| by Jason Warburg
Workers are installing new building signs. The gift shop is restocking with new merchandise. New business cards have arrived in the mail. And the web team has made changes to more than 3,300 pages on the miis.edu website.
All to introduce our new name: the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
After more than a year and a half of deliberation, consultation, and countless design reviews, Middlebury introduced its new identity system on January 7. Each of its schools and leading programs now carries the Middlebury name: Middlebury College, Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury School of the Environment, Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, Middlebury Writers’ Conference, Middlebury Language Schools, and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. (In Monterey’s case, note that the new name preserves the informal acronym MIIS, which is used affectionately by many students and alumni.)
The new naming architecture clarifies that the schools are part of one institution and, in the process, eliminates an often frustrating source of ambiguity and confusion.
This is not the first time the Institute has changed its name, as some alumni will recall. Founded in 1955 as the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, the school in 1979 replaced “Foreign” with the broader, more inclusive “International.”
The new naming convention, which the Board of Trustees approved last September, is only one of the changes taking place with Middlebury’s identity. We also have adopted a new visual identity system whose most prominent feature is a new shield. Or two shields, to be exact: one for Monterey and one for the rest of Middlebury.
The two shields bring together images familiar to generations of Monterey and Middlebury alumni while giving newcomers a sense of our history and pride. The upper right quadrant of both shields shows an open book, referencing the academic project at the heart of the institution and also the central image in the Middlebury seal. The upper left quadrant features a globe, in reference to the institution’s international focus. The Institute shield displays the uniquely California Mission architecture of the Segal Building, the first building purchased by the founders of the Institute on the current campus site, as well as the founding date of 1955. The Middlebury version features, in place of the Segal Building, the Vermont campus’ iconic Old Chapel building and an outline of the Green Mountains, as well as the College’s founding date of 1800. Both shields provide a clear link to the unique history of each school while fully integrating them into the Middlebury family of schools and programs.
As we move through this transition period, many of our materials will temporarily use a version of the new logo that includes “Formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies” as a reminder, particularly for prospective students.
What isn’t changing, of course, is the mission of the Institute. The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey will continue to be an internationally focused, professional graduate school with world-class programs and research centers across multiple disciplines.
To learn more about the new identity system, please visit identity.miis.edu.
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