Wilson Days of Engagement

Wilson Day has been a cherished tradition at the University of Rochester for over 30 years. The purpose of the program is to increase students’ awareness and knowledge of the local community and to introduce  community engagement as an important part of the undergraduate experience at Rochester. 


Incoming first-year, transfer, and exchange students are encouraged to participate in this Rochester Tradition during Welcome Week. Participating in Wilson Days of Engagement allows you to:

  • Get to know the Rochester community through meaningful and personal interactions
  • Learn about Rochester's strengths and challenges, and make connections to the city's rich history 
  • Meet new friends and bond over a shared interest in connecting with the Rochester community
  • Discover the value of community engagement as part of your undergraduate experience


Students who participate during Welcome Week, will visit various partner organizations to carry out projects such as helping teachers prepare for the start of school, working in community gardens, and applying fresh coats of paint at a nonprofit center. This year the program will take place on Friday, August 25, starting with a kickoff on campus at 12:30 p.m. and continuing as groups of new students and upperclass student leaders are transported by bus into the local community. 



Following Welcome Week, Wilson Days of Engagement continues throughout the academic year with additional community-based activities as well as workshops focused on Rochester and community engagement. This format affords students multiple in-person and online opportunities to connect with and learn about the Rochester community, in ways that align with their interests. 

Wilson Days of Engagement commemorate the legacy of service of Joseph C. Wilson (1909-1971), the founder and CEO of Xerox Corporation. Mr. Wilson was a graduate of the University of Rochester and later became chair of its board of trustees. Through his formal leadership roles and beyond them, Wilson exemplified community leadership in developing the University and addressing pressing community needs.