Themelines: Expressing Essential Strengths

Rather than attempting to build an entire communications program on the foundation of a single tagline, Mason has adopted a set of six themelines. We call them “themelines” because each one captures and expresses one or more themes central to the story we want to tell.

The Six Themelines
These are our themelines, along with a word of explanation of each:

A Force for Innovation
We seek new and better approaches in everything we do.

A New Definition of Excellence
We measure our success by the benefit we bring to our students, our community, and the world.

Making Discoveries That Make a Difference
We pursue research of consequence, focusing on pressing issues.

The Power of Many Perspectives
Our diversity creates intellectual energy and sparks innovation.

Ideas with Impact
We focus on teaching, research, and entrepreneurial ventures with real-world relevance.

Many Paths to Success
In every way possible, we create opportunities and open gateways of access, helping our students succeed.

The Purpose of the Themelines

These lines are meant to be a permanent part of the Mason lexicon—the vocabulary we draw on to describe who we are and what we stand for. By using them in many ways over time, we will weave them into the identity and image of the university.

We will also invest the lines with added meaning and resonance. “The Power of Many Perspectives” is a way of talking about diversity within our community. However, it can also describe the strengths of seminar-style classroom interaction or cross-disciplinary scholarship. Letting these themelines speak in multiple ways is not just permissible, it’s great.

When and How to Use the Themelines

The themelines are versatile. They can work as part of a headline:
At Mason, we’re writing a new definition of excellence.
It starts with a focus on students.

They can be woven into running text:
“Mason’s always been a force for innovation, and these new programs prove the point… .”

They can also stand alone as display type (as the message on a poster or banner, for instance):
Many Paths to Success

Finally, the themelines can hit the ending note in a communication, sitting at the bottom of an ad or web page near the university logo. See the use of “A Force for Innovation”.