Many Stories, One Brown

Brown University is not one story, but many. The Brown University Messaging Strategy celebrates that every school, department, program and member of our community contributes to the excellence that is Brown. This is the anchor of the University’s Identity Strategy.

The Brown Messaging Strategy provides a communications and engagement framework to advance the individual distinctiveness of departments, programs and offices within the context of a cohesive narrative of who we are, what we value and what sets Brown apart as a leading institution committed to academic excellence.

When people experience communications from Brown, we want to ensure they recognize them as part of the Brown story. We know that a strong, unified institutional identity helps people quickly recognize the Brown they care about, trust and believe in, and the people and organizations that matter to them most. 

Brown staff charged with engaging in communications, marketing and outreach for their programs or for Brown are encouraged to contact the Office of University Communications to obtain the “Brown University Messaging Strategy and Guidelines” document, which is a toolkit for the University’s marketing and communications professionals.


Brown’s Messaging Strategy

We communicate the story of Brown’s distinction using two messaging tools: 1) Brown’s messaging framework, and 2) Brown’s messaging anchors.

1. Messaging Framework

Through Brown’s messaging framework, we build our cohesive narrative of academic excellence. We bring together Brown’s many stories using three core attributes of the Brown educational experience that demonstrate what sets Brown apart from our peers. These features help us identify the types of stories we tell. Our academic excellence grounded in ...

  • Innovation: Brown is committed to advancing academic excellence through an innovative, student- centered model of learning. 
  • Collaboration: In every aspect of what we do, Brown is known for its insistence on collaboration across people and across areas of study to address opportunities, challenges and areas of inquiry ripe for discovery and innovation.
  • Impact: Brown students, faculty and staff are uncommonly driven by the idea that their work will have an impact in the world.

While many universities may claim similar attributes, the particular ways in which we give life to these three features of the Brown educational experience help define what is “distinctively Brown.”

2. Messaging Anchors

The same way the messaging framework helps inform the kind of stories and narratives we develop on a range of subjects that amplify our academic excellence, the messaging anchors are the well-recognized unique features of the Brown experience that have earned Brown its distinct position in the public space. In the stories we tell, they drive the elevation of our positioning in the public space. 

  • Brown’s “Open Curriculum”: The Open Curriculum prepares undergraduates for productive lives by cultivating creative thinking, independence and discovery through exposure to a rigorous curriculum in the liberal arts and the sciences.
  • Student-centered learning”: Thanks in part to the Open Curriculum at the undergraduate level, the belief in “charting your own course” pervades graduate and medical education. The manner in which the Graduate School, Warren Alpert Medical School and School of Public Health cultivate innovative, student-centered learning and close collaborations with faculty draws graduate and medical students to Brown.
  • Brown’s “intellectual independence”: The core mission of Brown — advancing knowledge and discovery, and preparing students to succeed in a complex and changing world — benefits from the presence of an exciting mix of voices and ideas. Brown champions the rights of members of our community to express a full range of ideas. We are a learning community grounded in a commitment to respect for the views of others, even and especially when we disagree.
  • Brown’s “social consciousness”: Aligned with Brown’s mission, a drive for “being in service of” is an intrinsic part of the Brown ethos, inside and outside the classroom. Members of the Brown community are committed to taking the knowledge they gain in classrooms, laboratories and libraries to further the public good, and using it to address the world’s most pressing and complex challenges.