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Villanova University Launches New Branding Initiative



Villanova collaborated with Neiman Group to clarify its identity and enhance the understanding of the Augustinian Catholic University

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has launched a new branding initiative focused on clarifying the school’s distinctive identity, as well as refining the visual identity of the Augustinian Catholic University. The branding work was a highly-collaborative, research-based process, involving thousands of Villanovans as well as a national group of prospective students and parents over an 18-month period.

Key to developing “The Villanova Story” was clarifying exactly what the University’s Augustinian Catholic heritage means and how it provides students with a unique and powerful educational experience.  As one of only two Augustinian Catholic institutions of higher education in the country, it is important for key stakeholders – including prospective students – to understand this distinguishing identity. Villanova University partnered with Neiman Group in fall 2009 to support its on-going efforts to more effectively communicate the school’s compelling story to an ever-expanding national audience.

“Every member of our community knows there is a special feeling at Villanova; however, it can be hard to explain that feeling to people who aren’t a part of the Villanova community,” says Ann Diebold, vice president of University Communication.  “Through research undertaken during the strategic planning process, it became clear that the University needed a shared language to effectively and consistently talk about exactly who we are.  For this reason, we embarked on an effort to expand awareness and understanding of who we are.”

What the University heard from its thousands of conversations about the Villanova experience distilled to this: 

The Villanova University experience melds intellect and spirituality.  Villanova’s Augustinian Catholic community urges self-exploration while rejecting self-centeredness.  The Villanova journey yields ambition with a sense of mission; intellect inspired by faith.  The result: Villanova attracts and forges world changers – people who create positive change everywhere life takes them.

This language and the stories of people who, through their Villanova experience, have been moved to ignite change, gives the University a powerful way to talk about Villanova to others across the nation and across the globe. 

The branding initiative also incorporates a new visual identity with a refreshed University logo and the accompanying tagline, “Ignite Change. Go Nova.” In celebration of the brand launch, Villanova has redesigned the homepage of its Website,, to incorporate the new messaging and look and launched a new Villanova microsite,, where visitors can learn more about the branding initiative and what makes Villanova University a place that attracts and forges world changers.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others.  There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.