Brand voice

A voice of inspiration. 
Our brand voice defines our identity and tells our story. It must faithfully represent the personality of UAF, which is sociable, engaging, stimulating, down-to-earth and always game. All our communications should bring that personality to life and paint a picture of who we are, how we think and what we want to achieve. 

Our voice reflects our values. We are sociable and engaging. We are by nature a close-knit community that seeks authenticity, challenge and adventure at every turn. We look at individual achievement in terms of how it affects our community and greater society. We are down-to-earth. We speak from the heart, using straightforward language to communicate even the most complex ideas. We are stimulating and always game. We aren’t afraid to make bold statements. We don’t just offer degree programs; we offer life-changing experiences and boundless opportunity.


The tone of UAF is sociable and engaging. Using the plural “we” illustrates a shared experience and common goals. We have an ever-present connection to our surroundings and our community, and the language we use is one of inclusion, not exclusion. Our words should draw people in and make them feel they are a part of something greater.

Follow: We are the University of Alaska Fairbanks, inspiring great people to do great things.

Avoid:The University of Alaska Fairbanks boasts a multitude of graduates who continue on to achieve unparalleled success.

We live in a physical environment of singular beauty, extreme climate and rugged terrain — a place that inspires powerful words and imagery, decisive arguments and independent thought. Thus, the tone should be emotionally and intellectually stimulating. It should evoke images of real-life discovery and a practical, hands-on academic experience.

Follow: Venture outside the classroom, where fieldwork really is in the field — unless it’s in the forest, ocean, or any of the rugged terrain that makes up Alaska’s vast, natural laboratory. Around here, if you’re game, you’re in.

Avoid: UAF offers programs that guide students from introductory knowledge to advanced work within a special area of concentration. Many noncurricular resources are available that help translate our students’ goals into reality.

The tone and content of the language should be down-to-earth and unpretentious, but also confident, with a sense of adventure. 

Follow: We invite you to explore the possibilities of the Last Frontier — where inspiration is around every bend, independence is championed, and adventure is inevitable.

Avoid: We urge you to tour our world-renowned facilities, bear witness to the spectacular natural environment that compels contemplation, and realize your full academic potential.

In order to show that we are always game, our words and phrases should encourage fearlessness in social, academic and professional pursuits.

Follow: We have experts to guide you and a dare-to-be-great situation with your name on it.

Avoid: We offer a wide range of disciplines and degree programs to choose from, as well as friendly, knowledgeable career counselors who can help you determine which path is right for you.


Rather than simply listing facts, important details should be prefaced by their greater significance, when possible. Sentences should vary in length to create depth, maintain dynamic flow and arouse interest. Longer sentences may convey essential and necessary information, while shorter sentences or fragments can deliver powerful statements and evoke emotion.

Example of an opening paragraph:
There are places in this world where you are destined to discover who you truly are. Here at UAF, as wisdom passes from one generation to the next, revolutionary ideas are thriving and a new academic culture is taking shape. Smarter questions. Better answers.

Rather than always speaking about the university from our point of view, speak directly to readers or prospective students about their own desires. It may read like a personal challenge or a list of specific opportunities — perhaps some so unconventional, the reader never considered them before.

Follow: You’ve got skills to master, records to set and discoveries to make.

Launch a rocket. Monitor muskoxen. Study in Spain. It’s your life. Make it off the charts or off the grid.

Avoid: The University of Alaska Fairbanks believes that all students should have the opportunity to reach their goals. Thus, it is our mission to help each and every student attain the skills needed to succeed in the modern world.

Points of pride

The following section equips campus communicators and brand champions with points of pride, facts about the university that illustrate our brand and support our tagline of “Naturally Inspiring.”


Alaska significance

  • UAF is America’s northernmost Land, Sea and Space Grant institution and one of only a handful of universities in the nation with this triple-crown distinction.
  • UAF played an essential role in Alaska’s statehood. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1955 – 1956 wrote the state’s constitution in the student union building, which was renamed Constitution Hall. It was signed in what was then the university gym and is now Signers’ Hall.
  • UAF has the largest presence, impact and geographic scope of any university in Alaska. In addition to its seven campuses, UAF maintains numerous research stations, learning centers, Cooperative Extension Service offices and Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program offices across the state.
  • UAF is home to the UA Museum of the North, one of the most popular visitor attractions in the state.


  • UAF has been nationally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1934, and offers accredited certificate and degree programs in academic areas ranging from accounting to Yup’ik language and culture.
  • UAF is the leading PhD-granting university in Alaska.
  • UAF’s College of Engineering and Mines has consistently fielded one of the nation’s best steel- bridge-building student teams. In 2012 the team took second place overall and first place in two different categories at the Northwest Regional competition in Seattle.
  • UAF is home to the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, the largest library in Alaska.


  • UAF was listed in the top 11 of more than 10,000 institutions worldwide for number of citations in climate change publications, and fourth among U.S. universities. 
  • In 2014 UAF will operate the Research Vessel Sikuliaq [see-KOO-lee-ack], one of the most advanced university research vessels in the world.
  • UAF ranks in the top 150 of the nearly 700 U.S. institutions that conduct research.
  • UAF is a founding member of the University of the Arctic, a consortium of colleges, universities and research organizations in the eight arctic nations that work together to build strong education and research networks to address the needs of the circumpolar North. 



  • In the past 20 years, the Alaska Nanook rifle team has won the NCAA national championship 10 times and was runner-up four times.
  • UAF alumnus Matt Emmons, one of the finest shooters in Alaska history, won a gold medal in the 50-meter prone event at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens and a silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He added a bronze medal in men’s three-position rifle in the 2012 London games. Alumna Jamie (Beyerle) Gray broke two Olympic records en route to a gold medal in women’s 50-meter three-position rifle in the London Olympics.
  • Six recipients of UAF’s Joel Wiegert Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior Man and the Marion Frances Boswell Memorial Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior Woman have been student-athletes, including three in the last four years.

Notable alumni

  • Margaret “Mardy” Murie, ’24, the first woman graduate and renowned conservationist, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998
  • Jay Hammond, ’49, fourth governor of Alaska
  • George Schaller, ’55, known as one of the founding fathers of wildlife conservation
  • Ben Grossmann, ’95, winner of an Academy Award in 2012 for best visual effects for the movie Hugo
  • Jordan Hendry, ’06, NHL player, drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks
  • Willie Hensley, matriculate, Alaska Native leader and one for the chief activists for the historic 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act


  • UAF is one of 41 institutions in the entire country, and the only one in Alaska, to earn a gold rating for sustainability efforts on campus from the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating Systems, or STARS. In 2012 we partnered with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center to build a Sustainable Village, a 16-unit housing option designed, built and lived in by students to explore and share sustainable ways of living.
  • Outside magazine named one of the top 25 universities in the country in 2012. The Fairbanks campus is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, with miles of multi-use trails, hundreds of acres of forest, an outdoor climbing wall, a terrain park under construction, and a vibrant Outdoor Adventures program that takes students on wilderness excursions around the state.
  1. more points of pride

Key messages

  • We are Alaska’s research university and America’s arctic university.
    • UAF is a national and world leader in climate change and arctic research.
    • UAF researchers are world-renowned in their fields, and the work they do is important and notable.
    • UAF maintains many partnerships and collaborations throughout Alaska and the world that drive innovation and create meaningful discoveries.
    • UAF’s research helps sustain Alaska’s economic growth and enhance Alaska communities.
  • We deliver a high-quality education at an affordable price.
    • We are Alaska’s only Land, Sea and Space Grant university, offering everything from workforce development and vocational programs to master’s degrees and PhDs.
    • At UAF, students find a wide variety of academic programs to inspire them.
    • An education at UAF provides a hands-on learning experience in the vast dynamic laboratory that is Alaska.
    • Students at the Fairbanks campus have a traditional college experience, including a robust campus life, opportunities for research and creative work, small class sizes and accessible instructors.
    • Community campuses and outreach and learning centers throughout Alaska provide enriching education and programs that reflect the cultural, social and economic values of the communities they serve.
  • We enrich the lives of Alaskans and engage our communities, state, nation and world through our teaching, research and service work.
    • UAF is a catalyst for innovation and economic development for communities and the state.
    • UAF is a good investment for our partners, donors and funding agencies.
    • UAF is an asset to Alaska, the nation and the world, making our communities a better place to live.
  • Our location defines us and provides transformational experiences, from the personal to the global.
    • The Alaska lifestyle is woven into the UAF experience.
    • At UAF, our location offers the opportunity for global significance, just outside the front door.
    • In work and play, we embrace our unique lifestyle and inspiring surroundings.
    • Our arctic location defines our research.
  • We are a welcoming and supportive community.
    • Your success matters to. We will help you find what you need to succeed here, as a student or a professional.
    • At UAF, everyone fits in: We are diverse, attracting people of all ages and backgrounds and from around the world.
    • UAF is a family. Once a Nanook, always a Nanook.  
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