Sweet Sixteen, Indeed

The Pulley Group’s first book, Sweet Sixteen: Great Colleges of the South, rolled of the presses last month.

We couldn’t be more thrilled, for ourselves and our client, the Associated Colleges of the South.

The book profiles ACS’s 16 members institutions–arguably the best private, liberal arts colleges in the American South. ACS undertook the project as a means of bolstering the national profiles of  its member institutions, institutions o fpost-secondary education that had attained peerless regional reputations.

The challenge was to differentiate a group of institutions that had much in common. In general, small, private liberal arts colleges look very much alike, and they tend to market themselves as offering a more intimate education than is found at large research universities. To make their case, they point to smaller classrooms, professors who know the students, and opportunities for undergraduate research and study abroad. At small colleges, they say, students don’t fall through the cracks.

So what makes Sewanne: The University of the South different from The University of Richmond? What differentiates Hendrix College from Washington and Lee University? To answer those questions, we took what we came to call The Barbecue Tour, a southern swing that took us to the campuses of all 16 institutions. We spent time on their grounds, visited classrooms, met with presidents, faculty members and students. We got a feel for the places.

We learned that Sewanee’s campus includes 13,000 contiguous acres on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. Known as The Domain, the swath of Appalachia informs much of what happens at the college. The University of Richmond, tucked in a corner of Virginia’s capital city, thrives on contrasts. It’s a place that offers the “intimacy and engagement of a small residential college and the complexity of a university.”

We found that fraternities and sororities dominate the social scene at Washington And Lee University, yet at Hendrix College, in Arkansas, there are no Greek organizations. There are hundreds of similar examples.

On-the-ground research yielded the information that differentiated the institutions. In the writing world, finding the “telling detail” is like panning for gold.  In a crowded education marketplace, differentiating your institution from a universe of competitors is essential. In either case, hard work pays off.

To read or buy the book, visit ACS at http://www.colleges.org/book.html.

To read book samples and

Posted in News on 03/06/2012 04:15 pm

1 Comment

  1. you have brought up a very good points , thankyou for the post.

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