Undergrads get unique introduction to local community on Wilson Day

University orientation headed off-campus last week when incoming freshmen extended a helping hand to the Rochester community on Wilson Day, August 29.

More than 800 members of the Class of 2001 joined staff, faculty, and area alumni assist about 50 local agencies tackle "wish list" projects, such as painting and patching, cleaning and organizing, and even playing games and coordinating activities for children.

Besides sharing a common experience, freshmen learn from Wilson Day how to take time for service and to see themselves living in an interdependent world. Theresa Guenther, a member of the Class of 1990, suggested the idea of a day-long community service event in 1989. Wilson Day is named for the Joseph C. Wilson family, whose members have been major benefactors of the University and the Rochester community.

Like Joseph Wilson, the University considers community service essential for every citizen.

"More than 70 percent of our undergraduates are involved in community service throughout the year," says Paul Burgett, vice president and dean of students. The campus Community Service Network organizes smaller-scale Wilson Days during the year, as well as helping students in search of volunteer opportunities.

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Copyright 1997, University of Rochester
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Last updated 8-29-1997