OUP Commemorates Ten Years of Partnerships that Assist Low-Income Communities

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Office of University Partnerships (http://www.oup.org) this week in New Orleans is marking its 10th anniversary with a series of workshops, seminars and presentations that highlights the Department's decade of success in improving low-income communities by collaborating with local colleges and universities.

"Colleges can be anchors in the communities," James Wingate, president of LeMoyne-Owen College, an OUP grantee, has said.

OUP funding today has expanded to $31 million, nearly five times what it was in 1994. Last year, OUP awarded 79 grants in six programs, nearly double the number funded in 1994.

Interest in university-community partnerships grows every year. This week's meeting is the largest ever organized, with more than 500 participants registered. Participants include college presidents and deans...faith-based and community organizations...financial managers... municipal and county governments...faculty and students...and potential partners interested in replicating other grantees' success in their communities.

With OUP assistance, colleges and universities are uniquely situated to improve their surrounding communities because they:

  • Economically impact the communities surrounding campuses. Approximately $200 million in OUP grants has been invested in colleges and universities since 1997. Hundreds of millions more have been leveraged. Local economies are growing and expanding as a result.

  • Inspire physical change in surrounding communities through housing construction, neighborhood improvements, and revitalization projects.

  • Build the capacity of local organizations to serve their communities.

  • Transform communities by transforming the colleges and universities themselves.

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