Alec Hudson–Staff Writer
Centre College has just witnessed the dawning of a new era of college advertisement. With the apparently tragic loss of the Brockman Foundation’s $250 billion donation, the students should be happy to know that what we have experienced is nothing more than Centre College’s new marketing strategy: humiliating public failure! What a relief, with the direction our school has been taking it’s nice to see our name in the pages of the Washington Post, the New York Times, and even Bloomberg News.
Our school has suffered a great decline; it was bad enough we were only able to host events and speakers like David Brooks and Temple Grandin, the Vienna Philharmonic in 2011, and the Vice Presidential Debate in 2012.
What about the quality of the Norton Center’s shows? Atrocious! Who wants to see world famous acts like Alison Krauss, Arlo Guthrie, Robert Cray, or Itzhak Perlman in such a classless venue?
It’s no wonder Centre has to rebrand itself, but to its credit the school is trying harder than ever to reassure students of the potential of success in the real world.
Two weeks ago the school gave seniors an inspirational talk gloating about the wonderful life out in the real world with a booming economy and plentiful employment where students can learn to be responsible by devoting their time to unpaid internships and learning family values by moving in with their parents. But it has been through the ingenious move of national embarrassment that Centre has been able to rebound with flying colors.
Every good marketing strategy needs a plan, and Centre’s collaboration with the Brockman Foundation to get its name plastered all over American media was no easy feat.
It started with the idea that the Brockman Foundation would donate the funds, then those funds would go into a full-ride scholarship program for math, science, technology, finance, and economics majors. The thinking behind this was what one dean called a need to promote these as “high-impact majors.”
While seeming to be a condescending and dismissive attitude by the college towards students who have devoted their studies to arts, humanities, and social science, it was nevertheless a brilliant ruse that in the end proved that the college administration is not as elitist or hateful of Division I and II students as their structuring of the Brockman Scholarship made it appear to be.
The elaborate ruse made it seem that the college administration seriously thought students always leave with the degree major they were initially interested in, but they would know better than to stifle my creative and academic freedom that is inherent in a liberal arts college, especially one that proclaims as its motto “Learning is the Light of the Mind.”
One would have hoped that the school wouldn’t have used such an insulting ploy to set themselves for ostensible public failure, but it is understandable that they would set up such a ploy to reinvigorate the hopes of Division I and II students who seemed to be disregarded by the supposed scholarship.
One can only hope that this bold gamble has paid off, but I have faith! The administration needs to be congratulated for such innovative marketing, for years they have sold us as a mediocre successful brand with end products only including doctors, lawyers, researchers, activists, Congress members, and Supreme Court judges.
They finally realized that success and quality mean nothing without a brilliant marketing strategy, who cares about superb academics when being able to parade the brand of the school in front of the world is so much more pressing?
So look out Harvard, Yale, and Princeton! Centre is back with a new spirit of merchandising, and right across our brand label is printed the proud proclamation of failure.