Summer Thagard poster
Student-athlete Summer Thagard is featured on one of the posters in the campaign.

CULLOWHEE - Western is putting a fresh face on its effort to recruit new students.

The university recently mailed about 1,000 personalized posters to public and private high schools in North Carolina and 12 other states. Each poster features an individual student, describes his or her successes at Western, and includes information about the student's major, with a quote and a big, colorful picture of the participating student.

The purpose of personalizing the posters with individual students and their comments was to attract more attention at the high schools than a generic version would get.

And it worked.

According to the results of an informal phone survey, high school officials are pleased to see the spotlight on their graduates and to learn how well they are doing at Western.

“To see one of our own on the poster was great. Students have asked about Western after seeing the poster,” said a counselor at Morehead High School.

“Our students can identify with the student on our poster. I like the personal effect,” said an Anson County counselor.

“We've put up ours on the bulletin board on senior hall. The poster is the best marketing tool I've seen in a long time. It is great to see our name in print and to see that our student is doing well,” said a school official at Cape Fear Christian Academy .

The Office of Public Relations has mailed posters to each student's high school, with copies going to the principal, guidance office, teachers and Western teaching alumni. The posters went out in August and September to 150 public and private high schools in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia Wisconsin.

“It's been especially gratifying to hear how our students talk about their experiences at Western,” said Leila Tvedt , associate vice chancellor for public relations, who is working with university photographers, the Publications Office and University Print Shop on the poster project. “Without prompting, nearly all of them say they value the small class sizes and close interaction between students and faculty at Western, they love the mountain location, and they are making plans for the future based on Western's career-focused academic programs.”

Of course, that's the message Western wants high school students to hear, Tvedt said.

Posters are on display at various academic department offices across campus. The university is continuing the poster campaign and will feature additional students in the future. Faculty members interested in nominating students for the next round of posters should contact the Office of Public Relations at 227-7327.

Maintained by the WCU Office of Public Relations
Last modified: Monday, December 20, 2004
Copyright 2004 by Western Carolina University