Whittier College Partners with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities

February 10, 2023

Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and Whittier College logoWhittier College has joined the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), an organization focused on strengthening institutions that are "developing new responses to the pressing educational, economic, and social issues of the day."

“At Whittier, our mission is to provide an innovative educational experience to all our students, thus preparing them to be equity-focused transformational leaders that our communities need most,” said Vice President and Dean of Students Deanna Merino Contino. “As members of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), Whittier will work with partner organizations to continue providing students with opportunities to transform communities.”

Community engagement is a hallmark of a Whittier College education and the Center for Engagement with Communities (CEC) is at the heart of that mission. The CEC supports more than 25 for credit service-learning courses across ten academic departments. The CEC also promotes lifelong learning and civic engagement through service-learning courses, providing internship opportunities at non-profit organizations, and programmatic and research projects to expand the capacity of social service community-based organizations in the City of Whittier and surrounding areas.

In addition, Whittier has been designated as an “engaged campus” by the Carnegie Foundation and has been named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the “President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.”

Whittier College is a four-year national liberal arts institution located in the heart of Southern California. Founded in 1887 by members of the Religious Society of Friends, Whittier College is named after Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whitter. The College honors its past through a continued commitment to community, respect for the individual, integrity, justice, and finding common ground all over the world.

Today, Whittier is a model for the nation in providing college access to students of all backgrounds and promoting the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, about 50% of Whittier’s students identify as Latinx, and students of color constitute roughly 70% of the student body. Moreover, more than 40 percent of Whittier students are the first in their families to attend college, and most receive some form of financial aid. Whittier attracts students from every socioeconomic tier, from a myriad of religious and social backgrounds, and from 35 states and 27 countries.

With over 100 members, the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities is the longest-running and largest organization committed to serving and connecting urban and metropolitan universities. CUMU was formed in 1989 by leaders of metropolitan and urban institutions who realized their unique challenges and opportunities as they looked to the future of higher education. Today, CUMU is dedicated to its member institutions and to the creation and dissemination of knowledge on the issues that face member urban and metropolitan campuses and the communities they serve.