New USD campaign features success stories, 1964 alumnus Tom Brokaw

New USD campaign features success stories, 1964 alumnus Tom Brokaw The University of South Dakota's new marketing and branding campaign, which will highlight the institution's exceptional successes, students and faculty, will feature the voice of one such extraordinary individual: USD alumnus and NBC's Tom Brokaw.

The campaign, titled "Extraordinary" after the university's new tagline, launched in late November with bus panels, movie theatre ads, billboards, postcards, mall kiosks and Internet advertising. Brokaw's voice is featured in both TV and radio commercials that will be broadcast throughout South Dakota and parts of Iowa.

Michelle Lavallee, vice president of student services and chief marketing officer, says the new campaign will help prospective and current students, parents, alumni and others learn about the institution's many success stories.

"The U has a track record of producing remarkable students and remarkable results," Lavallee said. "This campaign brings those stories into the spotlight."

The campaign will initially highlight several notable accomplishments, including:

* A U.S. News and World Report article ranking USD among the top doctoral institutions in the country for the eighth year in a row.

* Rankings from The Princeton Review calling USD one of the "Best in the Midwest" and the No. 7 "Best Value" in the country among public institutions.

* Brianne Edwards, a USD graduate and currently a physician assistant graduate student who was the 2004 NCAA Division II National Champion in the heptathlon, received an NCAA post-graduate scholarship and was named "2004 South Dakota Woman of the Year" by the NCAA.

* 2004 graduate Danielle Buttke, a two-time Udall Scholarship award winner who was able to choose between full-ride scholarships for double-doctorates from Cornell University and the University of California-Davis.

* USD's 2004 No. 2 ranking in the nation for producing NCAA post-graduate scholarship winners.

* USD graduate and Medical School student Emily Fox, a winner of an NCAA post-graduate scholarship who also excels in music and track.

* USD's standing as the home to South Dakota's only College of Fine Arts, Law School, Medical School and AACSB International-accredited Business School.

The campaign is one result of a long-term effort by USD to identify its role in the ever-changing world of higher education. USD and higher education marketing consulting firm Stamats involved more than 2,100 administrators, faculty, students and alumni in far-ranging discussions that Lavallee says helped them "distill the essence of The U experience into easy terms."�"We're a perfect fit for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students looking for a smart educational investment," Lavallee said. "They can expect a world-class, innovative education in a welcoming atmosphere that helps students realize their dreams and discover and develop their potential."

The campaign, which is designed to reach both prospective students and their parents, is essential to the university's continued success, says University President James W. Abbott.

"We need to establish this university as the school of preference for our area. Branding and marketing are a part of that," Abbott says. "By defining what the university is and what it stands for � then reinforcing that message every day�� we will help make the choice clearer to students throughout the state and beyond."

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