The basics of UMass Lowell's new messaging system include a theme and a tagline:

  • The World in Your Hands for students and prospective students
  • The World in Our Hands for any other audience


Learning with Purpose 

Learn about why we need a messaging system, the process used in developing it and some guidelines for using it below.

What is a Messaging System?

A messaging system establishes a coherent theme for storytelling and marketing messages. This allows for consistency in the broad sense but also adaptability for specific audiences and situations.

The messaging system includes intentional concept and language choices, specific talking points, a general description of the university and the tag line.

Why Use a Messaging System?

Great brands are built on consistency. UMass Lowell has risen on the strength of a “one university, one brand” strategy. By collecting our many strengths under one banner, we build long-term value and recognition for every stakeholder of UMass Lowell.

How Was the Messaging System Developed?

The UMass Lowell brand standards are developed and implemented by the Office of University Relations, in consultation with the 2020 Marketing Committee and the executive cabinet. They are based on extensive market research, focus testing and industry best practice.

Elements of the UMass Lowell Messaging System and Why They Work

  • Fundamental Concept
    Our new topline themes, adopted in 2017:
    The World in Your Hands for students and prospective students.
    The World in Our Hands for any other audience.
  • Why Does This Concept Work?
    Time and again, focus group participants have pointed to UMass Lowell as a place where students come to make a better future for themselves through arduous study and meaningful work. It also reflects universal agreement that UML has risen in stature and must claim its place among the world’s research universities.
  • Our Primary Audience
    Students (including online students) remain at the center of our messaging, yet there is room for faculty achievement, entrepreneurship, research and even administrative stories under this theme.
  • Positioning UMass Lowell
    The positioning statement distills the essential components of our brand: What we do, who we are for and why we are special.

    The UMass Lowell messaging system emphasizes:
  • Hands-on applied skills, experiential learning and the social good.
    • Wisdom as a companion to knowledge.
    • Perspective beyond self-interest.
    • Showing concrete examples of UMass Lowell and its people—especially students—physically touching the world and taking its future into their hands.
    • This message system leans toward specific examples, which illuminate the larger theme. This new messaging evolved directly from the “World Ready” portion of the university’s previous messaging, and it responds to insights gained through extensive research and stakeholder discussions.

    The Messaging System

    These concepts form the basis for the messaging system:

    • The World in Your Hands for students and prospective students
    • The World in Our Hands for any other audience

    How to Use the Message System

    University Relations is happy to work with you to create materials with The World in Your Hands as the core message. This message system is flexible, but its success ultimately depends upon well-told personal stories. You must show hands-on learning and scholarship in action, in the world. Abstraction will not do.    


    • Use brief, concrete examples of applied, beyond-the-classroom experiences.
    • The World in Your/Our Hands can be used as a headline, as a phrase in text, or not at all.
    • Tell the impact on the student and on the world. Express both in relatable, everyday terms.
    • Photos should be journalistic, not posed, with focus on “hands doing” when possible.
    • Use stats and data sparingly, and do not use academic jargon at all.

    Tagline: Learning with Purpose
    We preserve the university’s existing tag line, Learning with Purpose. It should be used as a graphic element in conjunction with the university logo, not as a headline or in marketing text.

    Message-based Descriptions of UMass Lowell

    The elevator speech (so named because it can be completed in the length of an elevator ride) provides a short description of UMass Lowell: 

    UMass Lowell is among the most innovative universities of the 21st century. Our students fit the public university ideal: Hardworking, curious and determined to make a better future for themselves and their communities. Our academic programs—mixing the best of hands-on and classroom education—are designed to produce skillful graduates who are leaders and innovators. Our accessible price enables every driven, talented student to realize their full potential. That’s learning with purpose.

    Boilerplate Description of UMass Lowell
    This description is used on all UMass Lowell press releases and would be appropriate in any document requiring a short overview statement:

    UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 18,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.