CIC Releases New Liberal Arts Campaign Resources

​This spring, CIC released new resources to help member institutions promote the liberal arts and the effectiveness of independent higher education. The new materials—a website and proceedings of CIC’s liberal arts symposium—help answer the question, “What can you do with a liberal arts degree?” The materials demonstrate the purpose and value of studying the liberal arts and are designed for prospective students, their parents, and high school guidance counselors as well as undergraduate students who would like more information on the benefits of a liberal arts curriculum.
The new materials build on CIC’s September 2015 symposium, “The Liberal Arts in Action,” held in Washington, DC. The symposium served as the capstone event of CIC’s Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education campaign and featured a wide array of speakers who are leaders in business, the arts and media, science, social entrepreneurship, technology, and politics—all of whom are bachelor’s degree graduates of private liberal arts colleges and universities.
The proceedings report was mailed to CIC member presidents, chief academic officers, and symposium participants and is available at It includes a transcript of the symposium, speaker photos and biographies, and campaign information. The report offers inspiring, often humorous, stories from symposium speakers who explored how the liberal arts help develop engaged citizens and effective leaders, forge new frontiers in science, invent new technologies, build global businesses, and enhance society through social entrepreneurship.
The cutting-edge “Liberal Arts Life” website ( draws on symposium and other campaign materials to tell a story about the value of a liberal arts education through video clips, photographs, speaker quotations, and animated data visualizations. The site is designed to appeal to prospective students and to help parents and high school counselors as they guide students through the college selection and application process.

Computer monitor displaying Liberal Arts Life website  

“The Liberal Arts in Action” symposium produced a rich reservoir of information and stories about the importance and utility of the liberal arts. In addition to the new symposium proceedings report and “Liberal Arts Life” website, CIC released a related essay, The Liberal Arts in Action: Past, Present, and Future, to symposium participants last fall. Written by S. Georgia Nugent, CIC senior fellow and interim president of the College of Wooster (OH), the essay explores the historical and philosophical contexts of liberal arts education and its role as an incubator of creativity. The essay—in conjunction with the proceedings report and new website—would be especially useful for orientation programs and first-year seminars to stimulate discussions about the purpose and value of studying the liberal arts. Videos of the symposium presentations and short interviews with speakers are posted on the campaign’s websites and social media platforms.
CIC encourages campuses to continue to promote the importance of the liberal arts and independent colleges by sharing and using campaign materials. In addition to the items above, here are some of the many materials and platforms, produced over the last few years, that are available to CIC members:
  • A campaign media kit that includes statistics and infographics, as well as samples of alumni “testimonials,” opinion pieces, news stories, and data that can help institutions craft and disseminate their own messages in relation to the campaign;
  • The campaign’s Twitter feed (@SmartColleges), Facebook page (, and YouTube channel (, which share data, articles, photos, and videos to publicize the facts about liberal arts education, amplify positive messages, share testimonials, and respond to misinformation;
  • A robust website for high school counselors and students and their families ( that features alumni testimonials; eye-catching infographics; myth-busting facts about the liberal arts, student debt, and college costs; and selected news articles and opinion pieces.
  • A campaign website for CIC members and higher education professionals ( that features more than 1,000 op-eds by college presidents and articles about the value of the liberal arts and smaller private colleges, a wealth of data and infographics, and the media kit; and
  • A 2016 directory of CIC member institutions, which was mailed to more than 4,000 National Association for College Admission Counseling​ members this spring.
Print copies of the media kit and The Liberal Arts in Action essay are still available, and CIC will ship up to ten copies of each free of charge to member institutions. Please email or call (202) 466-7230 to request print materials.


CIC’s liberal arts campaign hit the road this winter as @SmartColleges Twitter avatars Libby and Art “visited” more than 60 sites on their tour of 20 member campuses over the past few months. As part of CIC’s photo contest, college and university staff members spirited student Libby and counselor Art around campus, snapping creative photos of their tour and posting them on Twitter. The duo visited iconic buildings and picturesque grounds, participated in holiday festivities, cheered at sporting events, took part in a research symposium, lifted weights at a fitness center, visited a library of great books, met the winners of a speech competition, laughed with a president careening down a slip ‘n slide, rocked out with a pep band at a football game, attended a chapel service, viewed masterpieces in campus art galleries, and much more! The contest was designed to show prospective students, parents, and high school counselors who follow the @SmartColleges Twitter feed the beauty of CIC campuses and the engaging life students experience on smaller private college campuses. It also aimed to engage member institutions in the liberal arts campaign.

two students speaking with Libby and Art outside on campus
Baldwin Wallace University (OH) student Hope Fierro, class of 2018, introduced life-sized Libby and Art to two students who struck up a conversation on the quad.

Libby and Art stand beside an outdoor classroom with professor instructing students
Juniata College (PA) showed Libby and Art many aspects of campus life, including its new outdoor classroom, a gift of the class of 2014.

Libby and Art are wearing a scarf and hat in front of a campus building in the snow
Davis & Elkins College (WV) kept Libby and Art warm during their winter tour of the campus with a hat and scarf.

Libby and Art stand in line at the dining hall for a buffet feast
McKendree University (IL) students (the Bearcats) welcomed Libby and Art to their Thanksgiving feast.

Congratulations to Baldwin Wallace University (OH), Juniata College (PA), Davis & Elkins College (WV), and McKendree University (IL) for snapping the four winning photos (above)—those deemed most creative, inspiring, and/or fun. It was a nearly impossible selection decision, given the large number of inspired entries. An honorable mention goes to Ursinus College (PA) for producing two innovative time-lapse video loops with Libby and Art; view all photos that received an honorable mention. The four winning photos also are featured on the campaign website, and a complete album of Libby and Art’s campus tours can be found on the campaign Facebook page.
A hearty thanks to all campuses that participated in the photo project: Baldwin Wallace University, Bridgewater College (VA), Central College (IA), Culver-Stockton College (MO), Davis & Elkins College, Denison University (OH), DePaul University (IL), Juniata College, Lindenwood University (MO), Maryville College (TN), McDaniel College (MD), McKendree University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Shimer College (IL), Silver Lake College of the Holy Family (WI), St. Catherine University (MN), The College of St. Scholastica (MN), Ursinus College, Whittier College (CA), and Wilmington College (OH).
Although the photo contest is over, CIC will continue to share photos of Libby and Art’s campus adventures on social media channels throughout the year. A paper cut-out with instructions can be found at


Three national organizations have honored CIC’s public information campaign:
  • The Public Relations Society of America named the campaign a Silver Anvil Award Finalist in March 2016. The award honors “the very best public relations programs planned and executed each year.” The Awards Ceremony will be held on June 9 in New York City;
  • In January 2016, CQ Roll Call highlighted CIC’s campaign on its list of “50 most effective grassroots marketing campaigns”; and
  • Association Media and Publishing honored the campaign in June 2015 with two gold EXCEL Awards for “Innovation and Strategy in Social Media” and “Integrated Mixed-Media Campaign.”