The University Formerly Known as Connecticut: UCONN Officially Rebrands

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Not many people have called the University of Connecticut by its full name for years, so the school has decided to let it fall by the wayside and officially rebrand itself as UConn, the often-used nickame for the school.  

On Thursday, school president Susan Herbst officially announced the change in her State of the University address, pointing out that the rebrand would not just affect the athletic department, as many schools opt, but instead will reach as far as the school’s letterhead, signage, advertising and websites. (Does that mean an ‘Everything Must Go’ sale at the bookstore?) The school will also be adopting an updated version of its beloved Husky mascot, Jonathan, thanks to a partnership with Nike, ESPN reports. The new Husky logo will be revealed on April 18, and while some are hoping that the pup is a bit tougher looking this time around, Herbst said the new logo will be “sleek and beautiful.”[more]

“We’re not a breakfast cereal and we’re not a detergent,” Herbst said, according to the Associated Press. “But, we still need to communicate what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. Branding actually matters a great deal.”

The University of California tried to do a similar switch last year, dramatically swapping out its traditional seal for a contemporary logo of a blue U with a fading yellow C. The change caused outrage across the university’s student body, alumni and people completely unassociated with the school, with some going as far as creating Change.org petitions. Deemed “cheap” and “demeaning,” UC had a slightly different situation than what UConn would be facing, as the Universtiy of California has 10 different campuses (with 10 different seal logos) which, arguably, are as widely known on their own as the university is as a whole. The school eventually caved to the pressure and dropped the logo, returning to the esteemed seal.

It remains to be seen if that will occur at UConn, but Herbst pointed out that her school isn’t the only one to chiefly be known by its nickname, citing UCLA, Penn, Georgia Tech, Cal and MIT as other examples.

One thing that will stay the same, the AP reports, is its “traditional oak leaf logo and the university seal.”

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