Stony Brook University launched the school's "Far Beyond" marketing and...

Stony Brook University launched the school's "Far Beyond" marketing and re-branding campaign on campus on April 21, 2016. The effort includes installing banners on buildings and on light poles across campus. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Stony Brook University launched a multiyear branding effort Wednesday aimed at promoting the university’s recent achievements and changing some long-held perceptions of the 25,272-student public institution, officials said.

The campaign — called “Far Beyond” — includes installations throughout the 1,100-acre campus that began with new banners and posters; a redesigned university website; and social media posts. The new branding will not replace the school’s current red logo and shield.

Officials said the initiative has been two years in the making and cost an estimated $650,000.

A collaborative process that included surveys, focus groups and forums of various stakeholders provided insight into how the university is perceived, officials said. Among those weighing in were current and prospective students, their families, high school guidance counselors, and business and legislative leaders.

“It empowered us to tell our story locally, nationally and globally,” said Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Stony Brook’s president.

He said it is “no accident” that the campaign comes during prime springtime recruiting and admissions season.

“We want to increase the number of students who select Stony Brook as their first-choice school,” Stanley said.

Market research showed the school has a reputation for being strong in the science, health care and technology fields, university officials said, but prospective students were not as aware of other popular academic programs, such as humanities and social sciences.

The research also showed the prevalence of outdated perceptions — for instance, that SBU still is a predominantly commuter school. In the 2015-16 academic year, Stony Brook has 8,661 residential students and 8,170 commuter students.

A series of narratives for the launch includes: Stony Brook being a quality school and serving as an engine of social mobility; global impact, such as the university’s cross-disciplinary work in Madagascar; the partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratories; recent medical breakthroughs at Stony Brook University Hospital; and the local impact of research in Shinnecock Bay.

Nicholas Scibetta, the university’s vice president of communications and marketing, said prospective students and their parents are “looking at a flood of recruitment material” from all schools in an effort to know more about the kind of community they would join.

“The higher education landscape is extremely competitive, and it can be hard for a university to differentiate itself,” Scibetta said. “That’s why it is critical for Stony Brook to tell its story in an authentic way.”

Latest videos