Otterbein’s Branding Story: Around the ’Bein A Model Community by President Kathy Krendl During the last year, we spent a lot of time listening to what all members of our community believed the significance of the Otterbein experience to be. There were four themes we consistently heard loud and clear ... Editor’s Note: After a nine-month brand study that included talking with and listening to more than 350 Otterbein community members, the University is focusing on how it explains the power of the Otterbein experience. President Krendl reported on the brand essence at several fall events, including the annual donor recognition celebration. This is an edited version of her address. To read her explanation in its entirety and to watch a short video from members of the Otterbein community, go to www.otterbein.edu/modelcommunity. 1 Otterbein offers the smartest way to learn That’s a bold claim. But it’s one I know is true. The American Association of Colleges and Universities, the nation’s authority on undergraduate education, has described Otterbein’s Integrative Studies curriculum as the model they hope other schools emulate. The AAC&U also invited Otterbein to help shape the nation’s conversation about the high-impact practice of hands-on, experiential learning alongside prestigious peers like Georgetown and Tufts. Couple these facts with the ways we have always challenged our students to gain in-depth knowledge within their major discipline. This learning is certainly more meaningful because of Otterbein’s enviable 11-to-one student-to-faculty ratio. Consider, too, our intentional efforts to blend liberal arts and professional studies. Again, Otterbein is way ahead of the curve. THIS is why national conferences ask our academic leaders to explain what we do and how we do it. They want to learn from us. The faculty scholars and administrative leaders of Otterbein will never stop challenging themselves to develop the most dynamic, relevant and meaningful ways to help our students learn. 2 Otterbein provides a place to belong If you are ready to learn, to make a difference, to be accepted and recognized and valued for what you alone have to offer, then you belong at Otterbein. Otterbein has served as a welcome place to the dreams, the abilities and the goals of all who answered “yes.” When the rest of the world saw only black or white, male or female, affluent or disadvantaged, all that Otterbein ever looked for was a bright mind, compassionate heart and skilled hands ready to work. The packaging didn’t matter. It was what was inside those individuals that interested Otterbein. That’s what being a college of opportunity meant then and still means now. We have been the ultimate talent scouts from the moment our doors opened in 1847.