Welcome back; Marketing and Communication Changes

Message from the President
September 1, 2016

Dear LMU Community:

Welcome back for what promises to be an exciting 2016/2017 Academic Year. I had the pleasure of keynoting the Academic Convocation which starts the year for our incoming first-year class and, not only do they have the highest academic profile of any entering class in LMU history, they were palpably energetic about their desires to soak in all of the LMU experience. We are fortunate to have these exceptional new students joining our thriving campus community.

As we continue to grow LMU’s academic profile and recruit yet higher-quality students and faculty to join us in our mission, I am increasingly aware of how our future is tied to telling the story of our successes at the local, national, and international levels. Acknowledgment of excellence in our academic programs and remaining competitive in attracting high-powered students in the volatile higher education marketplace require that we be more focused in how LMU presents itself. As such, we are embarking on a new brand development initiative during the current year; all of you will be asked to engage in this process as we move forward.

At the same time, we are in the early phases of developing a capital campaign that will raise the resources necessary to build upon and create more exceptional experiences for our students, support the work of our esteemed faculty, provide all at LMU with first-class facilities, and keep LMU accessible to all who wish to attend. Success in a new campaign will depend on clear and bold communication about the brilliance of activities in which we are engaged, along with our aspirations of what we hope to become.

For over a year now, I have been speaking with my Senior Leadership team—in particular, Dennis Slon, Senior Vice President for University Relations—about how we might accomplish these important tasks. We agree that LMU will be best served by forming a separate Marketing and Communications unit that reports directly to me and serves on the President’s Cabinet.

Thus, effective immediately, I am formalizing the Marketing and Communications organization, which will be led by John Kiralla as its first vice president. Mr. Kiralla, who many of you know, is an LMU alumnus with two decades’ experience in marketing, digital strategy, and communications, primarily focused at LMU. Prior to returning to LMU, he consulted and worked for Apple, Collegis Eduprise, and Sungard Education. Most recently, he has served as our executive director for marketing and communications. In the past year, Mr. Kiralla led several major initiatives: the comprehensive redesign of LMU.edu, the LMYOU communications campaign, our brand development efforts through a Marketing Advisory Committee, and the significant communications and public relations dimensions of our inauguration celebration, Commencement, and the honorary degree conferral ceremonies. These activities have already brought us tangible results.

The new organization will continue the work that Mr. Kiralla and his team have already done to present a unified and cohesive LMU image to external audiences, and it will work closely with the deans and their communication specialists, University Relations, and the entire campus. Please join me in congratulating John on his new leadership role, which he has welcomed heartily as an opportunity to accelerate the success of his alma mater, its colleagues, and its honorable alumni.

With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.