Representatives from the University of Connecticut and the City of Bridgeport came together at Webster Bank Arena on December 22, 2014, to celebrate the launch of the 18-month inaugural UConn Cities Collaborative (UCC) partnership. A new initiative through the UConn Office of Public Engagement, UCC’s mission is to unite university and city partners in mutually beneficial relationships that are relevant, reciprocal, and responsible. Such partnerships provide opportunities for students to gain practical experience while working to address authentic needs in local communities.
A pre-game reception, presented in collaboration with the Fairfield County chapter of the UConn Alumni Association, provided an opportunity to build relationships and strengthen the UConn-Bridgeport partnership that will carry this important work forward. Attendees included Bridgeport Mayor and UConn Alumnus Bill Finch (CANR ’79), Chief of Staff Adam Wood, Deputy Chief of Staff Ruben Felipe, UConn Director of Public Engagement Carol Polifroni, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Sally Reis, Vice Provost for Global Affairs Daniel Weiner, and UConn Stamford Campus Director Sharon White. Other participants included members of the UConn Cities Collaborative Steering Committee and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, as well as other university, city, and business leaders.
Following the pre-game reception, the group joined the crowd in the arena to cheer on the UConn men’s basketball team. UCC partners took the court during a break in the game, when Director of Public Engagement Carol Polifroni presented Mayor Finch with a plaque in celebration of the UConn-Bridgeport partnership. The festive evening ended on a high note with UConn’s 80-65 victory over Columbia.