An advertisement from Lenoir Rhyne University featured in Our State magazine in 2015 attempts to showcase the school to entice potential students to the University. While the advertisement strives to present a positive light on the school, one might argue the opposite effect is achieved, as several factors indicate that Lenoir Rhyne prioritizes appearance over academics. By analyzing the main heading of the advertisement, the paragraph beneath it, and the students featured, one might also come to recognize the true ostentatiousness of Lenoir Rhyne’s advertisement.
Lenoir Rhyne begins their pretentious advertisement with a title that reads “with sophistication, style, and southern charm, LRU welcomes you” (1). While first impressions of this heading may be positive due to the welcoming atmosphere, upon analyzation of “sophistication, style, and southern charm”, individuals may come to think otherwise. In order to analyze this advertisement, we must recognize that Lenoir Rhyne university is, in fact, a school where students come to learn and strive to get a higher education. However, the phrase “sophistication, style, and southern charm” seems to lack elements that define an educational institution. Rather, one might associate this phrase with the inner workings of a fashion show or some other establishment that takes pride in showcasing their luxury apparel. This may inform the viewer that Lenoir Rhyne is more concerned about outward looks and elegance rather than developing the intellect of its students. By simply analyzing Lenoir Rhyne’s title of the advertisement, it becomes apparent that Lenoir Rhyne prioritizes fashion over the more important pursuit of knowledge that colleges should exhibit.
Moreover, Lenoir Rhyne continues their attempt at enticing the viewer with the body paragraph of the advertisement found below the heading. It reads “Donned in suits, skirts, and seersucker, students at Lenoir Rhyne University bring a sense of style as polished as our programs of study. Our campus welcomes students to a close-knit community of people where leaders of tomorrow have emerged for over a century. Higher education has never been so dapper” (1). Here, Lenoir Rhyne seems to merge the idea of fashion and style with education for its students. However, this stylistic approach clashes with the southern charm mentioned in the header. Generally, when one thinks of southern charm, words such as hospitality, sweet, and warm come to mind. Contrastingly, none of these elements are reflected in the body paragraph as words like “donned” give the impression students at Lenoir Rhyne are very serious about their “seersucker” appearances just as a knight becomes serious when he dons his armor in preparation for battle. This may inform viewers that they must conform to this serious, close-knit community because Lenoir Rhyne only welcomes students that are serious about their uniform and pompous appearance.
As the highlight of the advertisement, viewers are treated to a scene of some students at Lenoir Rhyne University. Upon first glance, the blue dress shirt of the young man seen sitting at the base of the bear statue and the same blue color of the shorts of the young man next to him immediately catches the eye of viewers. Any nice stroll out in public will inform an individual that this vibrant light blue is rather uncommon among the clothes of the everyday populace. Let alone a college populace. The purple bow tie on the young man with the blue dress shirt and the formal clothing of the other students featured bolsters this statement, which leads viewers to believe that the students displayed are preparing for a nice party or just came back from a venue of formal attire. However, based on the heading and information given in the body paragraph, it is apparent that these students dress in this fashion simply for daytime classes at the university and may even dress like this every day. This mirrors the claim that “higher education has never been so dapper” at Lenoir Rhyne and may indicate only well-dressed people with money that can afford these kinds of expensive clothing will be welcomed at the University. Additionally, a theme of blue clothing is discernable by looking at each student featured. This highlights a sense of conformity at Lenoir Rhyne and illustrates that students should strive to fit into the bombastic atmosphere. In exhibiting this conformity, potential students at Lenoir Rhyne may be discouraged from being themselves, which is certainly not a favorable characteristic for a University.
As seen through the heading, body paragraph, and the photograph of the students featured in the Lenoir Rhyne advertisement, it is apparent that Lenoir Rhyne may value the appearance of the students and the school over the academic prowess that a University should strive to foster for its constituents. In the wake of the recent college admissions scandal where many wealthy parents unlawfully bought their children’s way into prestigious universities, it is concerning that colleges like Lenoir Rhyne are advertising for qualities such as elegance, conformity, and wealth rather than merit, intelligence, and good character.
Lenoir-Rhyne U. Advertisement. Our State, Aug. 2015, p. 1.