Defining Who We Are


Why Define Acadia?

Our story. Our reputation. It’s what defines Acadia.  It’s who we are. It is much more than the logo or the marketing or advertising; it is how Acadia delivers on its promises. Through such elements as the positioning statement, the vision, our pillars and personality, we tell the story of Acadia. It is the way people perceive us.

By seeing and hearing the Acadia story, all of our audiences — current and prospective students, parents, alumni, etc. — know exactly who we are and what to expect from us.

  • Differentiation:   a strong identity will allow us to stand out amongst competitors with our unique vision and promise.
  • Recognition:   by having a consistent story throughout all of our communications and advertising, people will become increasingly familiar with Acadia and more apt to have this university top of mind when it comes time to consider institutions.
  • Cohesive workplace: one identity unifies staff through a shared vision and direction.

Developing Standards and Understanding their Purpose

Guidelines help deliver Acadia’s reputation memorably. They include the technical information required to ensure the visual identity is consistent and uniform. For example, it includes information on the logo in terms of colours, fonts, minimum size requirements, etc. In this case, standards also highlight how the visual identifiers should be consistently included in all university communication materials, both internal and external.

The importance of these standards can be explained in one word: consistency. Standards ensure the Acadia story is told consistently, and genuinely, by all of our audiences.

On this website and in the Reputation and Visual Identity Toolkit, you will find guidelines to use as a lens when executing internal and external communications. Templates are provided as recommendations of how new signature elements can be infused in everyday internal and external communication materials. Although it is not possible to have an answer for every scenario in which you may apply the Acadia reputation and visual identity, this website and toolkit will provide you with a basic understanding of the do’s and don’ts, as well as tips on how to best apply the elements to materials.

Acadia’s Positioning

Our positioning represents how we want our audiences to talk about Acadia. “Acadia is a place devoted to helping its students see, discover and unleash their potential for great things.”

  • Devotion of faculty, staff and other influencers helps Acadia students identify, understand and bring out the potential that is already in them. This is what Acadia does best. Students will be surrounded by people who are devoted to helping them be even more than they thought they could be.
  • Students with great potential. There are lots of examples of students who have unleashed their potential to do great things, both at Acadia and after they graduate. Some students may not yet recognize it in themselves when they enter Acadia – but their parents or their guidance counsellors may.
  • The environment is an incubator, it’s a two-way, interactive, involved, close-knit, intimate, supportive, diverse, collaborative, engaging, fun community (both on-campus and the off-campus)
  • Teaching the whole person. Acadia offers a balance of academic, emotional, spiritual and athletic education, which inspires students to tune in to everything around them, the broader “complete” education. Acadia is positioned to deliver far more than just a career; this approach will help transform and prepare them for life.

Acadia Elevator Pitch

Imagine being stuck on an elevator with only a couple of minutes to tell someone why Acadia University is so great.
How do we talk about Acadia? How do we deliver our compelling difference concisely?  Here’s a brief script to help make the most of that opportunity. If we are all telling the same story, it makes Acadia that much more memorable.

Acadia is a unique and special place that will touch your heart and your head in equal measure.

For 178 years, we have specialized in providing a premium, high-quality, high-engagement experience for students, primarily undergraduates, from across Canada and over 50 countries around the world.

The Acadia reputation focuses on exponential growth, based on a formula of 1 + 1 = 3. This equation represents the partnership between Acadia and its students – one that ensures our students are prepared for more than a career; they are equipped for life – as thinkers, communicators, innovators, and individuals. The growth is exponential. The sum is greater than its parts.  We inspire each other. That’s the Acadia effect.

Acadia’s balance of academic, emotional, spiritual and athletic education enriches the whole person – inside and outside the classroom. Our academic standards are high. With small class sizes, a friendly campus, and personal attention, our students are both challenged and supported by faculty, staff and other influencers who are devoted to helping them see, discover, and unleash their potential.

Our environment is an incubator — a two-way, interactive, close-knit, supportive, diverse, collaborative, engaging, and fun community. The university’s prestigious but unpretentious personality attracts students who are dialectic, autonomous, versatile, discerning, self-effacing, and kind-hearted, with approximately 80% of Acadia’s students volunteering in the community. 

And, with 11 varsity teams, Acadia has the most conference and national championships of any university in Atlantic Canada. We also have 107 CIS Academic All-Canadians – the most per student-athlete in the country. 

For the last 25 consecutive years, Macleans has ranked Acadia in the top five undergraduate universities in Canada, placing us in the top three 20 times. We are consistently the highest ranked primarily undergraduate institution in Nova Scotia.