ImagePride and Community 

Strategic Goal: Striving to share our proud story, Ferris will provide members with empowering experiences and partnerships. 

Initiative Action Steps Progress and Updates

Initiative 1

Share our founders’ emphasis on opportunity and excellence.

Action Steps

  • PC 1-1:  Identify key initiatives that have the greatest impact on improving our overall brand and reputation.
  • PC 1-2:  Develop and initiate an awareness campaign that informs a diverse array of students and community members on the benefits of a Ferris education.
  • PC 1-3:  Develop a sustainable program to ignite pride and excitement among internal (students, alumni, faculty, and staff) and external (community, prospective students) communities.

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiative 1 Action Steps

Signs of Our Success -

  • In partnership with the national agency, a comprehensive brand campaign is launched in Fall 2019.
  • A unifying and sustainable Ferris Pride Campaign has been developed by Fall 2020.

Progress and Updates -

  • Successfully launched the Ferris Forward brand platform, which has been well received and utilized by all internal and external audiences. 
  • Expanded digital marketing, direct mail initiatives and tracking analytics, accounting for the impact of COVID-19 and changing market conditions, to drive stronger emphasis on prospective student applications and yield ROI.
  • Launched a newly designed homepage to align it with Ferris Forward branding and improve user experience. Initiating a collaborative plan to transition all other college, department and office webpage content to the new design in the next 15 -18 months with an emphasis on enhancing prospective student content.
  • Completed a collaborative effort (UA&M, Athletics, Admin & Finance) to conduct an RFP for a new trademark and licensing vendor. This is the first such RFP in 20+ years. A new vendor was selected to notably improve quality, sales, and overall revenue from our trademark/licensing activities.
  • Launched a comprehensive pride initiative that celebrated the University’s 135th Anniversary, promoted special pride-related mailings and swag giveaways, recognized achievements of various University departments and student organizations, and partnered with the local Pioneer newspaper to promote articles and ads touting successful town/gown collaborations and honoring key local volunteers.
  • Significantly expanded the number of University news stories published while strengthening audience reach and active engagement with related social media and video promotions.
  • The Alumni Association collaborated with many campus partners to offer a wide range of virtual events to celebrate HOMEcoming 2020 from Sept. 26 through Oct. 3. More than 600 alumni and friends celebrated Ferris pride not only on campus, but from all across the states and even into Canada. Activities and events ranged from on-line webinars, photo and cooking competitions to the most popular event, a virtual 5k with nearly 400 participants.

Initiative 2

Better utilize alumni as ambassadors to our constituents, partners, and the world.

Action Steps

  • PC 2-1:  Dedicate physical and virtual space to highlight accomplishments of alumni.
  • PC 2-2:  Coordinate an Alumni Speaker Series for both University-wide and program-specific initiatives.
  • PC 2-3:  Adopt a comprehensive alumni relations strategy that facilitates the relationships between alumni and their key University homes, including programs, colleges, athletic teams, and student organizations, and empowers our alumni to serve as recruiters, leveraging their geographic reach.

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiative 2 Action Steps

Signs of our Success -

  • Prominent recognition of alumni is in development, both virtually and in at least one physical campus space, by Fall 2019.
  • Develop an annual alumni speaking series by Fall 2020.
  • Alumni become more visible and active in campus life, participating more widely on campus and in recruitment activities.

Progress and Updates -

  • Physical space has been dedicated in the CSS lobby visually highlighting prominent alumni success stories.
  • Established the Alumni Ambassador program, which has grown to more than 30 alumni volunteers in key states across the US to assist the University with engaging alumni and assisting with recruiting and retaining students from their geographic areas.
  • More than 220 alumni participated in “Make A Difference Day” on Oct. 24, a national day of service encouraging volunteerism. The Alumni Association encouraged members of the Bulldog community to participate virtually throughout the county by helping neighbors clean their yards, organizing pop can drives and paying it forward in fast food lines.

Initiative 3

Identify, create, and pursue opportunities that strengthen student-focused partnerships with local communities.

 Action Steps 
  • PC 3-1:  Create a team to identify opportunities to support Ferris-linked educational opportunities for students in high school and other institutions. 
  • PC 3-2:  Assign regional liaisons to help strengthen local partnerships and University growth opportunities.
  • PC 3.3:  Build on civic and social engagement opportunities throughout Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, and West Michigan, including open dialogues with community leaders and organizations on issues that will strengthen and build relationships between students, local governments, businesses, educational affiliates, and civic organizations.
  • PC 3.4:  Deepen internship collaborations with surrounding communities and professional organizations that create meaningful opportunities for students, including those with international status.
  • PC 3.5:  Create a Community/Student Leader Roundtable.

Submit Progress and Updates to Initiative 3 Action Steps

Signs of our Success -  

  • Regional liaisons have been identified by Fall 2020.
  • A list of current and potential community and educational partnerships is completed and in use for planning by Fall 2020.
  • The Ferris component of Plaza Roosevelt is completed and operational by Fall 2023.
  • New community internship collaborations have been developed by Spring 2020.
  • A Community/Student Leader Roundtable is in operation by Fall 2020.
Progress and Updates - 

Highlights and Achievements

  • The Ferris Alumni association created a webpage featuring past and present Ferris Bulldogs offering support to one another during the Covid-19 cirsis. 

  • Physical space has been dedicated in the CSS lobby visually highlighting prominent alumni success stories.

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***Last Updated 11/2020***