Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, is a nationally-recognized private Catholic women’s liberal arts college situated in Notre Dame, Indiana. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the college is deeply committed to empowering women through a student-centered approach to education. The College’s beautiful and intimate campus provides an environment that enriches learning and personal development. As part of a unique tri-campus community, Saint Mary’s students also take advantage of academic, social, and cultural activities at the University of Notre Dame, located just across the street.View all Work
A good comprehensive campaign opens wallets. A great one opens hearts and minds.
College and university comprehensive campaigns are about more than philanthropic goals. They’re also intended to galvanize communities around an ambitious vision and build an enduring legacy.
Founded nearly two centuries ago, and one of just over 30 remaining women’s colleges nationwide, Saint Mary’s College empowers leaders to meet the needs of the changing world. So when the College commissioned CCA to name its comprehensive campaign, shape the messaging, and design the case statement, logo mark, and identity system, we set out to tell a story about the enduring power of a Saint Mary’s education across generations past, present, and future.
A campaign name has to be meaningful. Ideally, it should be a rally cry, an invitation to all stakeholders to champion the cause. Through a collaborative effort between CCA and the College, we landed on “Ring Out. Ring True.” The phrase “Ring Out” already had internal equity across the community—a nod to the traditional Saint Mary’s class rings that connect students and alumnae to each other and their alma mater. The addition of “Ring True” amplified the call to action, making the case for supporting the campaign’s core commitments.
During our discovery, we asked the Saint Mary’s College community what the critical stakes and opportunities were, and what kind of real impact donors could make on the College’s future.
In other words, “Why Saint Mary’s College? Why now?”
Based on their answers, we recommended that the campaign would need to:
1. Project ambition. Serious intent. Boldness. It couldn’t be diminutive in any way.
2. Surprise alumnae and others in a good way. Make them take notice and feel proud.
3. Be less about the college and more about the people. Who they are and what they believe.
For the case statement, we gave special attention to the subtle details of its design and execution to ensure the finished piece conveyed the gravitas of the campaign. The piece creates a nostalgic connection between alumnae and their campus, while also showcasing how donors’ efforts directly impact the College’s students.