NMU administrators, having partnered with a consulting agency, are considering changes be made to NMU’s current slogan ‘‘Northern. Naturally.”
NMU has associated strongly with “Northern Naturally.” for years because of the slogan’s reference to the most unique element of attending college in the Upper Peninsula — proximity to Lake Superior and the vast forests of this region. Not only that, but NMU has stayed committed to this slogan in terms of encouraging “green” initiatives in all aspects of campus life. “Northern Naturally.” quite simply, specifically embodies the culture, mentality and livelihood of the NMU community.
Up to this point, the only suggestion for a new mantra has been “Fearless Minds.” While not set in stone by any means, it’s still worth noting that the slogan “Fearless Minds” sounds like it came straight out of room full of white boards and brand managers that know little about what NMU actually is, or about why prospective students end up here.
Chances are, students who come to NMU don’t come here merely for spectacular academic programs or athletics. They came here to escape urban environments, to hike and swim along Lake Superior’s rocky shore, to ski at Marquette Mountain, to bike, fish, kayak and simply enjoy the landscape of the Upper Peninsula.
They didn’t come here for fearless minds. They came here for a fearless life, if anything.
Though “Fearless Minds” isn’t a bad slogan — it could certainly work for Northern — the problem is that it could likely work for any other college in the continental United States, too.
The distinct experiences that students come to Northern for is not an experience they can get at any other public university in the region, if not in the entire country.
“Northern. Naturally.” while not the strongest slogan, worked for NMU in that it described in only two words the true soul of NMU, which lies in the changing fall leaves and harsh November storms, in swimming in Superior on hot summer mornings and getting a hike up Hogback in before class.
“Fearless Minds,” on the other hand, is a soulless marketing strategy that represents nothing of the heart of NMU, its faculty or its student body.