Community Engagement Center

Community Engagement Center


The University of Wisconsin‐Whitewater Community Engagement Center’s Mission, in keeping with the Wisconsin Idea manifests the general principle: that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom by promoting and coordinating services, learning opportunities, and innovation for communities that are historically underserved. Synonymous with Wisconsin for more than a century, this “Idea” has become the guiding philosophy of university outreach efforts in Wisconsin and throughout the world.

The UW‐Whitewater Community Engagement Center is a one‐of‐a‐kind place, designed to combine great ideas and organizations with the boundless energy of the UW‐Whitewater campus. Every day , in our meeting rooms, hallways, and offices, people build mutually beneficial collaborations and find creative ways to make a difference in our community.

View our Community Engagement Center Advisory Committee Charter for more information.


The Community Engagement Center (CEC) will serve as the central hub to which all faculty, staff, students, and community members should feel engaged with and supported to conduct community–engaged learning, projects, and research.

Core Principles

The Community Engagement Center builds on the university’s long history of community involvement and service by working with community partners to:

  • Support collaborative university‐community partnerships built on trust and reciprocity
  • Ensure the university is responsive to and positively impacts the surrounding community
  • Ensure that community engagement remains central to the University’s core academic mission
  • Serve as a catalyst to create new opportunities for student success

Video tour of the exterior of the Community Engagement Center


The facility has been given a visual presence from West Main Street along with a defined primary student entrance and a secondary client entrance along the south façade. Considerations were made for the needs of students, clients, and staff and focused on bike parking , outdoor seating areas and opportunities for “outdoor rooms”. The primary thrust of the South Canopy is closely connected to the idea of a river carving a path through a nature preserve, and the Bark River and Whitewater Creek Nature Area were used as an inspirational starting point. By varying the opacities of the canopy material the entrance will offer both shading from the southern sun exposure as well as privacy for the clinics ground floor while simultaneously offering opportunities for an exterior connection from within the interior of the facility. The architects have used the “river” to create outdoor seating ledges, and give shape to the canopy, much in the same way the river carves through the landscape.

“I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every family of the state.”
UW President Charles Van Hise in 1905