7 Ways Campus Stores Went Above and Beyond to Support Students in 2023

December 19, 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, we’re excited to shine a spotlight on the remarkable accomplishments of our partner campuses and the inventive ways they’ve enriched the collegiate experience this year. From fostering community engagement to enhancing wellness, explore how our partner campuses have supported and delighted students, faculty, and staff–both on and off campus.

Campus Celebrations and Milestones

Celebrating Two Centuries of Academic Excellence

This year, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) celebrated its bicentennial with a series of events that brought the entire campus community together. As a part of these celebrations, we helped RPI launch custom apparel with a new logo that celebrates 200 years of academic excellence. This merchandise quickly became a campus sensation, eagerly adopted by administrators, faculty, and sports teams. With so much interest, Follett On Demand was able to provide over 2,500 t-shirts and a range of items, such as commemorative blankets with the bicentennial logo, in a matter of days. This merchandise celebrated the milestone while fostering a stronger sense of community pride across RPI. 

Conversations that Shape the Future

Recently, Northern Arizona University hosted US Vice President Kamala Harris during her college tour!

Follett was proud to play a small part in this event by delivering a custom rug (pictured below!) to welcome her to the campus. Critical dialogue and active student participation are continually encouraged and celebrated at NAU, and this rug serves as a reflection of those values on the stage of many events to come.

Expanded Campus Store Assortments

Enhancing Student Wellness

Elevate U section in a campus storeRecently, Follett launched Elevate U, a wellness collection designed with student well-being at its core. This collection features a curated selection of products, ranging from resources to support mental health, like journals and stress-relief items, to physical wellness products like Dr. Teal’s® bath products and Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, each carefully chosen to promote a balanced lifestyle. By providing access to products that promote self-care and mindfulness, Elevate U shines a spotlight on mental and physical health as crucial components of academic success.  

Encouraging On-Campus Creativity 

Ravi Shankar, a graduate student at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, is the winner of the student-designed t-shirt contest at IUPUI. The photo was taken at the Campus Center on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (Photo by Liz Kaye/Indiana University)Indiana University’s annual T-shirt design contest is a testament to student creativity and engagement. This year, the contest garnered a wide variety of unique designs from students, each reflecting different stories and aspects of campus life. The winning designs, chosen for their originality and connection to IU’s heritage and spirit, are featured in the campus stores. These shirts are a great way to showcase IU’s shared identity and school pride within the broader community. 


Helping Students Feel Connected Wherever They Are

Removing Barriers to Success 

Cypress College - graduate holding pennantEquitable Access (EA) programs continue to gain popularity on campuses nationwide as higher education leaders seek to improve college affordability and remove barriers that negatively impact affordability, persistence, and retention. 

This fall, Cypress College was one of dozens of schools in the Follett family to launch their first Equitable Access program, Charger Book Pass, for the entire student body. The Cypress All Access Passport program includes a $100 flat fee for all books and materials, as well as a food voucher and bus pass, integrating textbook affordability into a campus-wide student program. The program is designed to remove barriers to education, and it is working. As of August 2023, Cypress College’s enrollment is up 7%.

Campus leaders worked with librarians and faculty to build a program that would best support Cypress students, 70% of which are first-generation college students.  Learn more about how Cypress College implemented their Equitable Access program on our podcast!

Welcoming New Students 

Bundle graphic shows the classic NYU Violet with some of the available merchandise featured. It reads "Congratulations on your acceptance!"New York University helped new students show off their school spirit and celebrate in person and on social media with their admitted student bundles.

These bundles, featuring NYU-branded items like laundry bags, water bottles, and blankets, were more than just practical gifts; they helped create an immediate sense of connection between students and their new campus community, fostering a deep sense of belonging from their very first day. 

Setting Nursing Students Up for Success 

By transitioning to an online custom order system, NYU also addressed the unique needs of its nursing community, providing high-quality, well-fitting Cherokee scrubs that were both comfortable and professional. This move not only enhanced the quality and accessibility of the scrubs but also streamlined the inventory process, significantly improving the shopping experience for students and ensuring that they could easily obtain the right fit and quantity as needed both in-store and online. We recently got a chance to talk with leaders at NYU about this program on our podcast, which you can listen to here.

Promoting Campus Culture Through Music 

The Hampton University Jazz Festival is a tradition that boosts community pride and strengthens ties between the university and the city of Hampton, VA. This festival went beyond music, serving as a cultural hub and uniting students, faculty, and the local community in their appreciation of jazz. Follett On Demand was proud to support this event by developing a visual theme for the festival and creating themed merchandise like t-shirts to celebrate the community’s shared passion for jazz. Check out this video to see how these t-shirts were made!

As we reflect on the stories of innovation, collaboration, and unwavering commitment to student success in 2023, we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in 2024. These achievements demonstrate that campus stores play a vital role in fostering a sense of belonging, celebrating milestones, and empowering students on their academic journey. We look forward to continuing this journey with our partner campuses and being part of more innovative initiatives in the coming year. 

If you’d like to hear more ways to support the whole student, check out our on-demand webinar!