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Clayton State unveils “Dream” branding campaign

Clayton State University President Tim Hynes talks Thursday about the university’s efforts to present an “authentic” image of itself to the public, under the slogan “Dreams. Made Real.”

Clayton State University President Tim Hynes talks Thursday about the university’s efforts to present an “authentic” image of itself to the public, under the slogan “Dreams. Made Real.”

— Clayton State University senior Sotheavy Vann said her enrollment at the Morrow-based school has allowed her to do things she never expected to do in college.

Vann came to Clayton State four years ago as a dual enrollment student taking classes at the university and Riverdale High School. Two years ago, she graduated from Riverdale with nearly enough college credits to be a junior majoring in biology at the university. She was also a member of Clayton State’s first group of Presidential Scholars.

Since then, she said she has been invited to give a presentation at a biology conference in San Diego, go spelunking in eastern Tennessee and watch Georgia Bureau of Investigations medical examiners perform an autopsy.

“This school is providing me with a well-rounded education that is preparing me for graduate school and life after that,” said Vann.

The university formally unveiled its new branding message Thursday during a kick-off ceremony at the school’s Spivey Hall. The theme of the new campaign is “Dreams. Made Real.” It focuses on how prospective students can reach or even surpass their goals for their adult lives by attending the university.

Clayton State President Tim Hynes said the university wanted an “authentic” campaign that told the university’s story to people around the world. He added the campaign is more than a branding effort for the university, however.

“This is an effort by the institution to begin to tell others who we are, what we do and what can do for our students and for our community,” said Hynes. “This is a student body and a community that is filled with dreams and our long-time task and commitment is to help individuals find ways to take their dreams and help make them real.”

Banners with the slogan on them have already been hung from lamp posts on campus and a video for the branding campaign that was shown at the kick-off ceremony is expected to be posted on YouTube in the coming days.

Several students, like Vann, and faculty members got up during the kick-off ceremony to tell their personal stories about how their lives were impacted by attending Clayton State. Some of the speakers talked about coming from poor families, while others talked about their professors helping them discover new ways to learn materials.

Psychology Department Chairperson Donna McCarty talked about how she fell in love with a school she originally planned to stick around for a couple of years when she arrived on campus — 34 years ago.

“How do I try and convey in words something that lives in my heart?” said McCarty.