University of Rochester

EVENT: University of Rochester Celebrates 25th Annual Wilson Day

August 27, 2013

Service Day Introduces Rochester Freshmen to Community and Area Nonprofits

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Wilson Day, more than 1,300 University of Rochester freshmen will explore the Rochester community as they volunteer at 92 sites, including several of Rochester's nonprofit organizations, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Wilson Day is day of service for Rochester freshmen, who venture out into the Rochester community to complete various volunteer tasks as a part of their weeklong orientation program. The day of service is aimed at creating connections among newly arrived students while introducing them to the Rochester community and the volunteer opportunities the city has to offer. When students return to campus, there will be a community service fair from 3-4 p.m. to connect them with student groups involved in these types of opportunities year round.

"Wilson Day has become a University tradition for over a generation now, providing opportunities for our new students to begin lasting relationships with one another and with our community," said Glenn Cerosaletti, director of Rochester Center for Community Leadership. "We believe that these relationships contribute significantly to their undergraduate education, and we hope that service and leadership become lifelong habits."

To highlight the event's 25th anniversary, the University of Rochester will partner with the City of Rochester to introduce students to the Rochester community with a series of mini Clean Sweeps. Similar to the City's annual Clean Sweep initiative, representatives from the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, Monroe Avenue Merchants' Association, and the South East Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center will lead students along South Clinton and Monroe Avenue to pick up trash, weed, lay down mulch, and clean garden areas.

Around 200 Wilson Day volunteers will also make their way to Mount Hope Cemetery, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. Volunteers will spruce up the historic cemetery, founded in October 1838, by raking, weeding, and painting.

"The City of Rochester is excited to partner with the University of Rochester for Wilson Day, running now for 25 years, and we're thrilled to welcome the freshman class to their new community," said Mayor Thomas Richards. "Wilson Day is a wonderful opportunity for students to get to know Rochester, and for we're thankful for the enthusiasm of the students and staff who are volunteering their time for this effort."

Carolyn Magri '14, who served as coordinator for this year's Wilson Day through Rochester's Urban Fellows Program, said that the experience opened her eyes to how much of Rochester she has never explored. "Wilson Day reaches more sites than ever before, and that's because I wanted participants to appreciate the vast scope of life that Rochester offers and learn how they might become a part of that," said Magri.

In addition to Wilson Day festivities, a special exhibit on Joseph C. Wilson and the history of Wilson Day will honor the event's 25th anniversary. The exhibit, which will be located in the main lobby of Rush Rhees library from Aug. 29 through the end of Meliora Weekend in October, is open to the public.

Wilson Day Selected Locations for Media:

Mount Hope Cemetery (1133 Mt. Hope Ave.)
Around 200 volunteers will spruce up the historic cemetery by raking, weeding, and painting.

Charles Settlement House (71 Parkway St.)
Student volunteers will serve meals, play games, and interact with senior citizens at a carnival day at Charles Settlement House.

Mary's Place Outreach (414 Lexington Ave.)
Students will help supervise and run a field day for children in the summer tutoring program. In addition to assisting teachers and helping clean areas of Mary's Place, students will participate in a wide variety of children's games.

Monroe Ave. Merchants Association (Monroe Ave. between Alexander and Highland)
One of three mini Clean Sweeps, a new initiative of the University and the City of Rochester, in which students will clean trash and garden along Rochester streets.

RCSD Helen Barrett Montgomery School No. 50 (301 Seneca Ave.)
Students will participate in the school's Opening Day Celebration by setting up classrooms, stocking library shelves, creating displays, and gardening.

Rochester Parkour (121 Lincoln Ave.)
Students will engage in an hour-long introductory parkour workshop with Rochester Parkour, a local fitness facility founded in 2007, and then assist with building new gym equipment and updating and cleaning their facilities.

Inquiries about Wilson Day on the River Campus may be directed to Caitlin Mack at 802.999.5191 or