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Brand Strategy and Marketing

University Values

Where BOLD begins for student success.

For Fresno State, the communications requirements of a brand go beyond normal consumer products and services, in part because additional scrutiny comes with the public academic charter and because the impact of a regional university touches so many different audiences directly and indirectly.

But some of the same due diligence applies, as the audiences of a successful brand will want answers to the following questions:

  1. What’s in it for me? (value)
  2. Why should I care? (need)
  3. Reasons to believe? (proof points)

With Fresno State’s brand promise and primary brand values in mind, here’s a start to making the brand speak in bite-size pieces:


Bold Ignites Deeper Discovery

“What’s in it for me?”

Students are challenged and equipped to explore their own passions and potential to see what real difference they can make in the community or the world.

The community realizes what can happen when a university and a region work as one: needs are assessed, partnerships formed and actions are taken.

“Why should I care?”

Nearly 25,000 students annually are equipped with the knowledge and skills to have an impact wherever they choose, and that translates to creativity, critical thinking and solutions needed here in the Valley and around the globe.

“Reasons to believe?”

Here are just a few:

  • Student demand is the highest in history, with applications increasing to over 25,000 in fall 2019; we are getting the attention of students who see the value of this Discovery.
  • Fresno State has improved our first-year student retention over 82.5%, showing that Discovery is being realized, with the goal of increasing the 6-year graduation rate to 70% by 2025.
  • 80% of recent Fresno State graduates remain in the Valley to become the next generation of leaders.
  • Fresno State’s impact in the community extends from problem-solving to volunteerism — recognized nationally for its community service topping more than 1 million hours annually.


Bold Capitalizes on the Richness and Opportunity of Diversity

“What’s in it for me?”

Fresno State makes greater access possible for all by being one of the most affordable universities in the nation.

Fresno State provides a powerful learning ground built out of the opportunities created by the diversity of its region and students. The most unique student needs can be met by putting equity and innovation in action, graduating students with a skill set that’s current and relevant to meeting the needs of others in an increasingly diverse world.

The Valley and its people will be most successful when solutions come with inclusiveness, and openness is championed.

“Why should I care?”

We live in a region where greater diversity, with all its benefits, can also present challenges — so effective problem-solvers must come equipped with a deeper understanding of cultural competence, and they must see the potential of what can happen when we work as one. Communities across the nation, with their changing demography, face these same opportunities and need these problem-solvers.

“Reasons to believe?”

Here are just a few:

  • Fresno State is a recognized Hispanic-Serving Institution and Asian Native American Pacific Islander Institution.
  • Over 80% of Fresno State students receive assistance through grants and scholarships.
  • Nearly 65% of Fresno State students are the first generation in their families to earn a college degree, changing the future trajectory of their families.
  • The achievement gap for underserved Fresno State students has been reduced by half from 10% to 5%, contributing to higher retention and graduation rates for all students.
  • The President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity commits to diversity in-action through a 5-year plan focused on supporting acceptance and fairness at all levels of the University.
  • The Dream Centers address the unique needs and challenges of undocumented students who want a college education.
  • The Renaissance Scholars Program nurtures students who come through the foster care system or experience homelessness.
  • The Cross Cultural and Gender Center works to better understand and serve everyone across individual and social/group lines.
  • Initiatives recruit more Native American students and provide food security for all students, showing the commitment runs deep.


Bold Invites the Courage to Achieve Distinction, Bar None“What’s in it for me?”

The University is graduating students who are successful in more than grades, but also in applying learning to solve regional, national and global needs; this is the test of truly applicable student success.

Fresno State is Central California’s largest and most advanced resource for developing the region’s workforce and spurring entrepreneurialism, innovation and lifelong success that impact industries worldwide.

“Why should I care?”

At the heart of a thriving Valley will be an equally thriving Fresno State: contributing to a prosperous economy, bringing a currency and diversity to the Valley’s perspective, problem-solving Valley issues with research and development, and contributing to the success of others outside of our region that in turn brings credibility to the Valley.

“Reasons to believe?”

Here are just a few:

  • The 6-year graduation rate has increased to 56.3%, better meeting the need for a more college-educated workforce.
  • Fresno State won five national awards from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The awards were for International Education (2015), Leadership Development and Diversity (2014), the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education (2014), Student Success and College Completion (2017), and Civic Learning and Community Engagement (2019).
  • The Jordan Research Agricultural Center is the first ever multi-discipline research laboratory and space in the California State University system with capabilities in the areas of agriculture, engineering and the sciences.
  • Fresno State enhances the student experience with high-impact practices that grow a better-equipped graduate. Students farm, produce and bottle wine, trade stocks, innovate and launch businesses, treat children with autism, counsel low-income families and study abroad.