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Honors Marketing Project Fits Business Students to a ‘T’

Class designs, sells Manning School T-shirts as fundraiser for student activities

Honors marketing students sell Manning T-shirts at a hockey game Photo by Ed Brennen
Honors marketing students sell Manning School T-shirts to alumni before a hockey game at the Tsongas Center.

By Ed Brennen

Norin Noun came to UMass Lowell to study business, not fashion.

But if you’ve walked through the halls of the Manning School of Business recently, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Noun’s T-shirt design — a carbon gray shirt with a white laurel around the school name — being worn by students, faculty and staff.

Students in visiting instructor Joan Crooker’s Honors Marketing Principles class have been selling the Manning School T-shirts for $20 this semester as a fundraiser for the school’s student activities fund. 

The T-shirts also serve as a way for students to show pride in their rapidly transforming school, which has a new dean this year in Sandy Richtermeyer and a new home, the Pulichino Tong Business Center, set to open in the spring.
Business students pose with Rowdy during Spirit Day Photo by Ed Brennen
Students hold their Manning School T-shirts while posing with Rowdy during their recent Spirit Day.

“These shirts really help unify the business school community,” says senior business administration major Victor Vargas, a member of the marketing class that helped promote the shirts at a recent Manning School faculty meeting. “The purpose is to spread the word to other schools and show who we are and what we’re doing here.”

The project actually began last fall, when 14 students in Crooker’s same marketing course began researching and coming up with potential designs for the shirt.

“It was all student-driven,” says Crooker. “They researched what kind of shirts students wanted, what color, what sleeve length. And then they came up with marketing programs for it.”

The class presented 11 original designs to a panel of students from the Honors section of the Business 101 class and staff from the Dean’s office, who narrowed the field down to five. Those were then modeled last spring during the Manning School’s first-ever talent show at Cumnock Hall, where members of the Dean’s Student Leadership Council voted on Noun’s design as the winner.
Manning faculty members wear their school T-shirts at spirit day Photo by Ed Brennen
Prof. Luvai Motiwalla, left, takes a selfie with fellow faculty members Stuart Freedman and Khondkar Karim during the Manning School's Spirit Day.

“I was absolutely astounded that my design actually won,” says Noun, a junior business administration major (with a concentration in management) who dabbles in graphic design as a hobby.

Noun says he chose the laurel wreath design since it’s “often used to symbolize champions, and that’s what we are.” 

“I had no idea whether mine was going to win because the design was very different from the typical UMass wear,” he says. “ But seeing people wear your design is an amazing feeling.”

An initial run of 1,150 T-shirts were printed, with 300 set aside for the Global Entrepreneurship Exchange program and 200 given away to students at events like the school’s Halloween party and Spirit Day just before Thanksgiving break. 
Honors marketing students pose with Dean Sandy Richtermeyer at Halloween party Photo by Ed Brennen
Manning School of Business Dean Sandy Richtermeyer poses with Honors marketing students during the Halloween party at Cumnock Hall.

Students have been selling the remaining 650 T-shirts at events like hockey games, with $15 of every sale going directly to the student activities fund. As of mid-November, Crooker says the shirts had raised more than $1,700.

Jimmy Walmsley, a junior business administration major with a concentration in finance, says the project has stoked his interest in a sales career.

“I want to go into sales, but I haven’t had any real experience yet,” he says. “This is a cool way to go into the real world and sell something. I love it.”

Heading into the winter intersession, the class plans to start a Facebook page where students, faculty and alumni can post pictures of themselves wearing the T-shirts on their travels across the country and around the world.

“We want people around the world to know us,” Vargas says. “We want them to come to our school and learn about all the good things happening here.”