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Our History

The History of Community Engagement


The Community Partnerships Center (CPC) at Roger Williams University was founded by Arnold Robinson, the Associate Dean for Community Engagement. Roger Williams University President, the late Donald J. Farish, had wanted all community engagement classes - classes reaching out into the community to work with real businesses, organizations, and partners - to be organized by one department. He appointed Arnold Robinson as head of the department and tasked him with establishing and maintaining this department. It was originally based in a small office in the School of Architecture, as at the time the CPC only involved the School’s of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation.

Arnold Robinson - Former Associate Dean for Community Engagement (Staff Headshot - Sept. 2018)

Within a year, the CPC was a hit among the faculty on campus. With professors from the Business and Engineering schools asking for their own CPC classes, the organization had to expand its team and reach across other disciplinary fields. Within the first year, the CPC had completed 13 projects. By year three, the CPC was completing between 20 and 30 projects a semester. Three years later, the CPC relocated its base of operations to the Farmhouse with the Feinstein Center and the Study Abroad offices. The once one-man team now featured multiple full-time staff members and almost forty student workers. The CPC oversees upwards of 80 projects per school year, with that number increasing every new term.

The Farmhouse 

The Feinstein Center

coming soon!

Community Engagement

coming soon!

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