Monday, January 28, 2013

Widener University Joins Clinton Global Initiative University Network

First Member Institution in the Philadelphia Region

Former President Bill Clinton has invited Widener University to join the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI University) Network, a growing consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor, and provide seed funding to student leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Widener becomes one of only 24 colleges and universities nationwide to join the network, and the only institution in the five-county Philadelphia region.

As a member of the CGI University Network, Widener students are invited to develop a Commitment to Action, a new, specific and measurable plan that addresses an issue at Widener, in their local community or around the world. The plan must relate to one of five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, or public health.

“Widener University is committed to leadership development and civic engagement,” said Widener President James T. Harris III, who spoke with President Clinton in October about the initiative. “The Clinton Global Initiative goes to the very heart of our mission at Widener and we are very excited to be selected as a member of the University Network.”

Students apply to attend CGI University, which will be held this year April 5-7 at Washington University in St. Louis. At the meeting, students will hear from experts in the field, brainstorm ideas, share best practices, and form partnerships. Students then return to their campuses and communities to turn their ideas into actions, with the support of seed funding and mentorship from their universities.

Widener will provide a minimum to $10,000 in funding to be divided among the students selected to pursue their Commitments to Action. The university will also mentor student commitment-makers as they development and implement their plans. The $10,000 is from an endowment fund at the university to support student projects.

CGI University is President Clinton’s initiative to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Since its inaugural meeting in 2008, CGI U has brought together more than 4,500 students from more than 130 countries to make commitments to action.

Undergraduate and graduate students interested in becoming CGI U commitment-makers are asked to contact Dr. Suk-Chung Yoon, associate provost for experiential learning and global initiatives, at 610-499-4103 or e-mail

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