Highlight: Princeton's Whitman College Opening
Project: The opening of Whitman College in September 2007 marked the completion of the University's sixth residential college and the launch of Princeton's four-year residential college system. The college is named for Meg Whitman, a graduate of the class of 1977 and former president and chief executive officer of eBay Inc., and her family, who donated $30 million to the project. It was the University's largest single construction project and involved numerous University administrators, faculty, students and alumni. A communications campaign was needed to provide an overview of the project and to introduce the restructured residential and dining offerings for upperclass students.
Communication Solutions: Our office worked with partners across campus, including the Office of Development, Office of the Executive Vice President, the Facilities Department and the Office of the Dean of the College, to mark the college's opening and dedication celebration. Our office developed a multimedia approach, providing a complementary and comprehensive communications strategy. Our media officers targeted outside press by distributing an online press kit, arranging media tours of the college site, and scheduling interviews with project leaders. Our writers and photographers produced a series of stories and photos for the Princeton Weekly Bulletin and University website, and worked with our Web designers and OIT's New Media Center to produce videos for the University home page showing the college's construction and giving an overview of Whitman College's impact on campus. Our designers worked closely with college staff to create commemorative T-shirts for students and building donors, as well as items such as memo pads for college residents and staff.
Results: The range of media our office produced helped the University community and the public understand how the four-year residential college system works and how it fits into the University initiative to expand the undergraduate student body. Stories about Whitman College appeared in national and international media, including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Building Design (UK) and Architecture Today. The videos, photos and stories helped familiarize campus community members with the expanded possibilities afforded by the new system. The multimedia series posted on the University home page allowed audiences to experience the college's construction, opening and dedication ceremony through texts, sights and sounds. Whitman College images and graphic designs developed by our office were visible all over campus and created a buzz about the college's opening throughout the University community.