‘Distinctive Destination' Might Aid Recruiting Effort

The NMU admissions staff immediately sensed the potential recruitment value when Marquette was voted fan favorite among the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. As soon as the online voting results were announced, Gerri Daniels (Admissions) informed the higher education marketing firm that produces NMU’s view book and other recruitment materials.

“That’s the kind of thing we like to mention in our print pieces because it provides that pause—that moment for a person to think, ‘Wow, that sounds like a cool place,’” she said. “It really helps us to combat the distance and remoteness factors. Our counselors will definitely include this in their talking points. It’s along the lines of “Why wouldn’t you want to go to college in a place where people love to vacation?’”

According to Anne Stark (Communications and Marketing), focus groups and surveys consistently show that students enroll at Northern because of the natural environment and the community.

“Even if prospective students don’t base their decision on the fact Marquette has earned accolades as a Distinctive Destination, Cool City or All-America County, a string of honors like this might impress parents who want to know their child is moving to a community that’s been recognized for being unique, vibrant, welcoming and safe. Whether or not it helps sway a decision, it certainly doesn’t hurt and it’s worth promoting.”

Stark said she noticed a spike in the online voting tally after Deanna Hemmila (Alumni) referenced the fan favorite contest in her “What’s New, NMU?” newsletter. Many NMU alumni maintain a strong connection and loyalty to the community long after they leave. Evidence of this can be found in this essay that accompanied the announcement. It was written by 2006 graduate Mame Croze, who is public relations and marketing manager at Decatur House on Lafayette Square, a National Trust Historic Site.


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Updated: March 11, 2010

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