Worcester Polytechnic Institute Launches Marketing Campaign to Propel Science and Technology Education

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

APRIL 3, 2002 -- Worcester, MA - As part of its national marketing campaign anchored by the principles of advancing science, engineering and technology education, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) today unveiled a broadcast advertisement, "WPI Was There," aimed at the Boston market.

The 30-second spot, developed by Boston-based Gearon Hoffman, Inc., features real WPI students demonstrating the University's unique approach to science and technology education, which blends theory and practice to produce well-rounded graduates prepared for work and life. The advertisement illustrates how WPI graduates affect society through technological advances, including the first liquid-fueled rocket, the development of the automotive airbag safety system, and advances in antibiotic medicine. Bridgeman Communications, also of Boston, will handle the public relations component of the campaign.

"WPI feels that all higher education institutions have a responsibility to build enthusiasm among today's students, especially women and minorities, for science and technology," said Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Edward A. Parrish. "The investment we are making in marketing our institution demonstrates our commitment to filling the pipeline of future scientists, engineers, and senior managers who understand technology issues, and shows what a wonderful future awaits these young men and women."

"We have created an integrated marketing plan including advertising and public relations for WPI," continues George Flett, associate vice-president of marketing for WPI. "We want to show prospective students and their parents why WPI was selected as one of only 16 universities by the Association of American Colleges and Universities as a model for hands-on, outcomes-based education. WPI is noted for its unique three cornerstone projects: one in the humanities, another examining the intersection of technology and society, and a third in one's major field. These student projects come together to prepare undergraduates for their personal and professional lives. This is the essence of our new identity - WPI: The University of Science, Technology, and Life."

WPI Approach Ensures An Education for the Future

The humanities project seeks to instill in students an understanding of how creativity can be expressed in the parameters of both technical and non-technical fields. Students choose a sequence of five humanities courses and complete a project on a theme arising from them. The projects take many forms, including original musical compositions, short stories and plays.

WPI's major project challenges students to solve problems typical of those they will encounter in their professional disciplines. Project teams often work with graduate students and faculty members on leading-edge research, conducted globally, or solve problems posed by practicing professionals in industry and government.

The science, technology and society project helps students appreciate the social and ethical issues of science and technology. Through this project, students understand the responsibility technologists have to the society in which they live and work. Students learn to interact with professionals outside their own fields and gain insight into areas of knowledge beyond their own disciplines.

WPI's broadcast advertisement will run in Boston on early morning and late newscasts from April 4 to mid-May, as well as on several cable networks including CNN, A&E, Discovery, and ESPN. Additional radio advertisements will air in Hartford, CT and New Haven, CT over the same time period.

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is an innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers, and is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 3,500 students and 220 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.