Introducing the new Campbell brand

If you’re a returning visitor to, then you can probably tell that Campbell University has a new website. You may also notice two other things:

  • Our new icon: the Kivett.
  • Our new tagline: Leading with purpose.

All three are the result of a year-long Brand & Digital Transformation that began last January. This initiative grew out of one of Campbell President J. Bradley Creed’s strategic priorities to expand Campbell’s reach and extend its influence.

“I have heard others describe Campbell as a hidden gem and the best kept-secret in North Carolina. They meant that as a compliment,” Creed said. “But I want people all across North Carolina, the region, and the nation to know the Campbell name and to recognize Campbell as one of the preeminent private universities that prepares students to make a difference in the lives of others through work, service, and leadership. The refined Campbell brand and website will help us realize this.” 

Below is a look at what to know about our new website, our new Kivett and our new tagline, and why we’re starting 2017 — our 130th year — with a refined Campbell brand.

The Icon

The Kivett

Why we need an icon: When we surveyed the campus community last spring, six out of 10 students, alumni, faculty, and staff could not correctly identify Campbell University’s wordmark and logo. Further, students and high school counselors described the wordmark and logo as dated, boring, uninformative, and unimpressive. We sought to develop a unified mark and icon that: 

  • better capture people’s attention,
  • incorporates an element unique to Campbell,
  • reduces confusion over our visual identity, and
  • reflects our rich history, tradition, and quality academic programs.


Why the Kivett: In surveys, 64 percent of the Campbell community selected Kivett Hall as the campus landmark that best represents Campbell. Completed in 1903, Kivett is the oldest building on Campbell University’s main campus, and is named in honor of Z.T. Kivett. He led the rebuilding of the school after a fire destroyed nearly all of campus in December 1900.

How the Kivett conveys Campbell: We are loyal, passionate, resilient, generous, solid, rooted in community, and driven by our commitment to serve others. Furthermore, the namesake exemplifies our aspirations for our students: selfless, egoless service and leadership for the benefits of others.

Who was ZT Kivett: Z.T. Kivett’s children attended Buies Creek Academy. They were devoted to school. During wintry months, when Cape Fear River froze over, Mrs. Kivett walked her children across the ice so they would not miss a day of school.

Kivett Family

In December of 1900, a fire destroyed nearly all of campus. The morning of the fire, Z.T. Kivett crossed the Cape Fear River in his boat and then walked four miles to the house of J.A. Campbell, who founded the school in 1887. When Kivett arrived, J.A. Campbell was in his bedroom, sobbing with grief “unashamedly,” Bernadette Hoyle writes in her biography of J.A. Campbell.

Kivett grabbed J.A. Campbell’s hand and encouraged him: “Time’s wasting, Jim Archie! Get out of that bed! Whoever saw a camel without a hump on it? Now, you get out and get a hump on you! We’ve got work to do!”

Of the impact this had on J.A. Campbell, his wife, Cornelia Pearson Campbell, told Hoyle: “It was Mr. Kivett who buoyed him up and from then on, all Mr. Campbell had in mind was to get back to school.”

After the fire, Z.T. Kivett sold 100 acres of his farmland to buy the materials and cover the labor costs to rebuild the school. Under Z.T. Kivett’s leadership, the local community rebuilt the school with their own hands. J.A. Campbell named the building in ZT Kivett’s honor.

The Tagline

Leading with Purpose

Why we need a tagline: Research shows not many people outside of Campbell are familiar with:

  • Only 50 percent of adults in North Carolina have heard of Campbell
  • Only 24 percent of adults in the Southeastern U.S. have heard of Campbell
  • Only 19 percent of adults in across the U.S. have heard of Campbell

And what those familiar with Campbell know about Campbell is narrow: We have a law school, we have a pharmacy school, and we play some sports. That’s the extent. You probably aren’t surprised by the limited awareness about Campbell. Surveys of you and other students, alumni, faculty, and staff found:

  • 75 percent of you said Campbell DOES NOT get the recognition it deserves in North Carolina
  • 62 percent of you said Campbell needs to refine its brand

To improve our brand awareness and perception, we set out to introduce a tagline to drive content and marketing efforts that:

  • distinguish Campbell in a crowded market,
  • provide a strong, inspirational call to action for the Campbell community,
  • support the facts about Campbell’s achievements and academic programs, and
  • acknowledge J.A. Campbell and the university’s mission.

Why “Leading with purpose”: J.A. Campbell founded Campbell in 1887. His vision, in his own words, was to create a school where students “become leaders.” Since then, our mission has been to cultivate leaders who are prepared for purposeful lives and meaningful service. As our alumni all around the world attest, our students graduate with the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to make a difference in the lives of others through work, service, and leadership.

Hear more on what “Leading with purpose” means to our students in this video:

How Campbell leads with purpose: Campbell is the private university of choice in North Carolina.

We enroll and graduate more North Carolinians each year than any other private university. We are the only private university in North Carolina to offer degrees in law, medicine, and pharmacy. And we have a long list of other facts no other university in the world can claim:

  • We started the first trust and wealth management program in the U.S. in 1967.
  • We opened the first law school in North Carolina in 35 years in 1976.
  • We opened the first pharmacy school in the U.S. in 40 years in 1986.
  • We started North Carolina’s only undergraduate degree program in homeland security in 2013.
  • We opened the first medical school in North Carolina in 35 years in 2013.
  • Just as we established our law, pharmacy, and medical schools to prepare professionals who serve in rural and underserved areas, we launched five health programs in the past five years in nursing, public health, physical therapy, physician assistant, and biomedical research to expand access to health care.
  • With over 150 academic degrees, majors, and tracks, we are one of the only three private universities in North Carolina to achieve the highest accreditation level.
  • This past fall we became only the second private university in North Carolina to open an engineering school.

“A college’s website is its most important marketing tool.”

“Mythbusting Websites,” by Gil Rogers and Michael Stoner, published by Chegg and mStoner, Inc, November 2016

The Website

The new

Why we need a re-imagined website: There are six findings that shaped the new design, the new navigation, and the new content you see on

  • Ninety-seven percent of prospective students visit a college’s websites first when they begin their college search, and prospective students overwhelmingly identify a college’s website as the single most important source of information during their college search.
  • Seventy-five percent of our campus community says it’s difficult to find information on If our own campus community has difficulty finding information, then what about those visitors coming to our website the first time?
  • We have 222,000 visitors to each month; 70 percent of those visitors — both new and returning visitors — do not enter through the homepage. This means every page on is a gateway to the university, and every page must have updated, relevant, and quality content.
  • The average attention span today is 8 seconds, and people spend less than14 seconds on a website. People don’t read websites; they skim them.
  • Traffic from mobile devices to has spiked 1,277 percent over a five-year period, and prospective students most often visit college websites from their phones on their first visit and on subsequent visits.

What we prioritized for Our most important audience for the website is prospective students, and our homepage is designed to deliver the content they’re looking for: information about academic programs, cost and aid, and location. They’re also looking to get a feel for campus and student life and to hear from students about their experiences.

All these things are addressed on the new homepage, including a new institutional video in which students and faculty share their Campbell experience:

In addition to a refocused homepage, there are six other areas we focused on as part of the redesign in order to improve the user experience, increase conversions, and better deliver the Campbell story:

  • Better usability to make navigation more intuitive and information easier to find
  • Improved accessibility so people with disabilities can navigate the website
  • Search Engine Optimization to improve the traffic we get through search engines like Google and to better direct visitors to the information they’re looking for
  • Streamlined navigation to provide a cleaner looks, to emphasize calls to action, and to direct users to a desired destination
  • Mobile-first approach to ensure every page is responsive and can be viewed and accessed on smartphones and tablets
  • Marketing-driven content that is more visual and skimmable and that emphasizes Campbell’s strengths, achievements, and competitive advantage

What to notice: Four things that may be of particular interest to the campus community:

  • The Faculty/Staff and Student hubs, which include links and information most relevant to each respective constituent
  • Login, which is found in the website’s header and includes links to your email, Web Access, Blackboard, and E-Accounts
  • Quick Links, which is found in the website’s header and includes frequently visited pages, like for the library and directory
  • Campbell News, which serves as the new hub where feature articles and press releases about Campbell people, programs, and updates will be posted regularly