Here is something I have been wondering about:  when you see a billboard (like on Freeway 99) or poster (like the one at the Fresno Air Terminal) advertising for Fresno Pacific University, nowhere on the ad do you see the words “Christian”, “God”, “Christ”, “Jesus”. Apparently, there is no way you would know it is a Christian University. Why?  I am grateful for the fact that the words “Founded On Christ” appear on the FPU logo, but if the logo is on the billboard, at 70 MPH you don’t see it.

I am also aware that there are two logos, one with the words “Founded On Christ” and one where that spot is just empty.  Maybe I am wrong, and that second logo has been removed from all of their materials. I hope so. If I am mistaken, would somebody please leave a comment and let me know?  I want to be accurate, but about two years ago I was given some fund raising brochures and “Founded On Christ” was definitely missing on the logo.  So, the question is:  Why?  Do we have something to hide?  Are we seeking to attract the unsaved to our university and are afraid they might be offended?  Did someone just “forget?”  Please don’t think of this as a criticism.  I would just like to know the answer.

 

After this article was posted, a reader (Robert) forwarded the question to Mark Deffenbacher at Fresno Pacific. He responded and also forwarded the question to Diana Mock. With permission from them, we would like to copy their comments here and give them the opportunity to answer my question. I appreciate their responding to the question and allowing their answer to be posted.

Robert,

Thank you for your question that represents an interest in Fresno Pacific University. Please do not be apologetic for expecting Fresno Pacific University to clearly tell the world who we are. You will find included in this e mail the validation of our commitments from our Executive Director for Communications, Diana Mock.

This has been a time of significant growth for the university as we have intentionally reached out to the community to tell our story and advertise in ever changing ways. My daily prayer is that we can continually tell the story is bold fresh ways that are inviting and genuine.

Blessings to you for confirming that Fresno Pacific University is staying true to the mission.

Mark Deffenbacher

 

Mark –

 

In answer to Robert’s query, let me start with the reassurance that we proud of and committed to our Christian heritage and would never back away from our mission to “…develop students for leadership and service through excellence in Christian higher education.” This is who we are—a decidedly Christian university with a reputation for academic excellence, an innovative approach to program development, and an unwavering spiritual enthusiasm. Our Christian culture and character are clearly stated in the About Us section of our website, which is where most people who have questions about us go to find their answers.

 

The words “Founded on Christ” are a very intentional part of our logo, which is printed on every marketing piece we produce, from business cards to outdoor boards. The only time those words are deleted is when the medium (i.e. embroidery on shirts) doesn’t support the fine lines of the lettering.

 

In the case of outdoor boards—such as those on Highway 99—this is considered a “reminder” medium with the intent to send interested parties to our website for additional information. A great deal of strategic thinking goes into every marketing campaign we produce, and there is never a time that we try to hide our connection to Christ. When we don’t lead out with that message it is because fierce competition within the higher education arena requires us to be good stewards of our marketing resources by promoting more than our Christian perspective.

 

As for a second logo, perhaps this reference is to the “Building on Excellence” campaign where a different (but close enough to create synergy with our FPU logo) was developed specifically for the campaign? The only other approved FPU logos that exist include the Sunbirds athletic logos, and the President’s official seal.

 

I hope this is a helpful explanation. Please feel free to contact me if any other questions come up. Thanks for the opportunity to provide insight, Mark!

 

Diana