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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

The Brand Model

To articulate a brand that reflects who we are, we first asked those who know TRU best—our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members—to tell us what they thought makes TRU distinctive, meaningful and credible. We received more than 1,000 individual responses and 6,000 separate comments in over a year of consultation.

Using the insights of this in-house research, the TRU Branding Committee, TRU Marketing and Communications and an external agency partner developed the “brand model”: a definition of our reason for being and what we promise to offer as an institution.

Our brand model provides the internal framework for us as staff and faculty to embody and shape the brand, in every way that we interact and communicate with our external audience—potential and current students, parents, alumni, donors, other community members and stakeholders. While they will identify TRU’s brand through elements like colour, font, style and tone, internally our brand model articulates who we are with our purpose, promise, essence and attributes.

Our purpose: why we exist

We are inspired by and stand up for people at large. We are all good at something, and we all have the right to enjoy fulfillment. All of us are entitled to be our best, not just the fortunate few with bigger means and higher capacities. Whether we are students, staff, faculty, alumni, board or community members, we all have potential—it just needs to be discovered. TRU is here to facilitate that journey.


We believe everyone has the right to seek their potential.

Our promise: what we uniquely offer

TRU is an open university at the intersection of diverse learning options, individual opportunity and community connection. We meet those we serve where they are, and deliver a personalized journey that empowers them to seek—and find—their unique potential, through many different pathways:

  • a breadth of exceptional programs
  • academic rigour
  • a unique mix of delivery modes
  • a hands-on approach
  • a local, national and international profile and activity
  • a whole-hearted dedication to serving students

We offer diverse pathways to living your potential.

Our essence: how we deliver on our promise

Impact, recognition, respect and support uncover potential and instill confidence along these diverse pathways. We recognize where our stakeholders are at. We respect everyone’s individual backgrounds, ambitions and journeys. We reciprocate through collective learning, sharing and progress.

Everything we do is a perpetuating cycle of discovering and instilling confidence amongst us all, where uncertainty transforms into belief in ourselves, in the institution, in faculty, staff, partners and the communities we impact. And most importantly, belief in potential.


We instill collective confidence.

Our attributes: how we will be described

The characteristics used to describe us—our values, our attitudes—as perceived by both those who know us well and those who don’t, make up our brand.

Consultations with the TRU community identified recurring themes of openness, opportunity, diversity and community/connection. Out of these themes come TRU’s brand attributes. If we consistently deliver on our promise to offer diverse pathways to living your potential, true to our purpose and with collective confidence, then we will be described by these attributes by all those we serve:


We were built on a foundation of purpose—it’s within our roots and our mandate as a university. Our environment, our programs, our delivery options, exist as part of a bigger design. One where a drive to learn, grow, and reach your potential is valued beyond anything else. Each decision we make builds on this design, ultimately providing relevant opportunities for our students and stakeholders alike.


We teach, guide and support students and stakeholders to take ownership over their future. We are hands-on, but not hand-holding. Mentoring, but not overbearing. Through experiential education, open learning, faculty-student interaction, intercultural understanding and individualized supports, we strive to give them confidence in their own unique abilities, and motivate them to expand their knowledge beyond the classroom.


To connect people with ideas, experience and progress calls for interaction on all fronts. Open and meaningful interaction between diverse students, faculty, industry, communities and our post-secondary education peers, locally and globally. Collaboration creates intersections and dialogue—between programs, people and passions—that make us stronger.


In order to be truly accessible, we must think and act beyond traditional university standards. Today’s diverse learner thrives on flexibility. From open admission, to online and distance learning options, to interdisciplinary programs and an intercultural focus, our model is built to provide it. Open minds call for open arms, welcoming students of all backgrounds, abilities and means.


As a young institution with a keen sense of our roots, we apply confidence and hard work to ambitious decision-making and innovative implementation. We are courageous, continuously exploring new methods of serving our learners, employees, partners and the community—and we take pride in being different. In becoming recognized world-wide as a new model of university.


We are purposeful, empowering, collaborative, open and visionary.

Our brand purpose, promise, essence and attributes come together to make up our brand model—the summation of the core values of the Thompson Rivers University brand:

We believe that everyone has the right to seek their potential. Therefore we deliver diverse pathways to living your potential. In everything we do, we instill collective confidence, and as a result, we are described as purposeful, empowering, collaborative, open, and visionary.

The brand launch is just the beginning of our ongoing effort to tell TRU’s stories authentically and consistently so that what we know to be TRU—purposeful, empowering, collaborative, open and visionary—is what others will say about us.

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