Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D. Gearan will join select college and university presidents and chancellors from around the globe at the 2011 Talloires Network Global Leaders Conference in Madrid, Spain, from June 14 to 16. The international conference “Building the engaged university, moving beyond the ivory tower,” will explore how to deepen the impact of community engagement in the higher education sector. The conference is a gathering of higher education leaders from 205 member institutions in 58 countries. The event will also celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Network in Talloires, France in 2005.
The founding conference gave rise to the Talloires Declaration on the Civic Roles and Social Responsibilities of Higher Education, of which Gearan was an original signatory. All signatories of the Declaration have committed their institutions to creating a framework for enlarging, supporting, and rewarding good practice in civic engagement and social responsibility. They have agreed to apply academic standards of excellence to community engagement and encourage education for active citizenship at all levels.
Also taking place at this year’s conference will be the presentation of the 2011 MacJannet Prize to recognize exceptional student civic engagement initiatives, the launch of The Engaged University: International Perspectives on Civic Engagement forum, and a reception at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain. More than 100 participants have already confirmed including.
Gearan, who headed the Peace Corps before accepting the HWS presidency in 1999, has guided and expanded the Colleges’ commitment to public service. Gearan is currently chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service and serves on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and The Partnership of Public Service. He is also a member of the Leadership Council of ServiceNation. He is the past chair of both the Annapolis Group and the National Campus Compact.