For the 13th year, freshman orientation at the University of Rochester heads off campus Friday, Aug. 31, to 75 sites in Rochester and its suburbs for the annual Wilson Day of community service. The Class of 2005, faculty members, and staff-expected to total about 1,030 volunteers-will assist local nonprofit organizations.
Through Wilson Day, the University recognizes the importance of service and uses the day's events to help freshmen bond with each other, their college, and the Rochester community. Matthew Moffa, a Take Five student with a double major in religion and physics from Ligonier, Pa., is Wilson Day coordinator.
Two weeks later in nine U.S. cities, University of Rochester alumni will spread the same spirit with Wilson Day USA in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. On Sept. 15, more than 165 graduates organized by the Alumni Relations and Development Office will fan out and work in their communities.
More than 70 percent of current Rochester undergraduates are involved in community service projects. The Community Service Network, an organization managed by students, organizes mini-Wilson Days during the year, and matches individual students and campus groups with volunteer opportunities.
Wilson Day is named for the Joseph C. Wilson family, whose members have been benefactors of the University of Rochester and the Rochester community. Once president and chairman of Xerox Corp., Wilson was an alumnus of the University and a philanthropist interested in housing, health, education, social services, and the arts.
A $4,000 grant from the city of Rochester helps to pay for materials.