At a January event in Boston, The Council for Advancement and Support of Education District 1 bestowed a Gold Award on Unity College for a “Unity is Different” video series that illustrates the college’s mission to educate the next generation of environmental professionals.

The series of five videos — “Create,” “Discover,” “Educate,” “Experience,” and “Unity is Different” — introduces Unity College to a national and international audience and elicited emotional responses from viewers.

“We’re proud to tell the unique story of America’s environmental college using all the means at our disposal, including video,” said Unity College President Dr. Stephen Mulkey. “This award is gratifying for our staff, and we hope informative and persuasive for prospective students and parents regarding Unity’s unique value proposition in the world of higher education.”

“The commissioned videos are just a part of our branding initiatives,” said Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. ”The strategic plan defines how, over the next five years, Unity College achieves status as the premier liberal arts institution in the United States focused on sustainability science education.”

The digital marketing team at Unity College created the initial concept, partnering with the creative studio Parisleaf of Gainesville, Fla. All the people filmed are Unity College faculty, students, alumni or part of the college community.

The videos were shot during a four-day period in late spring 2014  – a challenge because of unstable weather conditions.

“This was a story that needed to be told,” Parisleaf Creative Director Patrick Sanders said. “Unity College empowers students to start a career that will literally change the world. They didn’t want gloss over the grit and determination that takes. They wanted to tell that story honestly and directly.

“We were proud to help tell that story and are thrilled Unity College’s peers in higher education are recognizing them for sharing that honest, authentic, and real vision of what it means to be a Unity College student.”

Unity College won the award in District I, a regional chapter that bestows annual Excellence Awards for innovative work in special events, fundraising, stewardship, volunteer engagement, alumni relations, student alumni initiatives, advancement services, and communications.

“We wanted to capture the hands-on, outdoor classroom experience of the students, as well as the environmental dedication across the college,” said Alecia Sudmeyer, Unity College’s webmaster and marketing liaison who characterized the image of the school as “small yet mighty, rural yet responsible, fun and dedicated.”

“Winning the Gold alongside mega-universities with large communication and marketing departments was especially gratifying,” Sudmeyer said. Other Gold Award recipients in CASE District I included Wellesley College, Northeastern University, Boston University, Dartmouth College, Tufts University, Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Founded in 1974, CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE District I represents schools in the Northeast U.S. and eastern Canada.

The video series was also recognized as “Best in Show, Broadcast” at the American Advertising Federation of Gainesville American Advertising Awards on Feb. 20. The video series will showcase the Gainesville area and Unity College in the 4th District American Advertising Awards, covering the state of Florida and the Caribbean.

Thursday, February 26, 2015