The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration recently won several major awards for excellence in the areas of marketing and communication.

“We’re proud and honored by these latest awards,” Dean of the Simon School Mark Zupan said. “Winning the trifecta, as it were, is quite a coup for the school.”

The “2004-2006 Simon Management Programs” catalog won a gold medal in the 20th Annual Admissions Advertising Awards. Their “Simon Leaders” magazine advertisement and “Simon Business,” the school’s alumni magazine, won a bronze medal.

From the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Simon School’s catalog won a silver medal, and a Web-mercial – a commercial for fundraising and development made using Flash animation – won a bronze medal.

Simon School Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Dawn McWilliams felt these were major accomplishments.

“Some of these cases, [like] the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Award, are specific to educational institutions, so we compete against not only business schools, but all types of graduate schools across the world,” she said. “We’re pleased. It’s been interesting to see how we can compete against other people in the real world.”

The Simon School also received a gold award at the Second Annual Service Industry Advertising Awards for their Web-mercial and a silver medal for its “Simon Leaders” magazine advertisement.

The Web-mercial was created in cooperation with Corporate Communications, an outside advertising company, but it was the only award-winning production that was not entirely the work of the Simon School’s Marketing and Communication Department.

Associate Director of Marketing and Communications for the Simon School Charla Kucko said that the eye-catching nature of the animation is what made it so successful.

“It’s a terrific promotional piece for the school, and to have it recognized in this category on a national level [is] really exciting,” Kucko said.

McWilliams felt that the Simon School was doing well in the area of advertising and marketing.

“What we try to do is promote the fact that marketing is an important factor of education, something that people didn’t do a lot of in the past,” she said. “Now that there’s such competition among business schools in general, it’s important for our marketing to be unique and interesting to the prospective student.”

One of the innovative things the Simon School’s marketing department has created is a tagline, “Where thinkers become leaders.”

Having a tagline is unusual for a graduate school. “We were one of the first business schools to actually put together a tagline,” McWilliams said. “A lot of products have taglines. Business schools and educational institutions did not. So we did a lot of research and came up with [our tagline.]”

Kucko felt that Zupan’s guidance contributed to the accomplishments.

“Since Dean Zupan joined the Simon School, one of his main priorities has been to promote the school on an international level,” Kucko said. “And along those lines, everything we do now is integrated. We do it together, with a strategic goal in mind of promoting the Simon School on a global level.”

Levesque can be reached at

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