Rochester Center for Community Leadership

Connect with Community

Wilson Day

Students Spread Mulch in Henry Lomb Park

Celebrated each fall for more than 25 years, Wilson Day is an annual day of community service for new and incoming University of Rochester students. Students are placed at nearly 100 agencies throughout the city of Rochester and perform a variety of tasks including washing chalkboards, painting houses, landscaping, and playing bingo in nursing homes.

A proud tradition with Rochester faculty, staff, and students, Wilson Day serves as one of the principle community builders during Freshman Orientation and provides a safe environment to bond with one’s hall. The day strives to create connections between students, their hall communities, and the local community.

Wilson Day 2016

This year Wilson Day will take place on Monday, August 29th. After a short opening ceremony, over 1,400 students will volunteer in the Rochester community with over 70 partnering organizations. After service concludes at 5:00pm, students will spend time reflecting on their experiences and discussing ways to stay involved in their new community with members of the Community Service Network. 

Connection to the Campus Community

Wilson Day provides an opportunity for newly arrived freshmen students to spend a day with their halls, socializing and getting to know them better. Everyone in the hall participates in the same activity, providing a relaxed atmosphere for casual conversation to develop.

Connection to the Local Community

Wilson Day StudentsComing to a new place away from home can be a daunting and scary experience. Often it takes a long time to feel connected to the place you are living in.

Wilson Day is an opportunity for new students to get off campus and go to an agency in the community. Students establish a real and personal connection to the place they serve, and sites are chosen specifically so that volunteers have the opportunity to return to that agency throughout the year. Students are able to continue their relationship with the agency even after Wilson Day, helping to establish a closer bond between students and the city of Rochester.

Idea of Service

Wilson Day StudentsParticipating in community service benefits and enriches the agencies that are helped as well as the lives of those doing the service. Through Wilson Day, the University of Rochester hopes to instill an idea of service into all of its students.

Wilson Day serves to introduce students to both their new Rochester home and their campus residential community. Wilson Day shows the commitment of the University, as the only college within Rochester's city limits, to its larger role within the community.