A video of Dean Elmore plunging into the Charles River. A campaign designed to promote safe biking along perilous Comm Ave. And a website that challenges high school juniors and seniors to imagine themselves at BU. Each has won a 2012 Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Boston University was recognized with a total of 13 awards—the most received by any school or university in the world.
“We’re really proud to have won so many awards this year,” says Stephen Burgay, BU’s senior vice president for external affairs. “It reflects the professionalism and creativity of the staff. It’s also a statement that the stories we share—the things that go on at BU every day—are exciting and interesting and among the best in the nation.”
One of the world’s largest professional associations serving educational institutions, CASE works with more than 3,400 universities, colleges, and schools in 74 countries. The organization offers both professional development and information on topics that include alumni relations, communications, and education fundraising.
Each year, CASE invites member colleges and universities from around the world to submit work for its Circle of Excellence communications awards, which acknowledge “superior accomplishments” in higher education communications. From this year’s more than 2,800 entries from 567 higher education institutions, independent schools, and nonprofits, judges awarded close to 300 bronze, silver, gold, and grand gold awards.
“The winning programs epitomize the profession’s best practices, raise standards, and contribute to a growing body of knowledge about advancement,” the organization’s website notes.
Other big winners this year were American University, with eight awards, Johns Hopkins University, with seven, and the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Missouri, and the University of Notre Dame, each with six.
Submissions in 40 categories are judged by peers at other schools and colleges, as well as by professionals outside the field of education. Winners are selected based on a number of factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources, and the impact on the institution or its community, such as alumni, parents, students, and faculty and staff. Among the categories are advancement, alumni relations, fundraising, institutional marketing, institutional relations, new media, periodicals, and publications and design. Gold, silver, and bronze awards may be awarded in each category, but judges can also opt to bestow no awards.
DAR took home three gold awards. “The Babcock Street Field” received the honor in the fundraising publication category. “BU Global Toast 2011” was cited in both the in-house publications/miscellaneous publications category and the special program publications packages category. DAR also received a silver award for the 2011 Class Gift Campaign—River Jump Challenge.
MarCom received nine awards. Bostonia, BU’s alumni magazine, was honored with a gold award for best web magazine. The department also won three silver awards: for its Admissions campaign, the University’s bike safety efforts, and the Class Gift 2011 poster and postcard design. In addition, MarCom captured four bronze awards, for the Admissions viewbook “We Dare You,” the Admissions You at BU website, the Sargent Choice Campaign, and the College of Engineering website.
And last (not to toot our own horn)—BU Today won the grand gold in the web-based internal audience periodicals category. BU was one of only 19 institutions to receive the honor of a grand gold.