A crew of three workers from DDI Media install an "I Chose UMSL" billboard on Sept. 6 along Interstate 170 in St. Louis County. Sandra Van Trease, group president of BJC HealthCare, is one of five UMSL alumni depicted on billboards in the St. Louis area. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Imagine the Edward Jones Dome filled to capacity. Now imagine everyone standing – including players and coaches and vendors and a few thousand people in the streets – saying in unison, “I Chose UMSL.”

That’s what it would be like if the University of Missouri–St. Louis could, in fact, gather all of its alumni. Their collective voices – like their impact on the St. Louis region – would be dramatic.

The University Marketing and Communications staff was intrigued by the Jones Dome concept. The staff opted for something more logistically realistic, though no less impressive.

“I Chose UMSL” is the theme of a new campaign, which launches today (Sept. 6) with billboards on area interstates. The campaign features six prominent St. Louisans who credit UMSL for much of their success.

The UMSL alumni featured in the campaign are:

• George Paz, chairman and chief executive officer of Express Scripts Inc.
• Sandra Van Trease, group president of BJC HealthCare
• Dan Isom, chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
• Beth Fitzgerald, president of The Magic House
• Art McCoy, superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District
• Tom Minogue, chairman of Thompson Coburn LLC

“The quality of our alumni speaks for itself and, in this campaign, we’re delighted they are speaking for us,” said Ron Gossen, UMSL’s chief marketing officer. “The next step is developing ‘I Chose UMSL’ creative featuring students.”

The campaign will include a multimedia mix of television, radio, outdoor, print and online advertising. A dedicated web site, ichose.umsl.edu, features video testimonials by the six alumni, along with the option of tweeting why you chose UMSL.

Bob Samples

Bob Samples

Bob Samples is associate vice chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.