LOS ANGELES — Cal State Los Angeles celebrated the start of a new academic year Sept. 21 with the unveiling of a new logo, a fresh commitment to pushing boundaries and the highest student enrollment in the history of the university.
Outside the Luckman Theatre, colorful banners sporting the new logo hung from beams and festive rhythms filled the morning air as Cal State L.A.’s Afro Latin Ensemble entertained the crowd.
University President William A. Covino unveiled the logo and the university’s new brand during his convocation address to a gathering of faculty, staff, students and university supporters inside the theatre.
“As we know, a brand is more than just a logo,” Covino said. “It is shaped by every image and word used in communication materials and interactions.”
The university’s relationship with the city is a key aspect of its character — and an important element of the new brand.
The logo is a shield marked by angles that reflect urban architecture and represent the enterprising, agile global city that is Los Angeles. Inside the shield, a Los Angeles skyline ascends upward, toward a boundless future.
“The thick [outer edge of the shield] has open corners that represent a campus that opens out to the region we serve, where students faculty, staff, alumni and our community are shaped by Los Angeles and in turn shape its future,” Covino said.
The creation of the new brand was a year in the making and involved forums, focus groups and conversations with hundreds in the university community. Covino’s address included a short video that further explained the brand and its purpose.
“Our aim was to find the best way to capture who we are for those we serve, to unify the many depictions of Cal State L.A.,” the video explained. “We needed to better define and represent our university through our logo and brand.”
The new brand comes at a time when the university is evolving, reaching goals and setting records.
With the start of the fall quarter, more than 27,000 students are enrolled at Cal State L.A., breaking the previous enrollment high of 25,276 in 1975.
In January, Cal State L.A. will open a new downtown L.A. campus to meet the needs of working professionals, those in career transition and people seeking personal enrichment. With the new campus, the university will expand its reach.
In the past fiscal year, the university’s fund-raising team doubled the amount raised in 2013, reaching the highest level of philanthropic support in the history of Cal State L.A., Covino said.
Those developments are examples of Cal State L.A. pushing boundaries, a theme that echoed throughout Covino’s speech.
Washington Monthly magazine recently ranked Cal State L.A. among the top 10 master’s universities in the nation, Covino said.
The university is also pushing boundaries in the world of the arts with the development of a new bilingual master’s of fine arts in creative media.
“It will provide our students with an exceptional educational experience, one that speaks to the value of multilingual literacy, and the increasing prominence of Spanish in Southern California and the nation,” Covino said.
Covino’s address painted a portrait of an emerging Cal State L.A., one that merits a second look — and its new brand.
“We are building the university of the future,” Covino said, “with terrific energy and determination.”