Campus Compact, a national coalition committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education and of which Hobart and William Smith are members, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Action Statement of Presidents and Chancellors this spring.
Committed to the values of service, the Colleges are signatories of the Campus Compact Action Statement, which calls for the enhancement of the public purposes of higher education and stands as a pledge to develop a Campus Civic Action Plan. More than 350 presidents and chancellors from a broad cross-section of colleges and universities have signed.
“The Campus Compact Action Statement links hundreds of institutions for the common goal of strengthening and extending the public responsibilities of higher education,” says President Mark D. Gearan, past chair of the Board of Directors of National Campus Compact. “This landmark celebration is an important opportunity to renew our pledge to this cause as we reflect on our continued progress over the past three decades. As colleges and universities reaffirm our intentions on this anniversary, we are well positioned to build upon the significant community and civic engagement taking place on our campuses and to illuminate the path forward for future generations.”
More than 80 signatory presidents and chancellors will attend a special summit at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on Sunday, March 20 in Boston to celebrate the launch of the call to action. Speakers at the event include General Stanley McChrystal, chair of the Service Year Alliance; Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet; Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools; and a team of social entrepreneurs behind a college access organization called TeenSHARP. A media release about the summit is on the Campus Compact website.
“Higher Education has an important role to play in developing engaged citizens and Campus Compact is leading the charge,” says McChrystal, chair of the Service Year Alliance. “As Service Year Alliance seeks to make a service year a common opportunity and cultural expectation, we’re excited to be partnering with Campus Compact to support institutions that are interested in including service years in their Campus Civic Action Plans.”
Past HWS President’s Forum speaker Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President of the Board and Co-Founder, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, will welcome attendees to the event. The agenda is action-oriented, with sessions for presidents and chancellors to share ideas for campus-based work and to discuss coordination on national campaigns.
“Colleges and universities exist to promote public goods,” says Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “By signing the Action Statement and committing to develop Campus Civic Action Plans, these 350 presidents and chancellors are challenging their institutions to go even further in preparing students for lives of engaged citizenship, contributing to the health of communities both local and global, and sustaining our democracy in the face of the twin challenges of inequality and polarization.”
On Tuesday, March 22, Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) Katie Flowers and CCESL Adviser and Faculty Liaison Margueritte Murphy will co-present at Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary conference, “Accelerating Change: Engagement for Impact,” in Boston.
Their presentation, “Quantitative Assessment of Community Based Learning: The Community Based Learning Scorecard,” will reflect on the development of a community-based learning scorecard as an effort to promote assessment that improves student learning, with an instrument that employs a quantitative scale, potentially allowing for benchmarking across institutions.
Currently, Flowers serves as an advisory board member for New York Campus Compact. She is also a Campus Compact VISTA alum.
In addition to being signatories, the HWS community is strongly connected to Campus Compact through engagement and leadership.
In recent years, four HWS students have been named Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows, a prestigious honor awarded to student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities. They are Courtney Aquadro ’15 (2015), Peter Budmen ’15, MAT ’16 (2014), Hilary Gove ’14 (2013) and Raphael Durand ’13 (2012). The honor was established in 2011.
As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. It is comprised of almost 1,200 college and university presidents, representing some six million students.
The photo above features HWS students, faculty and staff, along with President Mark D. Gearan, after they handed out school supplies with representatives of the Geneva NAACP on Exchange Street during a recent Day of Service.