What is civic engagement?
Duke believes in applying knowledge in service to society, and challenges its students to learn beyond the boundaries of classrooms. Through a variety of civic engagement programs, the university provides opportunities for Duke students to work intensively for the public good while developing a richer understanding of the world's problems. With a commitment to partnership, equity and diversity, it encourages students to roll up their sleeves and serve others - both at home and around the globe.
"Civic engagement is a cornerstone of the Duke experience," says President Richard H. Brodhead. "In the context of the University, the many different programs provide a special opportunity to go forth into the world and return to Duke with new insights. This dynamic of action followed by reflection will inspire you to share your learning experience with the rest of our intellectual community, enriching our classrooms, our laboratories and our lives going forward."
Duke's commitment to civic engagement:
When James B. Duke endowed the university in 1924, he emphasized the importance of producing people of character and integrity—those who would draw upon their education not only for personal growth and advancement, but also to help address challenges facing society.
This commitment is an even more defining characteristic of a Duke education today. The university supports its students who want to learn about the challenges facing today’s world and to then apply their knowledge in service to society, working collaboratively with diverse communities near the campus and around the world.
Thousands of Duke students, employees and alumni volunteer in these and other local settings. They also are active elsewhere in the United States and internationally, through immersive service experiences such as Hart Leadership and those provided by the DukeEngage program, which ranks among the most extensive civic-engagement efforts in U.S. higher education.
The institution's extensive civic engagement activities are visible in its hometown of Durham, where the university provides support for the performing arts, affordable housing, health clinics and public schools.
The Duke Center for Civic Engagement will serve as a hub for this activity, providing leadership, synergy and curricular pathways to help students and others integrate civic engagement with their academic experience—and their lives.
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