National campaign celebrates Quinnipiac’s stories

By Brian Koonz, MS '20 February 14, 2022

Ambar Pagan and Boomer the mascot celebrate in front of an Ambition Unleashed poster

For nearly a century, Quinnipiac University has changed lives and brought students together to grow as enlightened graduates, citizens and leaders. Together, they’ve drafted a legacy of success, passion and innovation that continues to this day.

A new national brand campaign, Ambition Unleashed, uses these transformative stories as its centerpiece and highlights Quinnipiac’s stature as a national, comprehensive university dedicated to making a difference in the world and fostering an inclusive, excellence-driven community.

“The whole idea behind launching this campaign is to tell our story through the eyes of the people who know it best,” said Daryl Richard, vice president of marketing and communications. “Everywhere you look, someone else is making a difference. That’s an important aspect of who we are as a university. The storytelling helps us illustrate our vibrant community and bring it to life.”

From Ambar Pagan ’22, who amplifies the voices of underrepresented people and hopes to pursue a career in public service and foreign policy, to Jack Ebert ’21, MBA ’22, who started his own business during the COVID-19 pandemic as a student and now employs 19 people, Quinnipiac is changing the conversation.

And changing the status quo.

Quinnipiac launched the Ambition Unleashed campaign on Jan. 28 with kickoff events on both the Mount Carmel and North Haven campuses. To celebrate the historic occasion, the university distributed premium T-shirts, water bottles, drawstring bags, socks, lanyards and other merchandise.

Thousands of students, faculty and staff gathered to learn more and pick out their favorite gear. Best of all, they came together to share their own stories of success, enduring friendships and lifelong memories.

James Ryan ’02, associate vice president of marketing and communications, saw it for himself on launch day.

“That’s when the campaign becomes really powerful,” Ryan said. “It’s not just the stories of our amazing students. It’s also the stories of our faculty and the incredible work they do in the classroom and beyond. It’s the stories of our dedicated staff members who help push this university forward. That’s what drives this campaign. It’s all of us coming together.”

Quinnipiac’s origin story, which began as the Connecticut College of Commerce in 1929, and later, the Junior College of Commerce, is a timeless narrative of ambition. Eleven students contributed $100 each as seed money to start a new school in New Haven that became Quinnipiac University, an institution with world-class facilities and world-class opportunities spread across three campuses in Hamden and North Haven.

“Our origin story is seamlessly thread through who we’ve always been,” Ryan said. “As we approach our 100-year anniversary, what was true of us back then is true of us now. We have that same passion, spirit and determination.”

The Ambition Unleashed brand campaign, which was more than a year in the making, reflects that DNA in its messaging. The Office of Marketing and Communications carefully considered the perspectives of more than 1,800 individuals through 1-on-1 interviews, focus groups and surveys.

Quinnipiac reached out to constituencies including incoming first-year students, parents of incoming students and high school seniors, undergraduates, graduate students, law and medical students, online students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Time and again, Quinnipiac scored high marks on community and career-readiness.

“One of the strongest brand attributes we have is our value proposition to prospective students and their families,” Richard said. “Our career preparation and our long-term career success for students after they graduate is unmatched.”

For three straight years,, a leading career website, has ranked Quinnipiac as the No. 1 school in the country for job placement 10 years after graduation.

Here’s why: Within six months of graduation, 97.4% of QU alumni are either employed or enrolled in advanced education programs. The fast entry into the workforce is a game-changer.

“The validation also comes from the hands-on experience and the experiential learning our students get from day one at Quinnipiac,” Richard said, noting that 73% of seniors have completed internships during their college careers. “It all comes down to why this is such a special place. There’s nowhere else like it.”

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