Defining an identity

By Megan Hartman

Cal Poly Pomona is in the midst of a facelift, and not just from
campus construction.

The university is choosing a marketable image that celebrates
the uniqueness of Cal Poly, what students do here and who they

This is the first time that Cal Poly is striving towards
clarifying and strengthening its identity.

“I don’t view it as rebranding ourselves,” said Ron Fremont,
associate vice president of university relations. “But it’s the
first time we’ve showcased our identity in this way.”

Marketing and communication company Astone has been brought in
to work with the university to create a collection of recognizable
images that celebrate the diversity and potential of Cal Poly

“Our relationship with Astone is the outcome of hard work from a
great number of people,” said Fremont.

Fremont, who is spearheading the identity initiative, said it is
not about comparing the university to any other academic

Nor is the initiative about differentiating the university from
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which owns the rights to the name Cal
Poly and is the reason a second “P” was added to the letters on the
hill above Lot J.

Cal Poly Pomona was originally founded as the Southern
California branch of California Polytechnic College, San Luis
Obispo and has drawn confusion since it separated from SLO in 1966
to become the 16th California State College.

Cal Poly Pomona was granted university status in 1972 and has
since grown to become the second largest CSU.

“While I loved my time at Cal Poly, we are a second-rate school
in regards to college life in most people’s eyes,” said Gabi
Badgley, international business and marketing alumna.

The objective of this mission was to create an overall and
immediate awareness of the “learn by doing” significance and
uniqueness of Cal Poly that would not only be acknowledged on a
local level, but eventually on a global level.

“I don’t like the term rebranding,” said David Speak, professor
of political science and administrative law. “It sounds like
something Hormel Chili would do.”

Fremont agreed that it’s not as though “we’re Pepsi and we’re
coming up with a new logo.”

He said that the marketing will start within the university and
expand to advertisements in airports and public places in years to

“Cal Poly is often known as the best kept secret of Southern
California, but students are often so focused on their major that
they do not care about what happens with the university as a
whole,” said President Michael Ortiz in a previous interview.

The university is also working alongside the Collins College to
create new marketable images like one featuring prominent students
at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch.

“I just hope that the images chosen to represent Cal Poly
include all disciplines here,” said Adalicia Garcia-Bellorin, a
third-year music student.

The university is looking for feedback on the campaign.

Responses can be sent to

Daniel Ucko contributed to this article.Reach Megan Hartman

Defining an identity

Roland Tran/Poly Post

Defining an identity

Defining an identity

Public Affairs

Defining an identity

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