Gearing up for a Sensational Centennial in 2015
Harcum College turns 100 years old in 2015—a milestone worthy of veneration, commemoration, and celebration. Anniversaries of true magnitude and stature occur infrequently within institutions and merit dedicated institutional attention and resources. Typically, this includes an extended planning process that establishes goals and priorities that have been agreed upon by selected internal stakeholders toward advancing the true character and mission of the institution.
By July of 2013, a Centennial drumbeat resounded during early conversations with senior administrators, advancement officers, and trustees. In anticipation of this milestone, the Office of Communications and Marketing began working behind the scenes immediately to put in place essential elements, personnel, and infrastructure to carry out a year-long celebration commencing in 2015.
Since the College had very recently invested in and rolled out a new institutional brand identity (September of 2012), it made sense to begin there, capitalizing on the brand equity already established in Harcum’s rebranding as opposed to stepping out with a completely different Centennial look to marginalize the prior investment.
Developing a Centennial Identity
Creating centennialized versions of Harcum’s new signature seal and crest (left-hand column images below) were tasks efficiently accomplished by Primer, a company that had just spent a great deal of time and organizational energy learning all about Harcum College.
At the same time, Harcum had greatly expanded its digital presence through the addition social media outlets and subsequent efforts to grow its follower base. Also, the current website was generating robust traffic for an institution Harcum’s size. Therefore, social media buttons and supporting graphic identity pieces for digital uses needed to be added to the brand suite:
Using the Centennial Identity Pieces
As of July 1, 2014, any publications or correspondence that would normally use the Harcum Crest or Harcum Seal should incorporate the new 100th anniversary versions instead. Centennial crests and seals should continue to be used through Commencement of 2016.
Samples of printed and online letterhead have been developed or are in development and will be made available for your use by July 1. The Office of Communications and Marketing is happy to answer any questions you might have regarding incorporating the Centennial Identity pieces in your publications or help you develop publications given sufficient lead time.
Centennial Website Presence
Besides becoming an adaptive site (able to be viewed and used on all mobile and tablet platforms), the College website needed to devote some digital real estate to our Centennial celebration. When site renovations were completed in August 2014, besides seeing more room to publicize College news, you also see clickable Centennial flags and buttons directing visitors to this new Centennial landing page.
Our Centennial Celebration Planning Process
A Steering Committee installed by President Jon Jay DeTemple in December 2013 met early in 2014 and established the following framework for the observance of Harcum College’s 100th Anniversary, to be observed during the calendar year 2015 (January through December):
Themes for our Centennial Observance include:
Audiences for our Centennial Observance:
- Reflecting on the achievements and heritage of Harcum’s first 100 years
- Showcasing our position in the educational marketplace
- Giving back to our community
- Envisioning new possibilities for the future
Goals for our Centennial Observance:
- Prospective students
- Campus Community (students, faculty, staff)
- Local Community Leaders, Regional Leaders, College Advisory Board Members
- Donors and Prospective Donors
- Higher Education Community
Organizing Principles for our Centennial Observance
- To tell the world who we are and convey our uniqueness
- To tell the world where we are going
- To share our heritage as it illuminates our character as an institution
- To instill institutional pride
- To increase alumni engagement
- To recognize those who have left an indelible impression on the institution
- To demonstrate our commitment to the region by tying celebratory events to opportunities to give back, supporting those less fortunate, i.e., celebrate responsibly
- To showcase successful alumni and programs
- To make the Bryn Mawr Campus the hub of the celebration while also reaching out to our Partnership Sites
- To plan and execute elements that are high quality and distinctive
With the framework established by the Steering Committee, a Centennial Implementation Group (CIG) began meeting every other week in March of 2014 to further develop the framework and build out events and projects for the observance. The elements of the celebration include the following:
Other Centennial Components to Be Observed Throughout 2015
- Official 100th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff for the Harcum Community– Thursday, January 15, 2015
- Commemoration of 100th Anniversary of First Day of Classes–Thursday, October 1, 2015
- Celebration Weekend/Homecoming–Friday, October 9 through Sunday, October 11, 2015
- Centennial Gala–Saturday, October 10, 2015