The Thursday, Aug. 28, edition of The Robesonian carried a story relating the concern of some Tribal Council members that UNC Pembroke might eliminate Old Main from its logo. Although spokesman Scott Bigelow did a good job in explaining the university’s plans, I wanted to personally assure everyone that Old Main is alive and well. Old Main is to UNC Pembroke as the Old Well is to Chapel Hill. You can’t separate the two, nor should you.
I met with Tribal Chairman Paul Brooks several weeks ago and shared a statement that we have since released to our constituencies to explain our branding process and the status of Old Main. I have asked The Robesonian to reprint it here so all will understand what we are doing and why. But the bottom line is this university understands the importance of Old Main to our history as well as its significance to the Lumbee people. It will be prominent in our new logo.
The letter reads:
“You may be aware that UNCP has been working to develop messages and graphic icons or logos over the past year that would most accurately and consistently portray the UNCP of today while remaining true to the historical significance of the institution. The intent of our communication today is to ensure our alumni, friends, donors and the campus community of our sincere commitment to develop a branding program that will allow UNCP to continue to flourish in the competitive marketplace of higher education. As we have moved through the process, we have attempted to keep our constituents informed, and we hope to improve upon those efforts as we move forward in the coming months.
“When we began this process, the university was using its official seal as a generic logo. Most universities reserve their seal for very special and unique uses such as the chancellor’s letterhead, diplomas and transcripts. We thought it best to restrict our seal for those purposes as well, thus elevating it and the Old Main image within to a more sacred status. Ultimately, we would like to have a menu of graphic icons for the campus community to utilize so that marketing, recruitment, and brand awareness needs are met across the board. In reviewing the progress to date, we are committed to the development of a primary logo image that will feature Old Main, just as our seal has for decades. We are currently moving forward with illustrators who have created graphics for consideration. We will share the top images with the campus and with alumni to get feedback before a final decision is made.
“Last summer, without an adopted new logo, the university began using a simple ‘wordmark’ as our primary graphic. The Clock Tower design that you may have seen on light pole banners on campus was created with the student population in mind — an image that represents their walk over the bridge by the clock tower when they start their freshman year, and the walkback across the bridge for graduation. This graphic icon will remain as a part of our branding family and used when appropriate. However, the Clock Tower logo doesn’t rise to the level of representing the university as a whole, especially our distinguished heritage, as Old Main does.
“We hope to introduce the new Old Main logo by the end of fall semester. However, we are going to take our time in its design. We want to canvass you and other constituents and receive your suggestions and feedback. Once we have done so, we will reintroduce Old Main as our distinguishing mark.
“When the new Old Main logo is introduced, it will serve as our primary graphic identifier and will join our collection of supplemental marks, including the Clock Tower and our Braves Athletic logo. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.”
Kyle R. Carter is chancellor of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.