Springfield College Named To ‘Best Neighbor’ List In New National Report On Urban CollegesSeptember 15, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 14, 2006 – Springfield College has been named one of the 25 “best neighbor” urban colleges in the United States in a new report by Evan Dobelle, president of the New England Board of Higher Education.
The “Saviors of Our Cities” list cites colleges for having dramatically strengthened the economy and quality of life in their neighboring community by their careful strategic planning and thoughtful use of resources. Dobelle chose them as outstanding examples of community revitalization and cultural renewal, economic drivers of the local economy, advocates of community service, and urban developers, both commercially and in housing development.
In a recent interview, Dobelle said that Springfield College is a standout under all headings. “It’s a marquis school across the board,” he said. “They understand the value of where they are, they’re trying to make it a better neighborhood and a better city, and they’re spending their own dollars doing it,” he added.
Responding to the announcement, Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn said, “It is an honor to be named a ‘Savior of Our City,’ which recognizes that service to other people has been our core value for more than 100 years. We believe that by utilizing the talents of our students, faculty and staff in learning experiences that address community needs; by leveraging our resources; and by working in partnership with other stakeholders in our community; we can cooperatively improve our neighborhood as a better place in which to live, work and learn.”
Springfield College is one of only six institutions in New England to be named to this prestigious national listing.
Springfield College students serve in a variety of positions related to their academic preparation including as student teachers and interns. In addition, faculty, staff and students volunteer in wide-ranging roles; they increase the capacity of many local service organizations; and they perform other forms of community service. The college also conducts on-campus programs that have served thousands of local children and adults over the years.
The college also has played a leadership role in plans to revitalize Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood, working collaboratively with neighborhood organizations, the city, and neighborhood residents. Recently, for example, Springfield College secured a $1.5 million property acquisition fund, which will allow The Neighborhood Collaborative LLC to borrow money at below market rates for building or rehabilitating affordable housing. The Neighborhood Collaborative plans 100 new or renovated owner-occupied homes during the next five years.
“It’s nice to know all of our college’s past and present efforts in service to the community have been recognized in this way,” Flynn said.