Welcome Students campaign
Thursday, August 20, 2009
As students return to St. Cloud State, College of Saint Benedict, Saint John's University and St. Cloud Technical College, they are being greeted by billboards, table tents, guide books, window clings, posters and banners that proclaim "Welcome Students."
The Welcome Students campaign -- a joint effort of the four institutions -- is prodigious:11 billboards, 1,700 table tents, 10,000 guide books, 500 window clings and assorted banners and posters.
The numbers behind the annual influx of students are astonishing: The four schools deliver an estimated annual economic impact of $525 million, according to Loren Boone, St. Cloud State's assistant vice president of marketing and communications.
"The St. Cloud area is one of the region's great educational hubs," said Boone. "St. Cloud, St. Joseph and Collegeville are classic college towns. The campuses and communities are intertwined -- culturally, socially and economically."
Every major roadway into the St. Cloud area has a "Welcome Students" billboard, including billboards near the St. Augusta exit from I-94 and Amcon Block and Precast on south U.S. Highway 10.
Table tents are in campus eateries and in the food court at Crossroads Center, the area's largest shopping center. Crossroads also has a large wall banner and three ceiling banners.
The 94-page guidebook, published by Times Media, is filled with facts and photos about the four colleges and advertisements and coupons from area businesses.
"Welcome Students" clings can be seen in the doorways and windows of area businesses.
St. Cloud State has an additional element in the campaign, a postcard mailed to neighborhoods near campus. The postcard alerts residents to increased traffic and noise, particularly noise associated with events such as the Aug. 22 New Student Orientation fireworks and the Aug. 27 Johnny Holm concert on the mall outside Atwood Memorial Center.
The postcard, which invites neighbors to join the university and city in welcoming students, includes a list of upcoming events.