Conn. College - Advancement

Atop a 100-year-old arboretum campus, Connecticut College houses 1,900 undergraduate students and is the alma mater to 25,000 alums globally. The college markets to internal and external audiences to maintain its standing reputation.

Role Graphic Designer · Photo Editor

Work Brand Identity · Print

Tools InDesign · Photoshop

Agency Inhouse

The Problem

Alums need a way to connect with the college and other alums from their class without feeling like there’s a hidden agenda. The solution should provide options for alums to participate financially or otherwise.

"How can we regain control of our brand identity as we reach our centennial?"


  • Distinguish alumni events from fundraising asks. Provide a new, informal mark that positions the college seal for ceremonial purposes.
  • Drive excitement to attend the college’s events.
  • Apply the refreshed identity to separate informal communications from formal college business.
Success Measurements
  • Increase alumni engagement and event participation by 20%.
  • Increase alumni donations, especially among younger classes to 100 M in two years.



Establishing buy-in was important. I co-led stakeholder sessions to identify pain points and collect feedback to ensure we met the college’s needs.

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Moving away from the traditional blue and white/text-only alumni materials, I used additional colors, patterns, type treatments, and vintage photography to generate excitement and pull on emotional connections to the college.

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UX Design

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Visual Design

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Improved public profile led to record-breaking numbers in donations and social media engagement among alums.

Lessons Learned
  • Establishing subbrands to differentiate fundraising asks from alumni events helps the audience decide how to engage with their alma mater.
  • Alumni want transparency in the communications they receive from the college. We should not disguise fundraising materials to look like alumni events (and vice versa).
  • A one-size-fits-all design approach is ineffective. Older and younger alumni respond to materials differently.