Board of Trustees Approves New Tougaloo College Logo

Tougaloo College has used various image and text combinations as its logo (mark) over the past 151 years; however, none have been registered or protected under the law.  As a result, it has been a challenge to acquire contractual agreements that would allow the College to benefit financially from a trademark.

A recognized logo for the College will increase our ability to hold others accountable when it is used without permission. Nearly every college or university, public or private, has trademarked and registered some combination of its logo, font, name and color. It is time that the College gains control over how the institution’s name is or can be used in the marketplace for profit, including T-shirts, mugs, caps and other items produced annually. Without a licensing program, we don’t have a mechanism in place to ensure the College’s name, logo, and other marks are protected and used appropriately. Also, it is challenging to increase the College’s visibility through a comprehensive branding and marketing campaign without a trademarked logo.

In Spring 2020, the Tougaloo College Board of Trustees established the Trademark Logo and Lettering Committee to explore and recommend a logo. This step is vital to the College’s ability to develop its brand; the Tougaloo College brand. Our brand is vitally important because of the different audiences we communicate with: prospective and current students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders, and local and national media. In every form of communication we distribute—from printed news stories to e-newsletters and social media posts—it is essential that our branding remains consistent and represents quality and excellence.

The Trademark Logo and Lettering Committee’s objective was to provide the Board of Trustees with a logo to approve at the October 16, 2020 meeting. After careful and thorough consideration, several elements emerged as ideas for inclusion in the logo, including the historic college gate, Woodworth Chapel, Robert O. Wilder Building (The Mansion), and the academic mascot, the soaring eagle. Working with a local marketing agency, several conceptual drafts were produced and reviewed by the Committee, which included members of the student body, faculty, staff, and alumni community. After several iterations, the Committee settled on a final design that incorporates iconic images of the historic gate and chapel and the tagline, “Where History Meets the Future,” to satisfy the Board’s request to include images/symbols that are held in high regard by all Tougalooians.

The welded iron ornate gate with its unique dual arched entry was constructed by students in the iron-working classes at Tougaloo. The date of construction is believed to be circa 1910. Many have passed through this historical gate. The gate secured its place in the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi during the middle 1960s. It became a symbol as authors Clarice Campbell and Oscar Allan Rogers, Jr. describe in their book “Mississippi: The View from Tougaloo”, “A haven, a virtual oasis, in a land hot and fuming with public policies designed to thwart full participation in a free society.”

Woodworth Chapel reflects our involvement in the movement for social change. Many speakers, political as well as academic scholars, spoke from its podium. President George Owens, in the 1973 edition of Encore magazine said, “We are proud…that here a student can hear it all. [He] is in close proximity to conservative and segregationist views. At the same time, all kinds of black ideology are brought on campus for the student to examine.” The tagline connects Tougaloo’s most significant historical space with the College’s future outlook in a meaningful way.
Members of the Tougaloo College community that included over 1000 alumni, current student, faculty and staff were invited to view the proposed logo and during the Presidential Inauguration Week of Dr. Carmen J. Walters, the newly approved trademarks and logo were unveiled. For more information regarding branding guidelines, trademarks, and logo visit the webpage for more details.


About Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College is a private, independent, liberal arts institution, offering undergraduate degrees in twenty-nine majors in the areas of education, the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, and graduate degrees in education. Since its founding in 1869, the College has maintained a rich tradition of excellence, relevance, and influence, creating a legacy of distinction in higher education. Tougaloo College was awarded $6 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for the renewal of the Jackson Heart Study Undergraduate Training Center. Some of Tougaloo College’s remarkable alumni include Congressman Bennie G. Thompson; Tougaloo President Emerita Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan; NAACP President Derrick Johnson; Justice Reuben V. Anderson; Engineer and Educator Eugene DeLoatch; and Astrophysicist Hakeem M. Oluseyi.