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April 15, 2008

UAlbany's Theme: "The World Within Reach"

Balloons are released as UAlbany celebrates its new theme,

Balloons are released as UAlbany celebrates its new theme, "The World Within Reach." (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Purple and gold balloons and confetti added to the festive atmosphere as the University at Albany unveiled its new theme, “The World Within Reach,” on April 14 to a packed University Hall atrium.

Students, faculty, and alumni gave personal examples of how UAlbany has opened up tremendous opportunities for them. Elizabeth Gray, ’08, of Ithaca, N.Y., said, “I have received a great education, with excellent faculty, made wonderful connections, and have had countless experiences that I will never forget.” Among those positive experiences was studying abroad in Santiago, Chile.

Interim President George M. Philip, who graduated in the 1960s, said UAlbany’s faculty, students, and alumni are its finest ambassadors, who can best promote the institution through word of mouth.

The new theme, or branding message, was the result of a comprehensive analysis of UAlbany’s identity, which was conducted with the higher education marketing firm Stamats. The  new theme incorporates UAlbany’s five core strengths. Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Susan Phillips said those strengths include:

• Strategic Location
• Modern Vision
• Life-Enhancing Research and Scholarship
• Diversity that Enriches Learning, and
• Excellence at a Great Value

Distinguished Teaching Professor John Delano quoted William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Delano said he has seen students become enthralled with the origins of life, and, as a result, dedicate their academic and professional lives to exploring geochemical questions about the universe’s beginnings.

Alumnus and renowned author and biographer Joseph Persico, ’52, added a humorous touch, noting that he attended UAlbany “about 55 years too soon.” Persico studied history and English before UAlbany had tennis courts, squash courts, a pool, Ph.D. programs, or student parking. Even without these benefits, he said, “I wound up writing about history in English.”

Natasha Paul, a senior biology major and the Student Association’s multicultural affairs director, addressed the great strength of the University’s rich cultural diversity. “It is experience of other cultures that indeed can break stereotypes and challenge racism,” she said.

UAlbany basketball player Brian Lillis, a senior business administration major, emphasized his appreciation for faculty. “What stands out for me at UAlbany is how much the faculty not only want you to do well, but how much extra time they put into making sure you do well,” Lillis said.

Alumnus David Brown, who earned his MBA in 2005, said, “UAlbany has played an important role in my life as a professional and as a person, helping me attain a position where I could be of greater benefit to my community.” Brown is president and CEO of the Capital District YMCA.

Sanjay Goel, associate professor in the School of Business and director of Research at the Center for Information Forensics and Assurance, stressed the significance of UAlbany’s research partnerships around the globe. “Through UAlbany, professors like me have made contacts with top international researchers, leading to mutual engagement on critical issues and creating the potential for increased networking and cooperative efforts,” he said.

For more information about UAlbany’s new theme, go to http://www.albany.edu/news/release_2036.shtml .

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