California University of Pennsylvania emblems will represent the University and its athletics programs.
California University of Pennsylvania revealed a new visual identity for both the University and its athletics programs on Feb. 21 in the Performance Center.
The new logos are part of a multi-phase rebranding initiative designed to tell Cal U’s story, standardize the emblems used to represent the University and its athletics programs, and refresh images and wordmarks that had become dated.
With mascot Blaze, the Cal U cheerleaders and members of the band energizing the crowd, emcee Ryan Barnhart, director of Alumni Relations, began the pep rally by introducing University President Geraldine M. Jones.
Though she is proud of Cal U’s history and traditions, President Jones said the school logos were due to be refreshed.
“We invited our entire University family to get involved in the process, and the logos capture the spirit of Cal U — proud and resilient, dedicated and caring,” she said. “The new symbols keep our traditions intact.
“We are still Cal U and will always be the Vulcans. Our University logos reflect our past, but they have a bold, contemporary look that will tell the story of who we are today and who we will be well into the future.”
Elements of California’s history are embedded in the new symbols. For example, the time on the clock tower is always 6:52 p.m. — or 18:52 in military time, a reference to the year the school was founded.
Cal U’s own Creative Services team designed the complementary University logos and wordmark.
Following a video, the new University logo was unveiled followed by T-shirts tossed randomly to the delight of the spirited crowd.
Cal U’s Marketing team worked with Carnegie Dartlet, a leading brand identity firm, to conduct brand research over a 16-month period and develop the athletics logos.
The Vulcans name dates to 1932, when California’s student newspaper sponsored a contest to select to select a nickname for the school. The shape of Vulcan’s hammer appears inside the “C” in the athletics wordmark.
Dr. Karen Hjerpe, Cal U’s athletic director, explained that modernizing the Vulcan image and bringing some consistency to the athletic uniforms were two key goals.
“Right now, some of our uniforms say ‘Cal’, some say ‘California’ and some say ‘Cal U,’" she pointed out. “As we gradually purchase new uniforms and gear, a shared identity will emerge for our athletics program.
“Without a doubt, our fans will know who we are. And our student-athletes and our Vulcan fans can feel a shared sense of pride.”
Before the unveiling, student remarks came from Seth Shiley, Student Government president, and Madeleine McKenna, president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Student clubs and organizations have the option to request an official logo using the updated symbols.
"It’s exciting to be the first group of students to claim the updated look,” Shiley said.
“You will be seeing these new logos on team uniforms, T-shirts and other gear from our bookstore,” said McKenna, a women's volleyball player. “Just like our student-athletes, these logos compete with anything NCAA Division II has to offer.”
First-year communication studies major Noah Mitchell, the football team’s starting quarterback, reflected the event’s enthusiasm.
“I loved both logos and the way they came up with the design,” said last season’s PSAC-West Rookie of the Year. “It looks modern and more complete with everyone looking the same out there now. It will be exciting seeing the new logo on the field next season.”
Graduating senior Emily Suckling, a guard on the women’s basketball team, was one of many to get her photo taken after the event with the new logo, Blaze, President Jones and some of her teammates.
“It’s definitely different but cool,” said the sport management major. “I think it will make us stand out more nationally now, and change is part of everything, which is good.”
For a complete look at Cal U’s rebranding guide visit calu.edu/brand.