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Difference-making with First-Year Students

The Marketing and Communication initially got a whiff that the folks in Residential Life had found a creative use of the “Wisdom to make a difference” tagline and thought we should look into it.

Turns out, there’s a whole new student tradition that many on campus are likely not to have heard about — and it’s pretty great.

Starting last year, Nate Gordon, Coordinator of First Year Residential Experience, and Jana Jacobson, Assistant Director of Residential Life and Housing, developed what Nate describes as a “pep-rally-esque” event on the quad for first year students their first night on campus. They call it “1,355 Nights” (until commencement), and new students show up in their red-and-white finest for a student-run event MCed by the student body president. Included in the fun is a Wisdom-Sharing Ceremony, in which student leaders and recent alumni, among others, share things they wish they’d known with the students who will follow them.

It wraps up with a Wisdom Pledge, written by Jana, led by the student body president and recited by the assembly:

I have entered to learn and will go forth to serve
In my time I will travel the distance
To learn and explore,
Spread my wings, and therefore
Gain the wisdom to make a difference

What’s especially neat about this is that, though it’s using the branding and taglines we’re all working with, it’s really demonstrating something much more important: The branding and taglines are reflections of our campus culture, rather than impositions on it. Nice work, Jana and Nate.

Who do you know who’s doing this in other ways on our campus? Use the comments here or e-mail to keep the conversation going.

Contact Marketing & Communications

Sarah Kossayda
Director of Marketing
☎ 603-358-2119