The University of Arizona has released a Hispanic Heritage cultural logo and will be releasing additional branded cultural logos throughout the year to celebrate the diversity of its students, staff and employees.
The university has created four cultural logos that will be released during specific heritage months over the course of the academic year, which started in September with the Hispanic Heritage logo. These cultural logos are an extension of the university’s commitment to diversity and were driven by the vision of students, reflecting their connection to their heritage and celebrating vibrant traditions of character, family and community.
Honoring the rich and meaningful cultures of the campus community through these emblems represents the institution’s larger pursuit of being an inclusive campus and positive place for all students. The cultural logos will be displayed on digital materials and will be used on apparel and other items for purchase at the University of Arizona BookStores. A portion of the proceeds on all cultural logo items for the entire year will be given to cultural student centers on campus to support emergency needs of students, such as food insecurity. The Adalberto and Ana Guerrero Student Center is the beneficiary of Hispanic Heritage sales.
The development of the cultural logos began in 2019 as focus groups convened to brainstorm ways to celebrate and honor the rich diversity of the university community. Prior to these logos, UArizona did not have a unified logo that the university and other groups could use. The focus groups – which began meeting in February 2019 and continued through the end of that summer – were composed of representatives from student cultural centers, alumni associations, students, staff and faculty volunteers.
All four logos include distinct icons embedded within the Wildcat brand mark and a title that represents the expression or celebration of each culture. The icons are a unifying element that was carefully designed and curated by the volunteering groups to represent the rich history, traditions and culture of each community. The effort to reach these final logos was not always clear cut. For instance, while it was initially suggested to simply change the color of the “Block A” to represent each culture, the representing groups felt that the Wildcat was less institutional and resonated more completely across the board.
Thomas Harris, assistant athletic director for diversity, inclusion and employee engagement at UArizona, began the initiative in 2019 with a focus on student-athletes before expanding it to be campuswide. “The icons within each logo tell the history and story of these different groups. Not only will it be a source of pride for students, faculty and staff, but it will build connections with the broader community as people learn the story behind each symbol,” Harris said.
Later this academic year the initiative will include cultural logos for Native American History Month in November, Black History Month in February and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.