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Beyond Expectations Tagline

The tagline Beyond Expectations is validated by IUP’s brand promise:

IUP is a distinguished national doctoral public university for students who seek to discover their own strengths by connecting learning with their lives. They ultimately exceed their own expectations in achieving personal and professional success.

The tagline is a powerful explanation of what IUP is all about, in terms of how the university helps students stretch in their accomplishments, in terms of how it changes lives, and in terms of how it improves the quality of life in the region. It describes what IUP collectively accomplishes because of each person’s individual contributions. See more about IUP's message pillars and how they fit into your promotional writing.

If used carelessly or incorrectly, the tagline easily can be misconstrued. After all, audiences should not infer that university constituents do not think much of themselves and their programs and that they are surprised to do something worthwhile. The implication should not be that expectations of IUP are low and that a good act of some sort helps to exceed that low expectation.

Simple Rules to Follow

What to Do

When possible, provide real stories to demonstrate how IUP assists students to grow beyond their expectations through high-quality academic programs and the myriad opportunities students have. It is not necessary to use the actual phrase. Providing real examples is often much more effective than stating a tagline.

When using it in running type or a speech, always connect it to achievement, but don’t use the two words together.


“I am certain IUP will realize President Atwater’s vision of becoming a true national university—one that provides students a multitude of opportunities, allowing them to reach beyond their expectations.”

“Because IUP’s faculty members often invite undergraduate students to participate in their research projects, our academic environment often exceeds what one might expect from the usual state-owned university.”

“An alumnus of IUP, Richard Macedonia just retired as CEO of Sodexho. He helped make Sodexho a leader in fighting hunger and promoting diversity.”

Use the statement Beyond Expectations as a visual accent as portrayed in the graphic standards manual or as a headline or other significant marker when introducing good news or accomplishments.

What Not to Do

Do not use the phrase in running type or speeches, particularly in a way that makes it appear that no one had high expectations of IUP.


“Your donation will help IUP go Beyond Expectations.”

“I am certain IUP will realize President Atwater’s vision of becoming a true national university that goes Beyond Expectations.”

“Our student organizations every year go beyond expectations by spending thousands of hours in volunteer settings.”

The Message Pillars

A message pillar is nothing more than an attribute or quality. We know that consistency in look will help us build a better brand, but consistency in what verbal messages we send is just as important. Concentrating on some or all of these key attributes helps to solidify the IUP brand promise introduced at the beginning of this section. The brand promise articulates what we are and what our consumers can expect. If you aren't talking about at least one of these points in your communications piece, you might want to ask yourself why you are producing the piece at all.

  • Committed to a high standard of excellence
  • Dedicated to creating opportunities for students
  • Steadfast in support of substantive faculty and student research
  • Proud of our highly successful alumni as demonstrated through outcomes
  • Enthusiastic about community partnerships and civic engagement

Each of these can be demonstrated and leveraged in multiple ways through multiple examples. Each target audience will not respond to like examples in the same manner; however, each pillar will resonate with all target audiences. Whenever a communication tool is developed – printed, electronic, or verbal – these pillars should be included as the primary messages.

Note the examples given under Simple Rules to Follow are, indeed, based on our message pillars. You don't need to repeat verbatim the message pillars in your communications piece. You need to find ways to demonstrate the appropriate ones in your writing, as shown in the examples. See our elevator speech at About IUP for an example of how we've employed message pillars without actually using the words “Beyond Expectations.”

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