The Lowell Bennion Community Service Center was dedicated in 1987 by Chase Peterson, President of the University of Utah. He stated, “No university can rest merely with the transmission of old or the generation of new knowledge. It must also help students reach out to larger opportunities and responsibilities. That is what the Bennion Center is all about.”
Students have been doing just that – directing projects designed to address an identified community need, usually in partnership with an existing public or private agency. Projects that served elderly people, youth, and special populations were among the first programs offered, and still provide the bulk of our volunteer opportunities.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT THE U
Since it’s founding in 1850, the University of Utah has been home to people committed to community. This passion for shared knowledge, improved well-being and expanding research drives faculty, students, and staff to imagine new possibilities within the context of community. It is a collaboration that results in transformation.
That is why community engagement is a core component of the University of Utah’s strategic plan. Engaging with communities to improve health and quality of life helps meet critical needs of the individual, the institution, and the populace at large.
Today the U builds on its commitment to community engagement by discovering, developing, and expanding best practices in teaching and learning, research, scholarship, and service. “We have an obligation to our students, our state, our nation to be a higher education innovator – leading the way in developing creative strategies that deliver value and ensure exceptional experiences in higher education. The U’s value comes not only in our commitment to our students and patients, but from our commitment to innovation and discovery.” Ruth V. Watkins, Former President, University of Utah.