Nearly 1,400 first-year College students fanned out across the City of Rochester on Monday for the 31st annual Wilson Day.
They visited 87 sites—daycare centers, museums, churches, schools, senior centers, and more—and performed tasks such as pulling weeds, painting, and organizing classrooms.
The day of community service is a rite of autumn for Rochester first-year students, and part of their orientation. On Monday, they were joined by University president Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, who addressed them at the Goergen Athletic Center before visiting the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, the Cameron Community Ministries, and the Southeast Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center.
Mangelsdorf urged “the importance of engaging with the Rochester community” as part of each student’s college experience and as part of the University’s mission.
“Wilson Day has benefited our community in many ways,” she said. “It has enriched the lives of countless University students, and it has served as a touchstone for the University’s engagement with the surrounding community, setting the stage for future growth and institutional transformation.”
Wilson Day is named in honor of Joseph Wilson ’31, a former chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, the founder of the Xerox Corp., and a noted philanthropist who gave generously to community organizations throughout the Greater Rochester region, including more than $40 million to the University.
Also Monday, about 130 first-year students at the Eastman School of Music visited eight sites around Rochester for the 10th annual George Eastman Day of Service, named after the school’s founder and University benefactor.
University of Rochester photos / J. Adam Fenster