The new logo for The Crest, which is the rebranded student media organization (previously TommieMedia)

Introducing ‘The Crest’: St. Thomas Student Media Gets New Name, Identity

TommieMedia, the student-run media organization at the University of St. Thomas, will rebrand as “The Crest” in fall 2024. Inspired by an evolving campus and media landscape, the name is also an ode to the organization’s neighbor, the Mississippi River.

The new identity is the culmination of more than two years of self-reflection, outreach and research by the student leaders of TommieMedia. Prompted by a desire to differentiate themselves from other brands on campus, such as Tommie Sports and the St. Thomas Newsroom, the name change will strengthen student media’s position as an independent source.

The new logo for The Crest, which is the rebranded student media organization (previously TommieMedia)
The Crest will officially become the new identity of TommieMedia in fall 2024. Students have worked for months on the rebranding project, developing a new name, logo and website.

“People who are taking in our media don’t necessarily know the voice that they’re hearing,” TommieMedia Brand Director Olivia Graupmann ’24 said. “In this rebranding, we’re trying to set ourselves apart a little bit more as a student voice and cut through any confusion.”

The rollout coincides with another big change for student media at St. Thomas. After decades of running its operation out of the basement at O’Shaughnessy Educational Center, TommieMedia recently moved into the new Schoenecker Center on south campus.

Student leaders and faculty advisers were inspired by the upcoming move across campus to reevaluate the organization’s brand. As construction began on their new home, TommieMedia began the rebranding process by reaching out to current students, alumni and community stakeholders, engaging them in a series of surveys and focus groups.

Throughout their discussions, five core themes emerged that student leaders wanted to honor with any name change: honesty, transparency, progressivism, fun and professionalism.

“Every student who was involved can probably mention those five values that our student media should hold,” TommieMedia faculty adviser April Eichmeier said. “And so, the brand really had to reflect that … I encouraged them to keep pushing until there was something everyone was happy with.”

Olivia Graupmann is the brand director for TommieMedia and helped spearhead the rebranding project for the last two years.
(Morgan Knutzen/University of St. Thomas)

As the team began looking at how those core themes could influence a new brand identity, water, and the crest of a wave floated to the top. Leaders also liked that The Crest could represent a forward-thinking media landscape always on the move.

“We want to keep changing with what our student audience is looking for versus what the neighborhood community is looking for,” Graupmann said. “Working strategically so that we can best cater to these different audiences. And going forward, continuing to try to keep changing with the times.”

Through all the changes, students stress that the core mission of The Crest will remain largely the same: to tell stories of interest to the university community through a fresh and independent perspective.

TommieMedia first debuted as The Purple and Gray in December 1912, becoming The Aquin in September 1933. Eight decades later in 2009, the publication was renamed TommieMedia and transitioned to a digital-first media organization. It was the first Associated Press-member college newspaper to go all-digital in the U.S.

he spring 2024 student media staff
The spring 2024 student media staff pose for a group photo outside their new home in the recently opened Schoenecker Center on south campus. (Submitted)

To prepare for the launch of The Crest, students have been working hard to develop a new logo, graphics package and a completely overhauled website. For Graupmann, a business communication and marketing management double major, the experience has provided intense real-world experience before she graduates this spring.

“It’s been an honor to be a part of it,” Graupmann said. “I wouldn’t have ever guessed I would have been able to have this opportunity.”

The Crest website and social media channels will be launched in late summer 2024. A special rebranding celebration will be held this fall with current students and alumni.