University Campaign: Year Three Update

A top-ranked university planned to update their donors on the progress of its ambitious $1.6 billion capital campaign, celebrate the university’s successes, and share the profound impact it has on the lives of students, alumni, and the community at large.

The unique challenge was to raise the bar from the first two years and to capture and maintain attention of attendees. This audience would not be easily impressed. The first year included innovative remote-controlled horizontally moving surfaces for content. The second year involved mapping content to an iconic university landmark, their beloved bell tower.

This year would be different.


This event was designed to align with one of the university’s five main pillars of the campaign, Extraordinary Experience. In response, Creative Visions created a dynamic presentation environment that shifted every few minutes and improved the proximity of presenters with the audience to create a more intimate connection.

This was accomplished by using innovative technology that allowed for the vertical movement of projection surfaces. This created several unique stage-looks and independent presentation environments to highlight the evenings presenters and entertainment. There was constantly something new to capture and maintain audience engagement.

Creative Visions engineered six innovative 7’ 6” wide roll drops hanging from a truss high above the stage which could be raised and lowered independently. These physical barriers and projection surfaces allowed for the shaping of different environments and an always dynamic visual appeal, both of which maximized the impact of the stories told throughout the event. This design also enabled dramatic reveals and conceals of presenters and entertainment with a stage that varied in depth from eight to 30 feet.

To emotionally connect with the audience, the program wove together stories and entertainment by several student participants.

  • A former graduate and student body president served as the Master of Ceremonies for the night.
  • A recent graduate, an aspiring musician and popular YouTube artist, kicked off the night with an inspirational song.
  • A recent recipient of a prestigious scholarship gave a personal account of her journey and introduced scores of current and former scholarship winners whose lives had been impacted by the university.
  • A former student who made a multi-million-dollar contribution was honored with the naming rights for the new School of Textiles.
  • A former student body president, now successfully in the professional world, made a personal tribute to all his mother had done to help him succeed.
  • A university dance troupe and an a capella group reinforced the emotional impact of the individual stories.

To help the client visualize in advance the sophisticated choreography of the experience, Creative Visions created a mockup of the event in our design lab. This demonstrated the precise flow of the evening and visuals so the presenters, moving surfaces, and content were perfectly integrated.  This assured we had confident presenters and a thoroughly predictable event which lead to an “Extraordinary Experience”.

The university has reached 88% of its fund-raising goal. With three years remaining, our client is confident in achieving their objective.

Client perspective says it all…

“Will words ever demonstrate just how much we appreciate your professionalism, reliability and good humor? I had countless guests tell me that the event rivaled the best corporate events (they have seen.) Attendees clearly renewed their love for the school and its mission. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. Thank you for all you did to make our event an “Extraordinary Experience”. —Director of University Special Events