activities in support of the UN Women’s HeForShe global initiative for gender equality.
“Our community recognizes the remarkable, groundbreaking work and outstanding scholarship that take place on our campus every day,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “Equally as important is ensuring that people outside of Stony Brook — peers, the public, media, legislators — see the full breadth of our story and recognize the drive and growing reach and impact of our University. FAR BEYOND provides a sustainable platform to tell our story, and attract the best and brightest students, faculty, and staff; connect with alumni in a more meaningful way; increase philanthropic support; and extend the University’s impact and visibility around the world.
“We have so much to be proud of and celebrate in the remarkable accomplishments of our students, faculty, alumni, and staff,” President Stanley continued. “That excitement deserves to travel beyond our campus, and FAR BEYOND enables that in a clear, compelling way.”
According to Stony Brook’s Vice President for Communications and Marketing and Chief Communications Officer, Nicholas Scibetta, FAR BEYOND is a long-term strategy that will advance key University goals and important initiatives. “The FAR BEYOND framework coupled with Stony Brook’s existing strong visual identity — including the Stony Brook shield logo and other graphic elements — provides the University with a narrative and visual foundation to be more powerful and distinct in our communications,” said Scibetta. “They capture Stony Brook’s unique personality and empower us to articulate its compelling story to our most important audiences locally, nationally and globally.”
Driven By Research
The University-wide initiative is the result of a comprehensive effort that began in 2014. The collaborative process included a deep market research component and discussions across campus to engage and solicit feedback from Stony Brook community members. Their input and direction was critical to the research and creative process, shaping the direction and approach.
Through surveys, focus groups and forums, the University uncovered insights from prospective and current students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors and other important constituents such as parents, higher education peers, school counselors and regional business leaders. Key findings included:
- Audiences see Stony Brook as a driven, imaginative community in which students, faculty and staff are committed to understanding and advancing issues critical to society and the world.
- Stony Brook’s leadership in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and medicine is recognized as a major strength, but there is an opportunity to drive greater awareness of other programs.
- Those closest to Stony Brook — students, faculty and staff — have a tremendous pride in Stony Brook and embrace the University’s global, hard-working community. They expressed a strong desire for the University to tell its diverse story in a bolder more distinctive way.
- Outdated perceptions about Stony Brook’s past — for example, being predominantly a commuter school, and having large class sizes — still prevail.
- The University’s value in delivering a high-quality education while maintaining a level of access and affordability and serving underrepresented populations is a key differentiator.
“What we learned was that there was a real opportunity to build on a strong foundation, increase Stony Brook University’s visibility and brand recognition, and better tell what we have accomplished over a short period of time as an institution,” said Scibetta.
“Higher education is a very competitive environment, and being able to communicate who we are and what students can accomplish at Stony Brook is a game changer,” said Rodney Morrison, Associate Provost for Enrollment and Retention Management at Stony Brook University. “FAR BEYOND truly differentiates Stony Brook from our peers. Students, parents and the guidance counselor community will now have a clear sense of the kind of experience Stony Brook offers and the community we are building.”
FAR BEYOND – An Overwhelming Choice
Creative concept testing provided critical feedback and direction from important audiences including counselors, current and prospective students, faculty and staff. FAR BEYOND emerged as the overwhelming choice to embody Stony Brook’s ethos as a driven, imaginative, welcoming, hands-on community. Many participants expressed the immense pride they feel and how FAR BEYOND empowers them to share their Stony Brook experiences and enhances the University’s reputation.
“FAR BEYOND encapsulates the strengths of Stony Brook in terms of its STEM programs, and focuses the University on the next phase of its meteoric rise to one of the premier research universities in the country,” said Edward L. Feldman, President of the Stony Brook University Senate, Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine and Director of Behavioral Medicine Family, Population & Preventive Medicine. “FAR BEYOND emphasizes future global development in the arts, humanities, athletics, and medicine as well as Stony Brook’s collaborations with the Turkana Basin Institute, Brookhaven National Lab and Cold Spring Harbor Lab. This is enormously helpful as we try to recruit competitive faculty, staff and students for the future.”
“FAR BEYOND brings to life what we’ve known the Stony Brook University identity to mean for years,” said senior biology major Jack Lupfer. “Between the addition of environmentals on campus and focus on telling the stories of students, faculty, and researchers, we are catapulting Stony Brook to the forefront; making others aware of just how great we are!”
The FAR BEYOND communications framework offers refreshing new resources to share the stories of the University’s groundbreaking work and accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and alumni will be featured throughout this long term initiative. This includes a series of initial narratives that will be used in the FAR BEYOND launch which focus on:
- Stony Brook’s commitment to provide access to a high-quality education and to serve as an engine of social mobility;
- Global reach and impact as evidenced by the University’s cross-disciplinary work in Madagascar;
- Stony Brook’s position as part of the management team of a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy;
- Innovation and breakthrough care provided by Stony Brook Medicine; and,
- Local impact of applied research in Shinnecock Bay that has reach and influence globally.
These remarkable stories are being brought to life through an integrated marketing plan featuring dynamic visuals and video that are at the center of the first expressions of FAR BEYOND. The advertising strategy will launch in a spring campaign that includes outdoor, print, streaming radio, campus environmental installations, and digital and social media amplification. It also includes a new web design for stonybrook.edu and a redesigned Stony Brook University Magazine.
“I feel a real sense of pride and excitement growing on our campus, as students, faculty and staff alike see our extraordinary story perfectly captured in FAR BEYOND,” said Chuck Taber, Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, Dean of the Graduate School and School of Professional Development and Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University. “It is more than a brand; it is more than a look; it is who we are and who we aspire to be. ‘Far Beyond’ is the spirit of Stony Brook.”
What the Stony Brook Community is Saying About FAR BEYOND
Dexter A. Bailey Jr.
Executive Director, Senior Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the Stony Brook Foundation
“FAR BEYOND is a daring and authentic expression of Stony Brook’s ethos and pride that reflects the confidence our friends and alumni have in our institutional mission. FAR BEYOND will have an enormous impact on the Campaign for Stony Brook, a historic $600 million initiative that has already secured more than $441 million from 37,000 plus donors. FAR BEYOND inspires members of the Stony Brook community to be even bolder, face our future with even more determination, and ultimately embrace our standing as the preeminent public research university in New York State.”
Stony Brook University, Class of 2016
B.S. Biology, Minor in Journalism
Scholars for Medicine B.S./M.D.
Women in Science and Engineering
“FAR BEYOND is a beautiful reflection of the pride, awe and excitement that we all feel for our Stony Brook University community.”
Chief Deputy to the President and Vice President for Government and Community Relations
“FAR BEYOND has excited the campus. It provides a framework for how we talk about Stony Brook’s research and academic trajectory. It is a compelling and unified storytelling platform that includes a beautiful visual representation of the feeling of pride that our students, faculty, alumni and staff feel about Stony Brook and that resonates with all of our audiences.”
Director of Athletics
“At Stony Brook, there is a palpable energy that is powering our institution every day. As an athletic department we challenge our student-athletes to push themselves far beyond what they think is possible because it will elevate and enhance their opportunities in life. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be at Stony Brook at this point in time when, more than ever, we are embracing our responsibility to positively impact our region, nation and planet. I am energized by FAR BEYOND because it captures the ambitious spirit and limitless vision that will propel Stony Brook into the future.”
Alumni Association Board Member/Representative
2008 – B.A. Business Management and Economics; 2008 – MBA, Marketing
Account Director, Spark 44
“Invigorating. Stony Brook University has come a long way and the new brand identity celebrates how far we’ve come while letting the world know where we are headed. There’s never been a better time be a Seawolf. And if you aren’t one yet, it’s time to think about it.”
Stony Brook University, Class of 2017
President, Undergraduate Student Government
B.A. Political Science
“There aren’t enough words to describe my excitement. FAR BEYOND perfectly captures our ideas as a university and watching it come to life was stunning. This process has been all about collaboration and ideas, being inclusive and listening to our stories. FAR BEYOND perfectly embodies the myriad stories, our values and passion at Stony Brook. It’s about what makes us Seawolves and what makes Stony Brook University so special.”
President, Graduate Student Organization, and PhD candidate in Linguistics
“FAR BEYOND showcases that Stony Brook is a flagship research university, where diversity and student empowerment are valued. FAR BEYOND is in line with the vision our students hold in making Stony Brook an inclusive environment that encourages students to be innovative, challenge assumptions, promote intellectual communication, and advance scholarship across disciplines.”
Naveen A. Mallangada
Stony Brook University, 2017
Biology | Scholars for Medicine Program | BS | MD
Stony Brook Honors College
“FAR BEYOND brings the individual into the growth and aspirations of this university, making students feel rewarded to continue investing their energy and hard work into this university. In changing how students and alumni interact with the campus online and in person, FAR BEYOND shows Stony Brook as dynamic, trusted, and pioneering. Stony Brook is an elite institution, yet also inclusive of the very students and faculty that helped build and define this campus.”