The Women’s Center at UMBC turns 25 this year! We’re excited to share our important milestone with UMBC’s 50th Anniversary and will be celebrating throughout the year with the rest of campus! We were inspired by Special Collections archival project Archives Gold: 50 Objects for UMBC’s 50th and decided to do our own digging into the Women’s Center archives. Over the course of the year, we’ll be sharing 25 “Then vs Now” archives to celebrate the origin and evolution of the Women’s Center at UMBC.
This week we’re featuring the evolution of the Women’s Center logo.
While it isn’t certain if the image on one of our earliest brochures served as the actual logo for the Women’s Center, the image can be found from time to time on flyers and other promotional materials throughout the 1990s.
This image was later replaced by what we refer to today as the “hands logo.” The hands logo was inspired a 1999-2000 Undergraduate Research Project by UMBC seniors Joy McLure and Nidhi Adya and advised by Dr. Tim Nohe called “Different Thread Interwoven Together.” We’ll be sharing more about the creation of this mural in another blog post to come soon.
While we loved the logo’s connection to the mural that is a signature piece in the Women’s Center lounge, we also heard feedback for change from many community members. Some thought the hands resembled finger painting and could limit people’s perception of the Women’s Center as a childcare center. Other’s expressed concern that the hands were a bit “grabby.” And, as discussed in the previous then vs. now post, the growth of the Women’s Center positioned us to be ready for a new logo that better captured the spirit of the work we do. Over the fall 2013 semester, the Women’s Center Advisory Board members and student staff worked with Creative Services to design our new logo. We looked at many other women’s center logos and were determined to not create another dancing lady logo. Through brainstorming, we happened upon the image of a tree which through draft after draft became a version of the Wye Oak tree (Maryland’s state tree), one of which found home on our own campus.
We introduced our new logo to the UMBC community in January of 2014. It reflects our ongoing growth and evolution as a women’s center which is grounded in our steady core values and reliable strengths so many UMBC community members have come to know and love. And, much like the great Wye Oak beckons, all are welcome in our space as long as they respect each other – their stories, their experiences, their potential.
You can read the full (short) story of our logo here.
What are the memories you have of the Women’s Center over the years that are meaningful to you? What does the Women’s Center mean to you today? Share your memories and pictures with us in the comment section below!
Stay up-to-date with our 25th anniversary on social media using #UMBCWC25. Share your Women’s Center experiences and memories with the UMBC community using #UMBCWC25 AND #UMBC50!
Don’t forget to join us for our 25th Birthday Party on Tuesday, September 13th from 4-6pm. Click here for details.