Community Engagement

Princeton University takes pride in its longstanding partnership with the communities that surround it.  Through on-campus learning opportunities, joint transportation and safety programs, community service projects, and initiatives that encompass the arts, entrepreneurship, and many other areas, the University and its neighbors continue a vibrant tradition of cooperation founded on shared values, interests, and histories.

— Christopher L. Eisgruber President, Princeton University

Catalyst for Engagement

Throughout the year, you will find young children, K-12 students, adults and seniors taking advantage of educational opportunities on campus, whether through the Cotsen Children's Library, the Art Museum, the Community Auditing Program, or programs that work intensively with high school students from the region to prepare them for success in college and beyond.  Students, faculty and staff give back to the community through ongoing volunteer service and donation of funds, food, furniture and equipment.  The University also contributes to a strong regional infrastructure through its maintenance of local roads; network of free, sustainable transit services; volunteer, training and funding support to local public safety agencies; provision of local affordable housing; and over $16.3 million in property tax, sewer fee and permit payments, and voluntary contributions to local governments in fiscal year 2015.

Learn more about the many ways in which Princeton University currently contributes to and engages with the Princeton community

Word cloud with names of community partner organizations

Roberto Hernandez, Program director, El Centro in Trenton, NJ

Roberto Hernandez
Program director, El Centro, Trenton, New Jersey

Founded in 1999, El Centro has been a trusted resource in the Trenton area's Spanish-speaking community for those seeking help with basic needs, job training, English as a Second Language (ESL) training, parenting classes and immigration services.  Four more than 16 years, Princeton student volunteers have provided free ESL classes and connected clients to the services they need to become better integrated into the community and local economy.

"At the end of the day, it's all about the relationships that we make.  When the volunteers touch one individual, they touch the whole family.  The ESL classes our clients take are important because they can then read nutrition labels, and make sense of what's happening when their kids bring home their report cards.  They can be better advocates for their children and themselves because they are more empowered.  They are better parents, better neighbors and better community members based on the fact that they know better English."

Photo by Denise Applewhite


Catalyst for Exploration

768,000 people visit the Princeton campus each yearAccess to world-class experts and facilities; spaces for arts education, performances and other events; a premier art museum; an inviting campus setting; and an extensive local transportation system that is free and open to the public have created an environment that attracts visitors and serves as a resource for the local community.

Off-campus spending by students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the University contributes significantly to the vitality of Princeton's regional economy.  Students alone spent $59.7 million off campus in fiscal year 2015, the majority of which supported local establishments.  In addition to those studying or working at the University, approximately 768,000 people visited the Princeton campus for admission visits, alumni gatherings, Commencement, lectures and conferences, athletic events, the art museum and arts performances, and other purposes.  Off-campus spending by visitors from outside of Mercer County totaled $49.7 million and generated, directly and indirectly, $63.4 million in economic output across Mercer County.

$59.7 million spent off campus by students directly and indirectly accounted for $54.7 million in economic output. $49.7 million spent off campus by visitors from outside Mercer County directly and indirectly accounted for $63.4 million in economic output

Jack Morrison, President, JM Group, Princeton, NJ

Jack Morrison
President, JM Group, Princeton, New Jersey

As an owner of multiple restaurants, real estate investor and catalyst for amenities like the weekly farmer's market in Hinds Plaza, Jack Morrison has long made Princeton a better place to live, learn and work.  He values the opportunities that continually arise for local residents and businesspeople to join with University partners to create an integrated, active, healthy and successful community.

"I've been here 35 years and raised two kids here.  The whole template of this community - the town and the University - is very unique and very special.  The community is an integral part of our businesses, and the University makes up a good portion of our community. 

We're all stakeholders in the community and I've been able to see just how much the University is involved in.  They're at so many tables and involved in so many conversations that enhance the well-being and all different facets of community life."

Photo by Denise Applewhite