D’Youville Announces New Visual Identity and Mascot
Buffalo, New York – July 1, 2020 – Two weeks ago, D’Youville announced a new athletic identity – the Saints. Yesterday, the university revealed the school’s new logo and mascot in a video release on social media.
The change comes as D’Youville applies for a move from NCAA Division III athletics to NCAA Division II – a decision that will be announced later in July. The university, formerly affiliated with the Spartans, made the change to Saints after a long study which engaged students, alumni, coaches, faculty, staff and volunteers. As part of the new identity, D’Youville adopted a Saint Bernard as the new mascot.
“I can’t imagine anything that more eloquently represents the characteristics of our student athletes. A Saint Bernard represents dignity, strength, nobility and service which perfectly aligns with the history, mission and direction of D’Youville,” said Ona Halladay, Director of Athletics.
D’Youville was founded by the Grey Nuns. In their early social justice work, a common phrase was, “Go to the Grey Nuns, they never refuse to serve.” D’Youville adopted this mantra as a staple of its mission. Saint Bernards are known for their life saving work by performing rescue excursions in the Alps. This showcases that a Saint Bernard never refuse to serve.
The university’s new artwork will not be the only presence of the Saint Bernard on campus, though.
“As part of our work to build a more inclusive experience for all students, D’Youville will be welcoming two new members to our family later this summer – Maggie and Saint – two Saint Bernard puppies who will grow up with our students and alumni,” said Benjamin “BG” Grant, Chief Student Affairs Officer. “These puppies will live in loving homes and receive professional training to help support our students along their journey. Maggie will be spending her days with Athletics in the College Center and Saint will be hanging out in KAB in Student Affairs.”
After significant research, the university could find no story or history of how the previous identity came to be. In the branding study, there was little to no pride expressed in the identity. With the Saints, the university seeks to create a shared story and experience for all students.
To achieve the new athletic identity, a thorough brand study was conducted by Cognitive Marketing, a communications and brand development firm specializing in academics, located in Rochester, N.Y. Working with Cognitive, D’Youville held focus groups, conducted surveys, scanned the competitive landscape, and analyzed the school’s brand.
In order to bring the results of this research to life, D’Youville partnered with Rickabaugh Graphics, a respected agency leader in collegiate branding whose collegiate clients have included The Ohio State University, the University of Iowa, and others.
“A brand is an investment,” said Jesse Stoddard, Director of Marketing and Brand Management. “Brands are all about stories. Great brand stories produce results.”
Given the increasing competitive landscape in higher education today and the anticipated impact of COVID-19 on enrollments throughout the country, D’Youville believes there is no better time to strengthen its story and brand to help stabilize and strengthen enrollments while also providing a best in class experience for its students.