Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC) is the 2015 recipient of the IUPUI Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. MRNC board president Ron Grammas accepted the award on behalf of MRNC at the IUPUI Chancellor’s Academic Honors Convocation on Friday, April 24.

The award is given to a community-based organization that has engaged in a meaningful program collaboration with one or more academic units that has resulted in achievements in student learning, faculty work, and community improvements. MRNC, collaborating with IUPUI and numerous community partners, initiated a program at George Washington Community High School which supports students, parents and the school community. Additionally, an internship pipeline has been formed for students who go on to work in a variety of roles at MRNC and in the community beyond.

In his nomination of Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Jim Grim, Director of University/Community School Partnerships in the Office of Community Engagement at IUPUI said “multiple schools and departments from across (IUPUI’s) campus have collaborated with Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center leaders in providing its Westside constituents with a plethora of services and activities…one of the greatest impacts has been the collaboration to instill a community consensus around high school graduation and postsecondary education. The greatest indicator of partnership impact comes from data gathered for the graduates of George Washington Community High School. In 2010 – 2013, 69% of graduates subsequently enrolled in some form of postsecondary education,” said Grim, the original MRNC Community School Coordinator at Washington. “As of June 2014, 63% of the 2010-2013 graduates remained in school or had completed their postsecondary course of studies. This data is considered phenomenal for a community where only 7.4% of residents age 25 and older have any kind of postsecondary education certification. The data clearly indicates that the educational landscape of the city’s Near-Westside is significantly changing.””

“Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center has served as a community anchor offering help and hope to youth, adults and families throughout our community since 1911. Our partnership with IUPUI exemplifies our efforts to bring community partners together to empower individuals every day”, said Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center Executive Director Clark Lienemann. “We’re so pleased to have our collaboration with IUPUI honored in this way.”