For the first time in 25 years, Winthrop University is changing its logo. Don’t panic. The garnet and gold eagle head will remain on athletic apparel.
You won’t know until Thursday what the new logo looks like. Winthrop officials will unveil it at 11:15 a.m. in the DiGiorgio Campus Center. The event is open to the public. The campus bookstore will immediately offer apparel with the new logo.
The goal of the new look is to send a clearer message to students and reflect the feeling of home, officials say.
“We needed to figure out what really set us apart and what was unique in the minds of prospective students and what they are really looking for,” said Katie Price, Winthrop spokesperson. “We found that, above everything else, Winthrop really feels like home to students. It feels like a family.”
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Winthrop has gone through several logo changes in its more than 125 years.
The school started outside of Rock Hill as a training school for women from 1886 to 1891. It moved to its permanent home in Rock Hill in 1893 and was renamed Winthrop Normal and Industrial College of South Carolina. In 1920, Winthrop College became a college for women. The school became coed in 1974.
The college’s logo, designed in 1984, featured Tillman tower in the center. The last major change was in 1992 when Winthrop became a university and the current clock tower logo was put in use.
The Winthrop University Coat of Arms has not changed since it was adopted in 1980.
Since 1992, the university has used logos in the school colors, garnet and gold, and in blue and white, signifying the Blue Line tradition, Price said. The Blue Line started in 1895 when women attending Winthrop were led in two lines down Oakland Avenue in their blue and white uniforms to attend church. The tradition continues each year during commencement with new students wearing blue and white T-shirts.
In 2008, the garnet and gold “WU” logo was created for some aspects of campus, but became widely used. Price said the two color schemes -- garnet and gold, and blue and white -- do not clearly represent the university’s identity.
“It feels a little bit disjointed,” she said.
The new branding will clear that up, Price said. Everywhere that currently has the clock tower logo will now feature the new logo.
We needed to figure out what really set us apart and what was unique in the minds of prospective students and what they are really looking for. We found that, above everything else, Winthrop really feels like home to students; it feels like a family.
Katie Price, Winthrop University
The new logo is part of a larger rebranding initiative that is detailed in the Winthrop Plan, the school’s strategic plan, Price said. Rebranding will be rolled out over the next several months. The university also will launch a redesigned website.
In 2016, Winthrop President Dan Mahony detailed a 10-year plan.
Price said the new branding and messaging will better emphasize why Winthrop stands out among other institutions.
“There are hundreds of reasons why Winthrop is such a special place and through all that time we have tried to tell all of those reasons all at once and it made our messaging a little diluted,” Price said. “We decided it was time … to hone in on those things that are most compelling to perspective students.”
Price said Winthrop’s marketing team researched what makes the university special in the minds of students and others. She said one of the top reasons is that students feel supported by the faculty and their peers.
“They feel so comfortable here,” Price said. “They feel accepted for who they are and that kind of supersedes everything else .....”
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082
Want to go?
Winthrop officials will unveil a new logo at 11:15 a.m. Thursday in the DiGiorgio Campus Center, 2020 Alumni Dr in Rock Hill.
The campus bookstore will have items for sale, including apparel, featuring the new logo following the ceremony, which is open to the public. The Starbucks located inside the student center will offer an exclusive drink for the occasion.