A banner reading "Where Legends are Made."

UA’s ‘Legends’ Named Top Ad Campaign in International Competition

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama won three honors in the 2019 Circle of Excellence awards sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, including the top honor worldwide for advertising campaigns in higher education.

A banner reading "Where Legends are Made."“Where Legends Are Made,” The University of Alabama’s brand positioning strategy, took the top prize, a grand gold for integrated branding in the Marketing: Advertising Campaign category, and a silver award for its print advertising, which highlights UA alumni who are legends in their fields.

“What an honor it is to compete with our peers from around the world and be judged the best of the best,” said Linda Bonnin, UA’s vice president for Strategic Communications and the creator of “Where Legends Are Made.”

“We know this storytelling platform has had a profound impact on our students, our alumni and our fans. To see it resonate with others around the nation and the world is an amazing thing, and we are so proud of this accomplishment.”

Additionally, UA’s Culverhouse College of Business’ case statement received a gold award in the Publications: Fundraising category. All three entries were produced by the University’s Division of Strategic Communications.

Introduced in 1994, the Circle of Excellence program is CASE’s largest and most popular awards program. Sue Cunningham, president and CEO of CASE, commended this year’s recipients for their bold, innovative work that epitomizes the profession’s best practices.

“These awards demonstrate our members’ success in advancing their institutions through their remarkable work,” said Cunningham. “This year’s award winners demonstrate creativity and strategy; I urge everyone to take a look—you will be inspired.”

The international competition received 2,856 entries from 611 membership institutions in 20 countries. The competition honors outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing at colleges, universities, independent schools and affiliated nonprofits.

Judges gave more than 400 awards in 100 categories, with only 26 entries achieving grand gold status. Grand gold awards are bestowed when an entry far exceeds all others in a category. Selection criteria include overall quality, innovation, use of resources, and the impact the work has had on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students, and faculty and staff.

The award-winning “Where Legends Are Made” entry and judges’ remarks can be viewed at http://bit.ly/UA2019CASE.


Deidre Stalnaker, UA director of communications, 205-348-8718, deidre.stalnaker@ua.edu