“Dare to Soar”

Colleges and universities are places that can unify people from all over the world.  They have sports, clubs, fraternities and sororities, honor societies and many other groups and opportunities to unify the student body.  Another way schools have started to unify people is with words.

This year will be the first year with Gary Miller as the chancellor of UNCW.  When he was inaugurated in early May 2011, Miller brought with him a new way of thinking and a new school slogan: “Dare to Soar.”  With this new slogan, Miller wanted to try to echo the school motto, which is “dare to learn,” and bring students together in hopes of achieving higher goals than were previously set.

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Miller hopes that this new slogan will help build the UNCW brand.  The school already has a very solid brand because of its academic values and Miller hopes this new slogan will further better the brand name.  He hopes that this new slogan will show an aspiration to reach higher goals in the future and reflect the soaring growth of our school.

As UNC Wilmington students, we noticed the attempt to unite the school and motivate the student body with words. There are many other schools which have created slogans that have utilized powerful words that were intended to convey specific messages to students, faculty, and the community surrounding these colleges. After the shootings at Virginia Tech, the school used the words “Together We Stand” to make sure that the students who had survived the horrific events could all unite to get through the tragedy.

Some words have been associated with certain campuses for decades. Harvard University, for instance, has the word “veritas” written across the university arms. Originally, the phrase was long and dealt with the truth of Christ and the church. However, today the campus has changed the motto to simply mean “truth” and is a reminder of the morals and standards at Harvard.

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Many campuses attempt to bring these powerful phrases onto their campus to motivate and unite their students. The question is, do these words always create the campus environment that they are trying to create? Are these words really powerful, or are they just trying to be powerful? How long will the students remember these slogans and mottos?

Zachary Abramo, Meaghan Beam, Jessica Butner, Jackson Lane

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2 thoughts on ““Dare to Soar”

  1. Personally, I do not like the new logo and slogan that Chancellor Miller introduced because it is very different from the previous logos the school has. UNCW also has many logos already, which we talked about in IMC I, which can become overwhelming and confusing over time. It is understandable if the school wants to replace an old logo with the new one over time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. This new logo has a completely different “feel” than the others have. It is more formal looking, so I feel like Chancellor Miller is trying to make the school seem more like an ivy league school like Harvard, than the relaxed, beachy vibe that UNCW has.

  2. I think that words are powerful when placed correctly. I believe that “dare to soar” has untapped potential to becoming a phrase related to UNCW, therefore should be used more frequently through out the university. I agree with Maggie that the phrase does not fit the beachy “vibe”, however the phrase is tied to the academics of UNCW, so acts as a reminder.

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