Red brick will forever be synonymous with the Trinity brand, but the University’s graphical face and identity have evolved to keep pace with its march toward modernity throughout the last 150 years. Most notably was the development of the University’s brand identity during the James Laurie era (1951-70), a time when Trinity became known as the “University in the Sun.”
The concept was the brainchild of then-PR chief Leon “Tex” Taylor, who felt the new logo and brand should reflect the vitality and rigor associated with Trinity’s emerging skyline campus in summery San Antonio. According to Trinity historian Douglas Brackenridge, the image and logo projected an aura of “leisure and relaxation associated with the southwestern Sun Belt.” For at least the next two decades, the logo contributed to Trinity’s reputation as a country club for the children of wealthy and elite Texans, even as the University continued to strengthen its academic reputation.
Ultimately, the logo persisted even as Trinity became known for its academic rigor and scholarship during the presidency of Ron Calgaard (1979-99). Today’s Murchison Tower logo was not adopted until 2003, after Director of Public Relations Sharon Jones ’75 initiated an extensive brand research initiative.
At the same time, Trinity’s spirit brand has also experienced changes. While the University was founded in 1869, the Tiger mascot and accompanying images were not adopted until about 1916, when the Detroit Tigers held spring training at the Waxahachie campus and inspired student athletes to adopt the tiger as their own mascot. The Tiger earned the name LeeRoy after local developer LeeRoy Pletz bought and donated a Bengal tiger to the San Antonio zoo, with the express request that the animal be made available to Trinity University for its athletics events. After many iterations of the Tiger logo, the University’s Marketing Communications department embarked on a campaign to enhance flagging school spirit, beginning with a modern, edgy new design for the Trinity Tiger logo.
Most recently, the University unveiled its commemorative 150th Anniversary logo, designed to inspire pride in generations of Trinitonians as we celebrate our role as heirs of the past and stewards of the future.