VCU Adcenter Becomes VCU Brandcenter
Award-Winning Graduate Advertising Program Changes Name to Better Reflect Evolving Industry
University Public Affairs
Commonwealth University Adcenter, which has become one of the leading graduate
advertising programs in the country by constantly adapting to the ever-changing
advertising industry, is evolving again.
The Adcenter –
ranked the No. 1 graduate advertising program in the country by Creativitymagazine in 2005 and one of the world's
60 best Design Schools by BusinessWeekmagazine
in 2007 – today announces it is changing its name to the VCU Brandcenter. In
addition, the Brandcenter has moved into a striking new home, a distinctive
Clive Wilkinson-designed building that promotes creativity and collaboration.
infancy, the Brandcenter has distinguished itself by meeting and exceeding the
needs of the entire advertising and branding community," said VCU President
Eugene P. Trani. "Its name change is another indication of how the program
continues to reshape advertising and branding education."
Added Rick Boyko,
director of the VCU Brandcenter: "Today's advertising industry has evolved into
the business of developing a brand's total communication, influencing
everything from strategic plans and message content to the creation of
advertising, the retail environment, packaging, Web sites, word-of-mouth messaging
and public relations. It is this change in marketing communications that drove
us to put brand building front and center in everything we do."
Founded in 1996, the VCU Brandcenter is the only graduate program
in advertising to combine business-oriented communications strategy and brand
management tactics with leading-edge marketing creativity. The Brandcenter quickly has built a
reputation for delivering some of the best, brightest and most well-rounded
advertising and marketing communications graduates.
The two-year graduate program's 180 students are enrolled in one
of four tracks leading to a Master of Science degree: Art Direction,
Copywriting, Creative Brand Management and Communications Strategy. Since its
inception, the VCU Brandcenter has graduated more than 500 students. The
Brandcenter is focused on delivering more diversity to the industry with this
year's student body comprising 38 percent minorities and 51 percent women.
"Although our name has changed, the caliber of our graduates
remains constant," said Boyko, who is the former chief creative officer North America and co-president of
Ogilvy & Mather before arriving at the VCU Brandcenter in 2003. "We are
still a unique creative graduate program housed within the largest state
university in Virginia – and we're a center where diverse disciplines work
together in collaboration to solve business problems."
Mike Hughes, president and creative director of The Martin Agency in Richmond and a board member of the VCU
Brandcenter: "Almost all of us in advertising, marketing or executive
management are in the business of building and protecting brands. At a time
when the Internet levels the playing field, putting all the same marketing
information and tools at everyone's fingertips, the great business leaders in
the years ahead will be the men and women who figure out how to think and act
creatively when taking their brands into the marketplace. The school's heritage
is in creativity; its focus is on building brands. That's the perfect
combination for today's challenging marketing environment."
The VCU Brandcenter's new home – a historic 27,000-square-foot
building in VCU's new Monroe Park Campus Addition in Richmond – was designed by
the internationally renowned architect Clive Wilkinson, who's designed spaces
for Google, Disney Store Kingdom and advertising agencies such as
TBWA/Chiat/Day (Los Angeles), Mother (London) and JWT (New York). For this
project, he partnered with Richmond-based Baskervill.
"To ensure that
our core competency always will be creativity and collaboration, our students
must be in a progressive environment," Boyko said. "We're proud that our new
home is just that – an environment that looks and feels different and makes our
students wonder if their work deserves the shelter of this new space."
- About the VCU Brandcenter
Started in 1996 as the VCU Adcenter, the VCU Brandcenter is the first graduate program in advertising to combine business-oriented communications strategy and brand management tracks with a creative program for art directors and copywriters in a business setting. It was formed to develop the skills of talented postgraduates, enabling them to enter the business world with a highly competitive portfolio of collaborative thinking. The VCU Brandcenter is the graduate advertising and branding program for the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. The program offers five tracks: art direction, copywriting, creative brand management, creative technology and communication strategy. VCU Brandcenter students earn a Master of Science degree in mass communications with a concentration in advertising. It is a two-year, full-time program that begins each fall. For more information, visit www.brandcenter.vcu.edu. For more information about VCU, visit www.vcu.edu.