The NSU Brand

Northern's Communications and Marketing Department shares stories about our students, faculty and programs.
In 2017, the Communications and Marketing team was tasked with enhancing and updating Northern's brand. It is critical for a higher education institution to have a clearly defined identity, commonly referred to as a brand. Defining a brand is difficult, but our team was eager for the opportunity to outline and harmonize how we portray our institution. We feel our brand guide truly represents what Northern stands for.

Premise of NSU Communications and Marketing

History of the Wolf

In the Feb. 3, 1923, edition of The Exponent, a contest was announced to identify a team name for Northern Athletics. No entries were received, but after two losses on the road, the basketball team voted to call themselves the Wolves -- and they won their next game, against Madison College. It wasn't until 1954 that the Exponent again announced a contest to formalize a mascot, and the NSU Art Department entered "Waldo the Wolf." Waldo made his first homecoming appearance in 1956.

Eventually, in 1993, the current mascot, "Thunder" was born. Then in May 1994, NSU announced a public contest to replace the logo rendering. Out of 65 entries, local artist Thomas Gross, a 1982 NSU grad, was selected as the winner.

To learn more about current logo and graphics standards, read the NSU Brand Guide.

- Information from Ron Pollworth