In efforts to spread the word of what all Middlesex College has to offer and help dispel the stigma of attending a community college, the college, in partnership with Middlesex County, officially unveiled its rebranding effort on March 23.
Middlesex College, formerly Middlesex County College, announced its name change and move to rebrand earlier this year. The college’s Board of Trustees approved the name change in October 2020, which took effect Jan. 1.
College President Mark McCormick, who said the process began in February 2020 right before the novel coronavirus pandemic, appeared with Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios; Deputy Director Commissioner Kenneth Armwood; Dorothy K. Power, chairwoman of the Middlesex College Board of Trustees; and Kyle Anderson, a Middlesex College trustee and Middlesex County interim executive superintendent, in a Zoom press conference expounding on the college’s plans to further implement branding changes across campus and throughout the college’s identity on March 23.
“Middlesex College offers high quality education that serves county residents and customize training and workforce development to area businesses,” McCormick said. “Our students transfer to every college/university in New Jersey including Rutgers, Kean, New Jersey Institute of Technology, College of New Jersey and Princeton. Our transfer partners report that Middlesex College graduates perform better than students who started the four-year institution in terms of grade point average and time for completion of a bachelor’s degree.”
However, McCormick said despite “amazing outcomes of our students, there are many in our community that remain unaware of what Middlesex College has to offer.”
“Even though our name has changed, our mission has not,” McCormick said. “Our mission remains to offer quality, affordable education for residents of Middlesex College and help our students thrive in education, growth and personal success. For many students Middlesex College is the best choice in terms of affordability, transferability of credits, flexible scheduling, proximity, personalized attention and quality.”
Rios said in many ways Middlesex College’s new brand is an extension of the county’s own brand journey that began several years ago.
“We both seek to attract new talent and opportunities to Middlesex County; in fact the county’s strategic plan and master economic roadmap known as Destination 2040 makes it clear that the success of Middlesex County and Middlesex College are intertwined in Destination 2040,” he said.
Rios said the county’s financial investments with a collaboration project with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health, New Brunswick Development Corporation and New Brunswick of a freestanding comprehensive cancer pavilion will provide Middlesex College extraordinary opportunities including a pathway for oncology education. County officials announced the project in May 2020.
“This will provide Middlesex College students exclusive access to educational curricula and content from a premier oncology center,” Rios said. “As we’ve seen here today the new Middlesex College rebrand identity perfectly reflects the college’s onward unwavering dedication to its mission and every element from a new name to the new logo and even the new mascot reinforces the message that Middlesex College is a worthy first choice for perspective students just as Middlesex College is a top destination for residents and businesses. Middlesex College is one of the many reasons Middlesex County is an excellent place to live work and play.”
Armwood said they recognize Middlesex College as a key pipeline for the talent that will fuel local businesses and help the county achieve its strategic long-term economic development goals.
“We know that many of today’s Middlesex College students will become the entrepreneurs, CEOs, essential workers and life-science experts of the businesses that will call Middlesex County home in the future,” he said.
Power said the county’s flag motto – leading together – and the campus college’s motto – explore, grow, drive – are compatible.
“Middlesex College has been an engine of growth,” she said. “We have almost 60,000 alumni and countless more have been taking non-credit classes for who have been trained in our workforce development program.”
Anderson said going to college is not just about hard work in the classroom.
“Middlesex College offers numerous extracurricular activities as well as [giving students] a chance to have fun, learn leadership skills, and participate in clubs and athletics,” he said. “As a former athlete, football coach and Middlesex College student, I can tell you that the new brand is extremely important in creating school spirit and a sense of pride and camaraderie that propels student life and the athletic brand forward.”
Anderson said the college’s new athletics logo embodies the strength and pride of the Middlesex College Colts.
“In addition to our logo, within a year we will be unveiling our new physical mascot,” he said. “Our colt will be named by online polls of Middlesex College students. [The mascot] will attend athletic events as well as select campus and community activities [and] will be be an integral part of our new rebrand.”
The Middlesex College will be hosting a virtual open house from 10 a.m to 1:30 p.m. on April 18.
For more information, visit middlesexcc.edu