An urban university
Boston University has deep roots in the city of Boston. Since our founding, this institution and many of its staff, students, faculty, and alumni have given their time and passion to local causes they believe in. We have been enriched, in return, by the connections we have formed with local people and communities.
A symbiotic relationship with the city
We are committed to engaging the world—starting with our own urban backyard. Boston offers a wealth of learning opportunities, and CAS students and faculty have never hesitated to grab them and run. Our own curriculum contains an astounding array of CAS courses, programs, and independent initiatives designed to enhance this commitment.
Why is engagement so important? Because Boston is a great laboratory for learning. We have woven engagement with the city right into our curriculum. Our students study the urban environment and issues related to air and water quality. Both the American & New England Studies Program and the History Department incorporate study of Boston history into their curricula. The Writing Program integrates first-class Boston arts experiences into the “Arts Now” sections of its first-year course. And BU’s new Initiative on Cities, led by Political Science Chair Graham Wilson, is bringing leaders from around the world to find better ways to tackle the most pressing challenges facing urban centers.
We also give back to the city, in part through our research, service, and outreach. Hundreds of BU undergraduates begin their college experience with FYSOP, the First-Year Student Outreach Project, in which they give a week’s service to the city where they are about to undertake their college education.
Limitless opportunities to shape the world around you
Your opportunities for strengthening the linkages between CAS and Boston are limitless. What are your interests, and how do they overlap with our ongoing work?
In recent years, donors have supported such community-centered programs as the Sustainable Neighborhood Lab at BU, which brings together partners from the community to work on improving sustainability, resilience, and quality of life in the urban environment. And Arts Now, part of our first-year Writing Program, integrates local arts experiences into the writing seminars.
There are many other possibilities. Consider providing support for faculty who want to include Boston opportunities in their students’ learning experiences, or support for students who choose to do research on topics that will benefit Boston, its people, and its environment. You can help us expand students’ access to Boston’s worlds of art and science, or support student efforts to give back through community service internships and volunteer work. You can invest in CAS programs and facilities that are resources for the people of Boston—Boston Playwrights' Theatre, the Coit Observatory, and partnerships or fellowships that encourage our graduates to invest their careers in Boston after graduation.Make Your Impact