Brand Attributes

Brand attributes communicate the ways in which we achieve what we promise. They are the essential characteristics of SUNY Cortland that our communications will showcase at every opportunity.

From the president’s speeches to capital campaign materials, from faculty position advertisements in The Chronicle of Higher Education to recruitment brochures, from hometown news and sports releases to campus signage, representations of these attributes in words, phrases and photos should be used purposefully and liberally.

Our goal is to have SUNY Cortland’s audiences equate these attributes with the College and equate the College with these attributes.

Distinctive attributes represent the extraordinary and unique characteristics that make SUNY Cortland distinctive from other institutions. 

Attributes (distinctive in red italics)

Athletic excellence
Centrally located
Champion (noun and verb)
Community service/service-learning
Continuous improvement
Exceptional campus experience
Extraordinary value

Hands-on learning
High-quality faculty
Outstanding academics
Quality of student life
Social conscience
Teacher education
Well-rounded students

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Examples of Distinctive Attributes and Corresponding Story Topics

Athletic Excellence  

Leadership development, high standards and record of excellence, the discipline, dedication, time management and balance involved, team orientation, the academic and athletic accomplishments of our student athletes, SUNY/national records and rankings, awards earned, successful alumni, facilities, etc.


As a noun: Student leaders, award-winning students, faculty and staff, scholarship, Honors Convocation, Honors Program, Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference, published authors, grant recipients, successful alumni, athletic prominence, etc.

As a verb: Peer mentors, faculty mentors, civic engagement, service-learning, volunteer organizations, social cause organizations, leading researchers, etc.

Hands-on Learning

Study abroad, internships, research with faculty, Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference, community service, civic engagement, service-learning, practicum/student teaching, independent study, volunteer organizations, clubs and organizations, the Parks Family Outdoor Center, etc.

Teacher Education

Breadth of certification areas, history and tradition, alumni accomplishments, student teaching options in New York state and abroad, pass rates on certification exams, leaders and innovators in the field, impact on education profession and educating youth, etc.

Quality of Student Life 

Highly rated health and counseling services, increased diversity, internationalizing the campus, more than 100 clubs and organizations, new and renovated residence halls, arts and cultural events (CALS), recreational sports and fitness facilities, the Health Fair and Community Bike Program, dining options, etc.

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