UMass Boston launches new marketing campaign

The University of Massachusetts Boston wants you to know more about what it calls the city’s “best kept secret”: itself.

That’s the thrust of a new branding and marketing plan, to be announced Monday, that defines Boston’s only public research university as a modern institution ready to meet the challenges of the future.

UMass Boston’s title as New England’s most diverse university is central to the campaign. With a student body hailing from more than 140 countries and where 60% of students have parents who did not attend college, UMass Boston represents the future of higher education in Massachusetts and the United States, a said Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco.

“This diversity is a beautiful canvas that tells human history in the 21st century,” Suárez-Orozco said. “We live in an increasingly interconnected world, and that world lives in our quad, our hallways, our classrooms, our labs, and our dorms.”

The campaign calls UMass Boston a university “for the times,” one that is working to address the defining challenges facing the world today, such as climate change — an especially pressing issue for the beachfront campus. .

“This is an area where our academics, our scientists are working closely with communities to address a crisis,” Suárez-Orozco said. “So I think because of our geography, because of our history, because of our demographics, we’re a university for the times.”

New logo for UMass Boston.Courtesy of UMass Boston

UMass Boston’s new brand comes at a time of change for the university, which is currently transforming its campus with a large-scale construction project underway to create a new quad. New leadership also joined the university in the past two years, with Suárez-Orozco taking over as chancellor in 2020 and Joseph Berger assuming the role of provost and vice-chancellor for academic affairs in 2021.

As higher education becomes an increasingly competitive market, the rebranding is also an effort to attract prospective students to UMass Boston. The school opened its first dormitory on campus in 2018 and has worked to attract students beyond its longtime base of local commuters.

“We strive to continue to grow international students and students from the Northeast,” Suárez-Orozco said. “We believe we have this little hidden gem. …And we need to tell the story better.

The branding campaign will be promoted on billboards and in broadcast, social and print media. Suárez-Orozco expressed excitement at the new opportunity for UMass Boston to demonstrate what the future of higher education should look like. The effort will cost $1.5 million, the university said.

A focal point of the campaign is the university’s new logo, which now prominently features its mascot, a beacon. Suárez-Orozco said the addition signifies UMass Boston’s role as a leader in urban higher education.

“In troubled times, the lighthouse lights up,” he said. “The Lighthouse points the way to a better, safer, healthier, more democratic and more engaged future.”

Annie Probert can be reached at

William L. Hart