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What does it mean to Live Western?

See what happened when Western Carolina University discovered its personality type and how it’s transforming the Catamount brand.

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Three people standing in a river with a WNC waterfall

Video producers Alex Childress ’17, Priya Jaishanker, and Samuel Wallace ’16 worked behind the scenes to capture WCU students exemplifying what it means to Live Western.

Photo provided by Western Carolina University

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Did you know universities can have personalities just like people? In fact, it’s even better when a university fully understands its specific personality traits in order to relay (and embody) an identity that students can connect with.

In 2021, Western Carolina University partnered with Carnegie, a full-service digital brand agency, to define its institutional personality and get a better understanding of how people perceive the university.

Here’s what happened: 500+ students, faculty, staff, and alums participated in a survey that was used to define WCU’s personality. Using a Jungian archetype methodology, archetypes that reflect the human experience were assigned to the university. The assessment found WCU emanates these top three personality types:

Supportive Advocate

  • Supportive and selfless, driven by compassion, warmth, and the desire to care for others
  • Delivers nurturing, comfort, and protection
  • Values altruism, commitment, and generosity
  • Causes people to feel valued and supported

Experiential Adventurer

  • Adventurous and inquisitive, driven by the quest for discovering the unknown
  • Delivers progress and an unmatched interest for uncovering truth
  • Values investigation, curiosity, and trailblazing
  • Causes people to feel intrigued and emboldened

Determined Enthusiast

  • Resilient and enthusiastic, driven by overcoming challenges through passion and ambition
  • Delivers fun and surprising strength, energy, and perseverance
  • Values enjoyment and hard work
  • Causes people to feel triumphant and exhilarated
A student works in a lab with a microscope and bunsen burner

“This campus community is incredibly strong and supportive in a way that provides meaningful connections deeper than at other college campuses,” says Travis Jordan, WCU’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

Photo provided by Western Carolina University

A new brand campaign: Live Western

WCU used its top three personality types to craft its new “Live Western” campaign, which showcases the personal experiences of WCU students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

“To Live Western means something different to everyone, by honing in on the individual experiences, it allows us to tell a collective story on why Western stands above the rest as a regional comprehensive university,” says Travis Jordan, WCU’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

Curious what it means exactly to Live Western? Here’s a video that captures the Catamount experience.

Are you or your teen thinking about becoming a Catamount? Chat with Admissions to see if WCU is a good fit. The deadline for Fall 2023 (regular action) is Wed., Feb. 1, 2023. Become a Catamount.*

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