Rochester Center for Community Leadership

Connect with Community

Wilson Day

Celebrated each fall for more than 25 years, Wilson Day is an annual day of community service for new and incoming University of Rochester students. Students are placed at nearly 100 agencies throughout the city of Rochester to complete a variety of service projects including washing chalkboards, painting houses, landscaping, and playing bingo in nursing homes.

A proud tradition with Rochester faculty, staff, and students, Wilson Day as integral part of Freshman Orientation, introducing incoming students to their new city and helping them to form connections with local community members.

Wilson Day 2016

This year Wilson Day will take place on Monday, August 29th. After a short opening ceremony, over 1,300 students will volunteer in the Rochester community with over 70 partnering organizations. After service concludes at 5:00pm, students will spend time reflecting on their experiences and discussing ways to stay involved in their new community with upperclassmen leaders dedicated to community engagement.

Enrolling at the University of Rochester means becoming a resident of the unique and vibrant city of Rochester. As new members of the Rochester community, the Class of 2020 will have the chance to take part in the city’s avid art and music scene, discover Rochester’s captivating history, enjoy the delicious cuisine of the 585, and even participate in the civic life of the community. This year’s theme, Plug into Rochester, Connect to your Community, emphasizes the importance of new UR students becoming active, connected members of the broader Rochester community. There are many ways to get plugged into the city and connect to the community, from attending one of Rochester’s many festivals to shopping at local business to simply taking a stroll in Genesee Valley Park. It is our hope that each of our new students comes out of orientation week knowing that Wilson Day is just the beginning.  

Connecting to the Local Community

Wilson Day is an opportunity for new students to get off campus and go to an agency in the community. Students establish a personal connection to the place they serve, and sites are chosen specifically so that volunteers have the opportunity to return to that agency throughout the year. Students are able to continue their relationship with the agency even after Wilson Day, helping to establish a closer bond between students and the city of Rochester.

Why We Serve

Participating in community service benefits and enriches the agencies that are helped as well as the lives of those doing the service. As the only college within Rochester’s city limits, we strive to be responsible, respectful, and engaged members of our community. Through Wilson Day, the University of Rochester hopes to instill an appreciation of Rochester and a dedication to service into all of its students.