June 7, 2023

A New Year, A Refreshed Brand

After years of being the best kept secret in higher education, UMW followed the lead of peer institutions, launching its brand in the fall of 2011. Developed in collaboration with consultants who surveyed more than 2,700 stakeholders, the brand distilled Mary Washington’s key attributes into a brand positioning statement, brand promise, and brand personality traits. Starting with a blank slate, every word was vetted by Leadership Council, and the University of Mary Washington became the place where great minds get to work.

Two years later, we decided to take stock. Does every word of our brand still ring true? While we have evidence that the brand is resonating with external audiences, do members of the campus community embrace it? Would new members of Leadership Council endorse it?

Last fall, we provided numerous opportunities for faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to help us answer those questions. Once we drilled down, the overwhelming consensus was: “Hey, this really IS who we are.” Even so, after listening to many voices, Leadership Council decided to tweak certain parts of the platform. The key changes were insertion of these words/phrases: inclusive, passion, and socially conscious. For further details on the process and the outcome, please contact Associate Vice President for University Relations Anna Billingsley.

Brand Platform Refresh

Fall 2013

Positioning Statement
The University of Mary Washington is a premier, selective, public liberal arts and sciences university, which provides an inclusive, supportive community that values honor, leadership, and service. We attract high-performing students with talent, passion, and intellectual curiosity who thrive in an intensely personal, participatory, and rigorous academic atmosphere. Our small, highly interactive classes motivate students to prepare for, participate in, and embrace new knowledge so that they get the most out of their educational investment. Innovative and accessible master teachers inspire students to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and engage meaningfully. Beyond the classroom, students participate in a rich array of research, internship, leadership, service, and recreational opportunities, developing real-world skills and making the college experience fun and exciting. Our civically, socially, and intellectually engaged community inspires individuals to define and act upon their values. Our graduates are socially conscious, articulate, critical thinkers who have the confidence to explore challenges as opportunities and adapt and thrive in a complex, fast-changing world.

Brand Promise
Rigorous academics in an inclusive, supportive community of high integrity

Brand Drivers

  • Small, highly interactive classes
  • Innovative and accessible master teachers
  • Rich array of research, internship, leadership, service, and recreational opportunities
  • Civically, socially, and intellectually engaged community

Brand Personality Traits

  • Intellectual
  • Innovative
  • Passionate
  • Genuine


About Anna Billingsley

Anna B. Billingsley, associate vice president for university relations, has worked at UMW since 2004.