It's all here

by Rebekah Herbison

‌Montclair State University is unveiling a bold new campaign designed to tell the world that the possibilities here are limitless.

The most extensive initiative of its kind in the University’s 105-year history, “It’s all here” is the culmination of a multiyear process conducted with Mind Over Media, a Pittsburgh-based marketing research firm.

Much has changed since the University was established in 1908 as a two-year Normal School in response to the growing demand for professionally trained teachers in New Jersey. Today, Montclair State has evolved into a comprehensive liberal arts institution offering nearly 300 majors, minors, concentrations and certificate programs as well as numerous advanced degree and doctoral programs. The University serves more than 19,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in six schools and colleges and boasts a campus that spans 250 acres, with state-of-the-art facilities that will soon include a new School of Business, a Center for Environmental and Life Sciences and a School of Communication and Media. Construction of the new buildings, which will further enhance education at Montclair State, is scheduled to coincide with the launch of the new campaign. (See story, page 32).

Due diligence

Over the last year, Mind Over Media and University administrators conducted extensive research that included input from thousands of faculty, students, alumni and outside constituents including prospective students and their families. By an overwhelming margin, the main takeaway was that Montclair State has the ideal combination of features necessary to provide students with whatever they are looking for.

“The theme we have chosen incorporates the key strengths that have helped Montclair State evolve into the thriving university we are today – such as passionate teaching; focused research; and a culturally and intellectually vibrant campus community,” says President Susan A. Cole.


Raising the bar

Key goals of the “It’s all here” campaign will include focusing on Montclair State’s reputation for quality and value, raising the University’s profile as a liberal arts public institution both in New Jersey and beyond and letting the public know that the University’s idyllic location in northern New Jersey provides students with a suburban campus experience just 14 miles from New York City.

“We are a public university that offers the personalized attention of a private institution together with easy access to the culture and opportunities of the metropolitan capital of the world,” says Deborah Gaines, executive director of strategic communications for the University. “It’s a unique combination that a lot of students are looking for.”

She adds, “Our students go on to do great things in virtually every industry and fields imaginable. This campaign will help raise awareness of our outcomes to future employers and partners, which is critical to the success of our students.”

Getting the word out

To help bring the campaign to life, Montclair State has partnered with two new agencies – one specializing in creative design and the other in media strategy. Together, these new partners will assist the University in designing bold imagery and strong, coordinated messaging that will be featured in a suite of advertisements and placed in targeted markets on everything from bus wraps and billboards to magazines and websites.  

“It’s no secret that more than half of New Jersey high school graduates who enroll at four-year colleges choose to go out of state,” Cole says. “Montclair State plays a key role in keeping high-potential students from leaving New Jersey to pursue their education in fields critical to the state’s economy. This campaign will help us build awareness of our institutional identity and garner support for our mission of providing a superb education to undergraduate and graduate students – the leaders of tomorrow.”