President Chopp Joins Higher Education Leaders in Promoting Value of Community Partnerships

Rebecca Chopp
President Rebecca Chopp with (left) President of Syracuse University Nancy Cantor and President of Johns Hopkins University Ronald Daniels. (Mary Ferrigno)

President Rebecca Chopp recently participated in a panel discussion with university presidents on the importance of community partnerships. Chopp joined five higher education leaders who shared their insights on the significance of long-term community collaborations as part of the 20th anniversary of The Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I believe that by developing community partnerships, we can help every child realize that their basic needs are met so that they, too, can be afforded the opportunity to dream and flourish," says President Chopp. "It's amazing how much we can get done when we work together."

As part of her presentation, Chopp shared a video that highlighted Swarthmore's partnership with the Chester Children's Chorus, founded by Associate Professor of Music John Alston. Swarthmore hosts the community program and many of the College's faculty, staff, and students contribute to its activities. One of the most recent is a performance of Mozart's Requiem, which featured the Chorus and the Swarthmore College Chorus and Chamber Orchestra.

Chopp also discussed Swarthmore's participation in the Chester Higher Education Council, whose mission is to improve access to and success in post-secondary education among residents in Chester, Pa. As a member of a coalition of area colleges and universities who contribute to the Council, Swarthmore provides management oversight through the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. Swarthmore students are also very involved in tutoring participants of the program.

The event's Monday morning plenary, "Presidential Perspectives on Higher Education-Community-School Partnerships," was moderated by Wendell Pritchett, chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, and included remarks by Nancy Cantor, president and chancellor of Syracuse University; Ronald Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University; and Reverend Father Walid Moussa, president of Notre Dame University in Lebanon.