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Wilfrid Laurier University Laurier Brantford
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence


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Laurier Brantford

Turning the Page: Laurier launches centennial history book and refreshed visual identity

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Oct 20/11| For Immediate Release


Jacqui Tam, Assistant Vice-President, Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3786 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO — As Wilfrid Laurier University celebrates its 100th anniversary it is looking back over the years with a new book that traces the institution’s history since 1911, and looking forward with a refreshed visual identity that will visually mark the start of Laurier’s next century.

The university is hosting an event Friday, Oct. 21 starting at 3 p.m. called “Turning the Page” to launch the book Leadership and Purpose: A History of Wilfrid Laurier University, which was commissioned by the university and written by historian and Laurier alumnus Andrew M. Thomson. The event will also include the unveiling of the university’s refreshed visual identity — the collection of visual elements that form part of the Laurier brand and which represent the university on such things as publications, advertising, signage and stationery.

“This event will celebrate the Laurier story and the art of storytelling through word and image,” said Jacqui Tam, assistant vice-president of Laurier’s office of Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing. ”Both the book and evolved visual identity are possible in large part because of the willingness of so many people to share their memories, their impressions, their feelings about the university, past, present and future.”

Wilfrid Laurier University traces its roots to the founding of the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada in Waterloo on Oct. 30, 1911. The institution expanded and evolved over the years, undergoing a number of name changes along the way. Thomson has combined his research and interview skills with a well-deserved reputation for storytelling to bring the university’s fascinating history to life in Leadership and Purpose: A History of Wilfrid Laurier University. He will read from the book on Oct. 21, and copies will be available for purchase at the event as well as through the Laurier Bookstore on the Waterloo campus and the Stedman Community Bookstore on the Brantford campus.

In 2010, Laurier hired renowned design firm Scott Thornley + Company (STC) to create a centennial logo and to review the university’s overall visual identity.

“We didn’t assume, when we started the review process, that a visual identity change would be required,” Tam said. “After completing the Envisioning Laurier initiative and developing the institution’s inspiring proposition – inspiring lives of leadership and purpose – we knew it was time to ask whether or not our visual identity still accurately reflected the institution. But we needed more input before we could answer that question.”

The bright, celebratory centennial logo was launched last fall and has garnered much praise over the past year. Design firm STC then spent several months meeting with a wide range of groups within the Laurier community — including students, faculty, staff and alumni — to discuss the university’s existing visual identity and to gain insight into what the Laurier community felt about the university and its existing design elements.

A webpage forum and Facebook discussion groups were also created to allow people to submit comments online. (It should be noted that prior to this process it was decided that the Laurier Golden Hawk logo, a beloved icon for generations of Laurier alumni and students, as well as the university’s purple and gold colours, would remain as is and would not be included in any redesign.)

An evolved design was recommended by STC and developed based on the many consultations that took place within the Laurier community. Those individuals who participated in the initial input sessions were invited back to comment on the proposed look. From there, a final design was prepared and will be unveiled at the Oct. 21 event.

The event is being held simultaneously on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses with the aid of digital projection and transmission technology. The Waterloo event will take place in the Senate and Board Chamber; the Brantford event will take place in Room 203 of the Research and Academic Centre’s west wing. Please RSVP to


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