To the Campus Community:
When I was inaugurated as chancellor, I pledged that UCLA would build upon its commitment to public service. Civic engagement and community involvement are core values of our institution, and at a time when volunteer participation is viewed increasingly as a national priority, it is critical for UCLA to be a catalyst for social change and to serve as a leader, inspiring other institutions as well.
Our vision is nothing less than creating a “community of heroes”—enlightened volunteers who make a lifelong commitment to civic engagement. We want to mobilize the extended UCLA family, as well as thousands of people from the Los Angeles community, to volunteer at least once a month.
To reach this goal, I am proud to announce the creation of the UCLA Volunteer Center. With start-up funding from The UCLA Foundation, the center will be implemented primarily through online services as a cutting-edge gateway for civic engagement—for those of us on campus as well as those in the greater community.
Developed in collaboration with UCLA academic and administrative units, current campus volunteer programs and community organizations, the center will include links to thousands of volunteer projects, technology to train and motivate participants and leaders, opportunities on campus specifically for UCLA students, online courses, forums, message boards, videos and other interactive features.
I have asked Assistant Chancellor Antoinette Mongelli to take responsibility for the UCLA Volunteer Center. I am confident that Antoinette’s connections with campus programs involved in civic engagement, along with her extensive involvement in the community, make her the ideal driving force behind the project.
Although the UCLA Volunteer Center will begin formal operations this fall, work has already begun, in cooperation with many campus organizations. I want to thank all of our campus units involved in civic engagement for their participation and guidance during the creation of the center.
The center begins with two major initiatives. First, the online center will be launched on September 21. Second, with additional private support, we plan to create the largest community participation event in UCLA history. On September 22, 5,000 new Bruins will take part in a day-long event that will take them into the community to participate in volunteer projects.
The UCLA Volunteer Center will be a model for incorporating online technology and emerging communications tools into a broad civic engagement effort, serving as a powerful force for social change and increasing campus connections to Los Angeles.
I hope you will join the UCLA “community of heroes” when the new center and its programs are launched this fall. In the meantime, if you want to play a leadership role in the UCLA Volunteer Day on September 22, please e-mail Antoinette Mongelli or David Bloome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gene D. Block