Carnegie Mellon University

A Good Neighbor


A Good Neighbor

Carnegie Mellon was named a Top 25 "Best Neighbor" for its economic and social impact on Pittsburgh in a 2009 poll titled "Saviors of Our Cities: A Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships." The study, conducted by Evan S. Dobelle, president of Westfield State College in Westfield, Mass., ranks higher education institutions based on the positive impact they have on their hometowns. Carnegie Mellon was ranked 19th. 

The survey noted Carnegie Mellon's Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach and its Strategies for Engineering Education program, which gives middle-school girls the opportunity to engage in hands-on engineering activities focused on energy. It also praised the university's Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science, an enrichment program for high school minority students; its School of Music, which "seeks to enhance music instruction in Pittsburgh Public Schools"; and its "powerful" engineering and design schools for being "instrumental in hundreds of start-up companies."

Dobelle, former president of the New England Board of Higher Education, released his first study of "town-gown" relationships in 2006. He ranks institutions based on their "demonstrated and documented long-standing cooperative efforts with community leaders to rehabilitate the cities around them, to influence community revitalization and cultural renewal, and to encourage economic expansion of the local economy, urban development and community service."

The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California tied for the top spot in the survey.

For more on the survey, visit

Bruce Gerson