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Bridging the Curricular and Co-Curricular: The Rockefeller Center Model of Civic Engagement
Unformatted Document Text:  solving. Undergraduate students do not have to compete with graduate or professional school students for access to the Center’s distinguished visitors. They work with faculty in a variety of fields ranging across the social sciences. Students’ classroom experiences are broadened and enriched through lectures, informal discussions, internships and skills- training – all aimed at fostering a broad understanding of policy and its implications for the economic, social and political life of the larger community. The Center leadership and the Board of Visitors believe that the knowledge and skills developed through the Center’s academic program and its co-curricular activities are most likely to meet society’s need for a more civic-minded citizenry in the future but are convinced that the Center’s distinctive approach can be further strengthened to enhance its future contributions. This year, the Center is celebrating two anniversaries – the Centennial of Nelson Rockefeller’s birth in 1908 and the 25 th anniversary of the opening of the Center in 1983. As is clear from the writings and speeches of Nelson Rockefeller, every generation of students confronts a similar picture of the world they enter as adults. It is complex and interdependent, daunting and wide-ranging. What changes over time are the particular challenges that rise above the others and the fitness of our public institutions to meet those challenges. The Center leadership and Board of Visitors are impressed by the fact that the coming years will bring a large number of retirements from civil service, while studies of today’s youth find many of them to be disengaged from public policy, disappointed by politics, and disinclined to work through the public sector to make change happen. Like the man for whom it is named, the Rockefeller Center stands against this tide of cynicism and indifference and must do so now with even greater force. In its first quarter-century, the Center has developed programs that offer students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and learn skills that are fundamental to understanding the world of 3

Authors: Shaiko, Ronald.
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solving. Undergraduate students do not have to compete with graduate or professional
school students for access to the Center’s distinguished visitors. They work with faculty in
a variety of fields ranging across the social sciences. Students’ classroom experiences are
broadened and enriched through lectures, informal discussions, internships and skills-
training – all aimed at fostering a broad understanding of policy and its implications for the
economic, social and political life of the larger community.
The Center leadership and the Board of Visitors believe that the knowledge and
skills developed through the Center’s academic program and its co-curricular activities are
most likely to meet society’s need for a more civic-minded citizenry in the future but are
convinced that the Center’s distinctive approach can be further strengthened to enhance its
future contributions. This year, the Center is celebrating two anniversaries – the
Centennial of Nelson Rockefeller’s birth in 1908 and the 25
th
anniversary of the opening of
the Center in 1983.
As is clear from the writings and speeches of Nelson Rockefeller, every generation
of students confronts a similar picture of the world they enter as adults. It is complex and
interdependent, daunting and wide-ranging. What changes over time are the particular
challenges that rise above the others and the fitness of our public institutions to meet those
challenges. The Center leadership and Board of Visitors are impressed by the fact that the
coming years will bring a large number of retirements from civil service, while studies of
today’s youth find many of them to be disengaged from public policy, disappointed by
politics, and disinclined to work through the public sector to make change happen.
Like the man for whom it is named, the Rockefeller Center stands against this tide
of cynicism and indifference and must do so now with even greater force. In its first
quarter-century, the Center has developed programs that offer students the opportunity to
acquire knowledge and learn skills that are fundamental to understanding the world of
3


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