Muhlenberg College

Out of the past, a future reborn

The Challenge

With liberal arts colleges confronting increased scrutiny over relevance, cost, and return on investment, Muhlenberg College appointed a new president with a mandate to address myriad challenges, including:

  • Long-term sustainability of the College
  • Growing competition for high-achieving, low-need students
  • Increasing discount rate and unpredictable admission
  • Comparatively low endowment level, alumni giving rate, and engagement
  • Rising pressure to improve ROI through career services and job placement
  • Intensifying stakeholder demands for wider national visibility and higher rankings

Process

Working in close collaboration with the incoming president and senior leadership, we embarked upon intensive three-month immersion process, including extensive qualitative and quantitative research, culminating in:

  • Repositioning and rebranding of the college, including core narrative, vision, values, voice
  • Comprehensive, historically grounded, visual identity system and iconography uniting academic, athletics, admissions, alumni communications, and merchandising
  • New recruiting strategy, including development of admissions collateral, viewbook, search pieces, website
  • Revitalized communications, media relations, and interactive strategy, including website, social media, and magazine redesign

Results

  • Admissions inquiries increased by over 25%
  • Applications increased 18%
  • Enrollment increased 8%
  • Revenue increased ~ $1.6 million per year
  • Rankings jumped seven places in USNWR
  • Press mentions up ~ 400%
  • Alumni giving participation rate j to highest jumps to highest number in college history
  • Improved athletics performance and “school spirit”