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East Carolina University’s new look is due in part to Chancellor Cecil Staton – and the university’s growing national acclaim.

Staton recommended an update of university branding elements like its logo, motto and website in order to better represent ECU as a nationally recognized school. 

“The extraordinary amount of important national research and the wide range of top programs became even more apparent after he arrived on campus as the university’s new leader,” Thomas Eppes, chief communications officer at ECU, said in an email. 

“His discussions with faculty, staff and alumni revealed a long-held frustration that ECU didn’t receive the amount of recognition that would be expected for a top institution.” 

Eppes said the motto “Capture your horizon” reflects ECU’s leadership in offering affordable and varied education to prospective students. ECU’s medical school has been ranked the most affordable in the nation. 

“The university offers 85 bachelor’s degrees, 72 master’s degrees and 19 doctoral degrees, an enormous range of choices that allows prospective students to work toward the career they’re most passionate about,” he said.  

The new logo for the university was created after looking at logos and graphics standards of the top-ranked colleges and universities in the U.S. News ranking, Eppes said. Many of those schools used university seals or icons as their logo.  

“At ECU, the cupola is a central architectural feature on campus,” he said. “By adopting that look in our logo, we developed an identity that looks very natural within the national logo family.” 

Amanda Zettervall, director of UNC Creative, said UNC experienced a similar rebranding in 2004. 

UNC Creative maintains the brand for the university, something Zettervall said they believe is important.  

“We chose the Old Well to be part of our brand identity because it’s the most recognizable landmark at the university and a symbol that is unique to our campus,” Zettervall said. “The Old Well is at the heart of many campus traditions and a source of pride for so many Tar Heels.” 

ECU's rebranding includes an effort to refer to the university as ECU rather than East Carolina University. Eppes said many students and others already refer to the school as ECU, so the transition will not be too difficult.   

“The university’s reach has expanded well beyond the eastern part of the state, and the impact of its work is being felt nationwide,” Eppes said. “Being associated so closely with one small region didn’t adequately communicate the true range of expertise now at ECU.”

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