Every now and then I’m reminded of why I love working at a college. I work for the University Store in marketing, and I focus primarily on sending messages out to the public, whether that be a status update on our store’s Facebook page, an ad on our website, or simply showing up to events and being involved. There are times when I can’t help but be moved by something or someone. This week, for instance, I have been doing quick photo shoots with students all centered around spring. We have all this cute and fun new product in bright colors and fluorescents but that isn’t what my focus is. I want to show the general feel that I get from Towson, and that I hope others get too.
As we all know, our University has changed quite a bit over the past 10 years. We have opened new academic buildings, enrolled new students, built new residence halls, grown significantly in numbers and have taken on a new President, all while facing a huge budget crisis. In spite of these enormous changes, however, the feel of our “Towson” has remained the same. Throughout this time of change the University Store has adapted and has tried to keep up. I see a significant difference in the store from when I started ten years ago to now.
We are no longer just at our desks or hiding in a back office; we join you, the TU community, out on campus and celebrate you as much as we can. I have made a point to reach out and find students to model our clothes, to represent our product and to look great doing it. Our Facebook page is completely filled with images of students, faculty and staff wearing the product and enjoying their University in whatever way they choose. Our website celebrates our campus in much the same way. We have also taken on a new look in the actual store, removing the clunky customer service counter and replacing it with two streamline desks in two different locations in the store. The new, open sales floor makes room for new products and new activities. We look forward to the potential this fresh space offers our customers and us.
The store has also dedicated much of its time and money to supporting student groups, sponsoring events, doing community service and exceeding customer service expectations. Our store consists of full-time staff members (12 of which are TU alumni) and student employees. We are learning about our campus community and are committed to it as much as any other department.
We are very fortunate that our Towson brand is such a great one because it means our products are more than just sweatshirts or hats They represent the college careers of students as a unique experience. It is a source of pride.
Towson is home for me in many ways. I met my partner here, I got my degree from here and I have worked here for (going on) 10 years. Towson is every day for me. These students are just a few of the smiles I have seen blossom and become something great right before my eyes, and that is definitely something to feel proud of. The University Store will continue to find new ways to highlight, engage and celebrate Towson University’s campus community. We hope you will join us in doing so.