A Sampling of our Community-University Connection
- About 45% of the Wesleyan faculty, administration and staff participated in the 2011-2012 Middlesex United Way Campaign and contributed more than $125,000 to meet local community needs. This effort places Wesleyan as one of top three contributors in Middlesex County and among the top 4% of colleges and universities nationwide. We have been invovled with this community initiative since its inception 76 years ago.
- The Center for the Arts (CFA), over the past dozen years, has increased community attendance for its programming by over 60%, and the CFA continues to offer high caliber events and exhibitions for the region.
- Since 2005, the Green Street Arts Center has served as an anchor for the north-end of Middletown. With the City of Middletown and the North End Action Team as partners, Green Street has established itself as a vibrant community arts center offering classes and workshops for children and adults in music, visual arts, dance, theater, literary and media arts.
- Broad Street Books, the Wesleyan Bookstore and Café, continues the tradition of being a community bookstore. The renovated space is bright and welcoming. Red and Black Café offers great coffee and delectable for Middletown and Wesleyan folks to enjoy.
- Wesleyan students are active volunteers, especially in the local schools. On average, they provide over 30,000 hours of community service each year. Over 50% of Wesleyan students are involved with community service activities during their four-years on campus.
- The OCS has a number of student-run programs in a variety of areas, including, ASHA (AIDS & Sexual Health AwarenessJ); Community Health Center; Elderly Services; Green Street Arts Center; Housing and Hunger Issues; Indivdiual Tutoring Program; North End Mentors; Special Events; Traverse Square; WesPrep; WesReads and WesMath; and Woodrow Wilson Edcuation Progarm.
- The facilities at Wesleyan's Freeman Athletic Center (FAC) are made available regularly to local schools. Public and parochial high school track teams use the track at the Bacon Field House for practices and meets. In addition, Project Graduation of Middletown High, Xavier, and Mercy are alos held at the FAC. Moreover, Wesleyan hosts the annual Middletown-Xavier Thanksgiving Football Game that brings over 3000 people to Andrus Field each November. The FAC also has limited hours for open swim and open skate. All of the athletic events are also open to the community; folks are encouraged to visit and cheer on the Cardinals. During the summer months, a number of summer camps, such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball, are held on campus and are run by independent contractors.
- Each fall and spring, volunteer docents provide tours of exhibitions at the Davison Art Center, the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, and other Wesleyan arts venues to about 500 fourth grade students in the Middletown Public Schools.
- Wesleyan University is a sponsor at the annual Freedom Fund Dinner of the local NAACP chapter. It also supports the efforts of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Committee every year.
- The Inn at Middletown, a 100-room hotel and conference center that opened its door in October 2003, serves as the "official hotel" for Wesleyan University. As an anchor for the south-end of Middletown, the Inn at Middletown is a welcoming place for business people and Wesleyan parents alike.
- In collaboration with District 13 (Durham, Middlefield, and Rockfall) and Cromwell, Wesleyan University, through the Offices of Human Resources and Community Relations, supports the Middlesex Transition Academy, which places eight high school students with disabilities in a job-training program on campus. They have worked with athletics, food services, landscaping, and bookstore since Spring 2003.
- For over forty-five years, Community and University Services for Education (CAUSE) has facilitated cooperative programs between Wesleyan University and local area schools, and thousands of students have benefited. The High School Humanities is one such valued program. Each year, 100 or so students from local public (Middletown High School, Vinal Technical High School, Haddam-Killingworth High School, and Portland High School) and parochial schools (Mercy and Xavier) participate in lectures, films, and discussion – led by Wesleyan's most esteemed faculty on a variety of liberal arts subjects.
- The Art Show is another program supported by CAUSE. For more than 28 years, this event showcases the artistic talents of local public school children (K-12) with more than 1,200 pieces of artworks at the Zilkha Gallery.
- Working with the Middletown Public Schools, and under the leadership of the Center for the Arts and the Middletown Cultural Council, the Silent Sound project encourages literary competition of public school students from Grade 6th to 12th. This project has been ongoing since 2001.
- Wesleyan employees are active volunteers with the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. They serve as board members, committee members and volunteers in a number of their functions, including the Business/Education Advisory Council, Creative Juice, Health Care Council, Holiday on Main Street, and the business after-work auction.
When the Class of '98 entered Wesleyan over a decade ago, service-learning did not exist at Wesleyan. Thanks to a few members of the Class of '98 and a few faculty members, the concept of service-learning was turned into reality. It began with one course, Sociology 316: Community Research Seminar, taught by Professor Rob Rosenthal. Now, this course has established roots. Over 50 research projects have been completed with findings that benefit the local communities. In addition, it has given rise to the creation of many other service-learning courses across the disciplines. Hundreds of Wesleyan students and dozens of faculty members have participated and benefited from this mode of community-based learning. Check out the Center for Service-Learning Web-site to learn more: www.wesleyan.edu/slc.