To celebrate the public launch of its $300 million comprehensive fundraising campaign Leading With Purpose, University of the Pacific engaged Stratelyst Creative to create a plan to stage a series of events that highlighted the excellence of the three campuses (Stockton, San Francisco, and Sacramento) that could be integrated into its 2017 Homecoming Weekend.
After meeting with campus and community stakeholders, Stratelyst Creative crafted a plan that included five unique events to be staged over the course of three days. The greatest challenge was integrating existing Homecoming events into the celebration to support the launch of the campaign.
On the Thursday evening preceding Homecoming weekend, a gala dinner for a select group of university supporters and donors, including the Board of Regents, served as an intimate gathering where campaign themes could be introduced and peers could have conversations about how best to support the university’s efforts. The initial plans were for this event to be held on the deck of the university’s pool – complete with a stage over the water – but weather forced the event to be relocated to the campus center ballroom. Since the event couldn’t be staged at the pool, Stratelyst Creative brought the pool environment indoors through the use of draping and “water reflection” intelligent lighting. By using white stretch fabric tablecloths lit from beneath and the integration of acrylic ghost chairs, the room came to life with movement and color, delivering the desired effect to support the evening’s messaging.
Students in Action: Community Clinics took place at the Stockton campus center on Saturday morning. This event allowed graduate students from the university’s dental, law, and pharmacy schools to offer free services to members of Stockton’s low income and elderly populations, fulfilling the campaign’s requirement to highlight it’s community outreach efforts. Students and faculty provided health screenings, medication checks, and legal advice for the local population.
On Saturday afternoon the Discovering Pacific Showcase highlighted some of the most important programs from the university schools, as well as Student Life and Athletics. This 90-minute immersive theatrical experience featured a TED-style presentation from each unit punctuated by five lively performances from the Conservatory of Music, all woven together through video, lighting, and music. Presentation topics included everything from cybersecurity and virtual reality education to showcases of student experiences across campus. The program exposed members of the alumni and campus community to cutting-edge technologies taught at University of the Pacific and reinforced the diverse experiences available through the university’s curriculum.
Taste of Pacific, a recurring Homecoming event featuring fares from local wineries, was revamped to support the nearly 2000 guests expected for the campaign launch weekend. In addition to the 30 different stations for wine and food, 15 schools and units from across campus created interactive displays to entertain and engage the event’s guests. Attendee name badges were fitted with scannable RFID chips that provided information to the university about which booths attendees visited, allowing for a more targeted response for the future fundraising effort.
This. Is. BIG!, the official campaign launch event immediately following Taste of Pacific, was seamlessly integrated into the afternoon for maximum attendance and emotional impact. With a strategic blend of in-person accounts and video highlights, the attendees were introduced to University of the Pacific’s $300 million Leading with Purpose campaign, its progress, and the areas on which the campaign would focus. To punctuate this historic moment, a 3D-mapped aspirational video highlighting the university’s 166-year history and its “purposeful” future played across the 13-story surface of the campus’ iconic Burns Tower. As a virtual Pacific tiger crashed through the four-story stained glass window high atop the bell tower, fireworks exploded into the night sky, astounding guests as the Leading with Purpose campaign literally “launched” itself into existence.
Immediately following This. Is. BIG!, the main stage was flipped to host a student concert by R&B artist HER. Stratelyst Creative worked closely with the campus Student Life office to integrate a student segment to support the campaign announcement. For two hours, mapped visualizations splashed across Burns tower creating a dramatic and exciting conclusion to the three-day campaign celebration.
University of the Pacific drew record attendance to campus for the Leading with Purpose campaign launch. Through targeted messaging created for the five events, the university is well positioned to reach into its constituent communities to support this essential and historic fundraising initiative.
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