Print This Issue

Penn: Tied for ‘Best Neighbor’ University in Nation
October 20, 2009, Volume 56, No. 08



The University of Pennsylvania has earned top honors as a “Best Neighbor” university in the national Saviors of Our Cities: Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships. Penn and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, tied for the No. 1 spot.

The list’s 25 academic institutions were selected because of their positive impact on their urban communities, including both commercial and residential activities such as revitalization, cultural renewal, economics, and community service and development. 

Penn’s recognition stemmed largely from the work in the West Philadelphia community of the University’s Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

Dr. Evan Dobelle, president of Westfield State College in Massachusetts and author of the research, announced the results at the 15th annual conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities which met in Philadelphia last week. Dr. Dobelle published his first Saviors of Our Cities Survey in 2006.

The Netter Center, Dr. Dobelle said, “conducts a project through which its university-assisted school model has been replicated on a national level. These efforts, combined with an exemplary service learning curriculum and a historic, extensive and neighborhood friendly campus expansion program places Penn at the top of this list.”

“I could not be more pleased with this extraordinary recognition of Penn and our community partners,” Netter Center Director Ira Harkavy said. “This honor is testimony to the deep, sustained and mutually beneficial relationship we have developed and advanced together.”

Dr. Dobelle called Dr. Harkavy “the nation’s foremost expert in higher education community engagement.”

Additional information about the “Best Neighbor” list is available at www.wsc.ma.edu/Announcements/Top_25_Saviors.html.


Almanac - October 20, 2009, Volume 56, No. 08