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Brand Strategy

Branding transcends beyond mere visuals like logos, colors, or fonts—it's an enduring strategy that encapsulates our core values, outlines our unique attributes, and delineates our communication approach with our various audiences. At Willamette, we firmly believe that a robust brand strategy not only carves out our unique space in the marketplace but also fosters enduring loyalty. It serves as a lighthouse, directing all marketing and communication efforts towards a unified vision.

Yet, at its heart, branding is fundamentally about people. It's about forging deep, emotional connections with our students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community. It's about reflecting their hopes, dreams, and aspirations through the essence of our brand, and in doing so, building a community that's tightly knit with a shared sense of belonging and purpose.

Willamette’s Mission

Willamette’s brand reflects and supports its mission: Through nationally distinctive programs connecting liberal education to professional practice, Willamette University prepares graduates to turn knowledge into action and lead lives of achievement, contribution, and meaning.

Willamette’s Motto

Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born

Willamette’s motto embodies our values and guiding principles.

Willamette’s Brand Promise

A brand promise embodies our steadfast commitment to our students and alums. It signifies the distinctive values and experiences they can consistently anticipate from Willamette University.

Turning Knowledge Into Action

At Willamette University, we offer more than just a modern academic experience. We go beyond that by emphasizing the practical application of knowledge that empowers students to turn ideas into action.

We believe that students need to be prepared not only for a 21st-century career but also for a rapidly changing world. Students who graduate from Willamette have the intellectual habits and skills necessary to face these new realities.

Our approach is focused on teaching students how to anticipate what's next and how to solve complex challenges with ease. We do this by providing them with an interactive curriculum, real-world experiences, and a multidisciplinary approach that enables them to view challenges through multiple lenses.

At Willamette University, our students don’t just acquire knowledge, they transform it into meaningful action and become advocates for a better future.

Willamette’s Brand Positioning

Brand positioning sets the stage for how Willamette differentiates from other universities and defines what unique value we offer.

Willamette is an Innovative Leader

Willamette students are passionate about creating positive change in the world, and they have the skills and knowledge to make it happen. As builders of energized communities, curators of catalytic ideas, and creators of transformational experiences, our students are uniquely positioned to guide others in finding new ways forward. Through a combination of rigorous academic programs, real-world experience, and a culture of innovation, we empower our students to become agents of change who can tackle complex problems and make a real impact in the world. At Willamette, we believe the future belongs to those who are willing to take risks, push boundaries, and challenge the status quo – and we are proud to be shaping the next generation of leaders who will do just that.

Strategic Plan

Willamette offers a model for higher education that responds to the emerging understanding that the most important barriers to human flourishing are complex, ill-defined, so-called “wicked” problems. These wicked problems, in all their challenge and complexity, require leaders who are able to engage both the analytical and creative mind deftly across disciplines, bridging traditionally disparate pieces together in new and meaningful ways. Across all of our academic programs, Willamette students are prepared to bring multidisciplinary perspectives to bear on the most pressing challenges of our time.

What has worked in the past will be insufficient to solve the problems that face us today. Willamette University realizes and acknowledges this reality at a fundamental, human level, and is uniquely positioned to educate our students so that they can reach their fullest potential as leaders that will define our collective future.

Read Willamette’s Strategic Plan


  • Dynamic and intelligent, yet clear and concise
  • Bold and authentic, with a personal touch
  • Confident and approachable
  • Clever and playful with a bit of wit

Willamette’s Brand Messaging Framework

Our brand messaging framework is a structured approach to communicating Willamette’s core values, benefits, and uniqueness. It serves as guidelines and guardrails for how we talk about ourselves across platforms.

Turning Knowledge Into Action

As a catalyst of progress in our region, Willamette University nurtures not only thinkers, but doers; not just just critics, but constructive problem-solvers. Our students graduate from Willamette with essential knowledge, skills, and practical experiences that empower them to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges head-on. At Willamette, we shape future leaders who are prepared not just to envision a brighter future, but to actively build it.

Service Beyond Self

Anchored in our motto, “Not unto ourselves alone are we born,” Willamette University embraces a strong dedication to service and the development of students who are ready to serve. This civic responsibility is not just a duty or obligation, but is a powerful platform to shape a better word. Guided by this ethos, our graduates make impactful contributions, shaping and enriching the communities they belong to and serve.

Interconnected Learning Community

Abundant with values of community, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Willamette University flourishes as a vibrant and interconnected intellectual ecosystem. Central to our mission is the integration of liberal arts and undergraduate studies with our professional and graduate schools, creating a rich environment of learning that guides students towards a promising future.

Excellence in Education

Leading higher education in the Pacific Northwest, Willamette University champions a multidisciplinary approach to learning, standing as a model of both academic and co-curricular excellence. Through our dedicated faculty and staff, we commit to developing an intellectual environment centered on student success, ensuring a Willamette education equates to an unrivaled quality. Offering a breadth and depth of coursework that crosses undergraduate and professional levels, we celebrate our positive outcomes for our diverse students, instilling a solid foundation for lifelong learning and leadership.

Innovative Leadership

At Willamette University, leadership is not merely a role we assume, it’s a tradition we perpetuate in ourselves and in our students. As long-standing innovators, we remain keenly responsive to the evolving needs of our students and the broader world. Our commitment to shaping transformative leaders blends the development of deep understanding with forward-thinking skills, preparing our students to tackle the complexities of the present and confidently stride into the future.


Willamette University


Waller Hall, 4th Floor
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.