I researched this topic for my Marketing Experience and Economy class, and wanted to expand upon my findings. I never thought of a university marketing toward aesthetics. This is the story of my experiences with the Cathedral of Learning.
The Cathedral of Learning is essentially the face of the University of Pittsburgh. It is a symbol of the school’s pride and high academic status. The Cathedral can virtually be seen from miles away; it is not only the representing symbol of the school, but a historic landmark of the university and of Pittsburgh. When I walks into the Cathedral, I feel engulfed in the building. The high-vaulted ceilings, dimly lit gothic chandeliers, and gray stone architecture give off a majestic and medieval feel. Students fill the dark wooden chairs and desks studying and adding to the experience of the Cathedral. I had a friend visit this past semester who was from Arizona. She had just graduated with an undergraduate degree, and had no intentions of attending graduate school for another few years. I took her on a tour of the Pitt campus, and she immediately pointed out the Cathedral from seven blocks away. When we got closer she actually started crying because she was so amazed, and she said, “I just forgot how much I love academia.” Despite not wanting to start graduate school yet, my friend applied to Pitt and she’ll be a graduate student here this fall. Yes, she I a nerd, but she is not the only one to experience that overwhelming feeling of academic prestige at the University of Pittsburgh. I also felt a sense that the university was of higher-quality when I came for my first campus visit. I felt like I belonged here and knew right then that I wanted and needed to be here for my four years of college.
The whole university is set up so differently than the normal college campus usually is. It does more than make you feel just like any other college student. It still gives off the college feel while being in the middle of a city. The university does have some ordinary university buildings, but the really magnificent and grandeur-looking buildings like the Cathedral, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, the William Pitt Union, Alumni Hall, Heinz Chapel, and Hillman Library give a historical and classical impression. There are many other structures like the old and rustic-looking marry-go-round and the perfectly green lawn of Schenley Plaza that make for a playful and relaxing environment. In the spring and summer months, people are sitting on the lawn eating, playing sports, sunbathing, and studying add to the laid-back atmosphere. The beautiful flowers and plants that are planted around the Cathedral and other buildings are just the finishing touch of a well-kept appearance of the university. This expresses to the consumer that the university works hard to maintain the up-keeping of their campus.
The students of the University of Pittsburgh add to the overall experience of the university as well. When I walk around campus, I see countless University of Pittsburgh apparel. The student’s school spirit and pride are emulated in their attire and make them walking advertisements for the school. The sold-out attendance, high morale, and energy from the student section at Pitt sporting events create an atmosphere that excites the onlooker. These fun and thrilling experiences promote the school to the public and show that Pitt is a college that will never cease to entertain.