Erika Buiter—Staff Writer
On May 13, 2019, Dordt College will become known as Dordt University—but before then, there is still work to be done. Dordt’s marketing and communication office was behind the original university announcement. Now, they are busy working toward the next big reveal—announcing the new university logo during Defender Days, a date which they chose very intentionally.
“Defender Days is one of the biggest on-campus events of the year,” said Sarah Moss, director of marketing and communication at Dordt. “Approximately 1,200 alumni, parents, siblings and Dordt supporters visit campus, not to mention the students and employees already on campus as well. It seemed like another opportunity to celebrate the university initiative and to make sure people are aware of the logo change. That’s really what we’re doing—raising awareness and having fun with it.”
The new logo will be revealed on Friday, Oct. 19, in the Campus Center before “Late Night with the Defenders.” Some Dordt University merchandise will be tossed out at the event. The logo change is by far the earliest and most important of the physical changes that will take place because of the change to University. Whatever the new logo is, it will be everywhere on campus.
Dordt administration tasked the marketing office with spearheading the logo design process. The marketing office contracted a designer and consultant to create the new logo. In mid-May, they came to campus and held focus groups, including two student groups.
“We wanted to make sure students were involved in the focus groups because obviously their perception of what Dordt is should influence what the logo looks like,” Moss said.
The responses of the focus groups were analyzed and compiled into a brand assessment, and over the summer, logo designs were received and the deciding process began.
“Over the course of the summer we were able to present the logos to some students, the administrative cabinet and the university initiative task force,” Moss said.
Student Government also recently saw some logo designs. But students shouldn’t get overeager this early on.
“We’re close, but there are still some aspects that need to be finalized,” Moss said.
It’s not just students who want to see the logo—Dordt staff are eager for the reveal, too. Jim Bos, registrar and director of institutional research, is preparing paperwork for the name change, including IRS forms, possible trademarks, and new transcripts and diplomas—all of which will have the new logo. Bos will start the filing process for the name change in January. For staff like Bos, the logo reveal brings both work and excitement.
While the student population—and staff—will only have to wait another month to see the new logo, physical changes to campus will not appear until next summer. After the official change to University on May 13, 2019, signs with “Dordt College” or the “DC Cross” will have to go—and that’s going to be the Maintenance Department’s job.
“The biggest challenge is that we have all of our ongoing maintenance, upgrading and repair work that needs to take place every summer just to keep this place operating like it needs to,” Dordt’s director of facilities and services Nate van Niejenhuis said.
In addition to their regular work, maintenance will be in charge of re-tagging the “Dordt College” signs on the red brick gateways, as well as removing the pedestal signs in front of the buildings. Signs will be taken to a local contractor who will reface them with the new logo. In addition, the banners along the sidewalks and signposts in the parking lots will be replaced.
“A lot of the actual re-creating of the decal will be done by an outside contractor,” van Niejenhuis said. “The removal, repair, cleaning, replacement and reinstallation will be handled by our department. We will begin that as soon as possible immediately following our changeover. Folks can anticipate that work being ongoing throughout the summer.”
Van Niejenhuis will work with both outside contractors and the Athletics department on two of the bigger changes—replacing the DC cross on the football field and on the De Witt Gymnasium floor. Overall, though, he’s looking forward to the change.
“I think there’s some mixed feelings,” van Niejenhuis said. “I think we’re excited about what the new is going to look like, and what it’s going to bring, and there’s a little nostalgia to see the old go. But at the end of the day, I think it’s a positive change for Dordt.”