University Reaching Out

A university can bring many practical benefits to a community – not just the aura of higher learning.

Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio, has been intensifying efforts to strengthen the town and gown bond and make its influence more apparent off campus. The University, in fact, is one reason Ohio Magazine selected Urbana as a Best Hometown for 2011. (By the way, the November edition featuring Urbana’s selection is just days from hitting newsstands and mailboxes!)

A couple of new examples of the University’s outreach were just brought to my attention.

Grant Resources for Nonprofits

This first example appeals to my role as coordinator of a nonprofit organization – the Champaign County Literacy Council. Like any charitable organization we’re always on the lookout for new sources of funding.

As a new member of the Foundation Center Cooperating Collection Network, the University is offering to the community-at-large free access to extensive online and print directories of grant funding sources. These are valuable resources that small nonprofits cannot afford on their own.

The University is offering a free training session on how to use the resources. It will be held at the University’s Moore Math and Science Building at 3 p.m. Monday, November 15. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 484-1409 or online at the Foundation Center. I’m already registered.

Participants will learn how to create customized searches to find foundations that match their organizations’ funding needs.

Civil War Art Series

Starting this Tuesday, October 26 at 7 p.m., at the Mechanicsburg Public Library (60 South Main St.—St.  Route 29), Urbana University professors will present a three-week series on the history represented in three pieces of art from the Civil War time period. The series is funded by a grant from the Picturing America project of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This Tuesday’s program is “Abraham Lincoln Photographs by Alexander Gardner.” Gardner was one of a team of photographers hired to make a visual record of the Civil War at a time when photography was still a new medium.

The program will be preceded at 5 p.m. by a performance of Civil War music by the Champaign County Dulcimer Club and from 6 to  7 p.m. by a display of  Underground Railroad photographs taken in Champaign County.

Learn more about the rest of the series on the University’s website.

Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling (937) 834-2004.

(In a previous post I highlighted the University’s involvement in the Champaign County Barn Quilt Tour.)


  1. How exciting!!! I cant wait to get my copy!!

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